I’ve been careful lately to set out on the table nuts, seeds and grains that are more easy to digest and more nutrient rich for my family. I had no idea before research and cooking classes this winter that this means we need to soak them, sprout them, or use sourdough.
Why Soak, Sprout, and Sourdough?
Think about what a seed is. It is dormant, waiting and protecting itself until it is time for new growth. God created them to have protective guards like phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors that prevent them from germinating too early. However, these wreak havoc on a human digestive track and prevent us from being able to absorb the vitamins, minerals, and nutrients we are hoping to gain from eating these foods.
Adding one extra step in makes all the difference. It is a step traditional societies still take, and it is one that you could likely see in dusty cookbooks from a couple generations back.
What is the Extra Step to Make Nuts, Seeds, and Grains More Digestible?
Simply breaking down the seed a little in a way that makes it think it is time to germinate. This process breaks down the:
- Phytic acid
Making these delicious foods easier to digest and releasing the minerals and nutrients so that our bodies can access them better.
My Family Eats a Lot of Pasta
Our family has a lot of recipes made with pasta. Now, I had thought I was being super healthy by paying the little bit extra for whole wheat. For the last couple of years, I have wanted a pasta maker and asked for one for my birthday.
I had been looking at the $30 hand crank models, but my husband had been looking at the high end ones and saving money for a better one.
Meanwhile, I’m looking at the money we spend on pasta compared to the cost of the flour and eggs it takes to make it and I’m thinking- This is going to save us money in the long run.
Whole Wheat Wasn’t Good Enough
Then, the cooking classes I took helped me realize that making my own pasta would have other benefits as well. By adding the extra step of soaking, sprouting, or using sourdough, the pasta wouldn’t just be cheaper, it would be way better for us as well.
Soaked, Sprouted, or Sourdough Pasta?
My husband gave me an excellent pasta maker this last Christmas that was even electric, making my exploration of pasta making much easier. Though getting the right recipe wasn’t easy.
I ran into a lot of difficulties along the way. First, pasta dough has to be a certain wetness that often depends on a tiny amount of liquid. Too sticky and it will be painful to keep apart; too dry and it will fall apart. Soaking and sourdough were just too variable in wetness for my taste. Using sprouted whole grain flour fit my taste for ease. I use One Degree Sprouted Whole Wheat Flour (but get no kickbacks for sharing it).
Flopped Recipes in the Philips Electric Pasta Maker
Following the recipes for pasta in the recipe book that came with my Philips Electric Pasta Maker and substituting normal flour for sprouted grain flour did not work out. They were sticky and unmanageable, breaking off in tiny little stubs and taking forever to separate. (Imagine Christmas with my family in from out of town and my mom and I working for hours to make the pasta in a pasta maker that says “Ready in 15 minutes.”)
After reading up on pasta making, it was clear that the dough needed to rest at least 30 minutes before being cut into pasta. This strengthens the bonds in the dough, making it easier to work with later. But the pasta maker goes directly from mixing into extruding (pushing it out into strands).
Working Around Unmanageable Dough with my Philips Electric Pasta Maker
I figured out if I just mixed my dough in my food processor and let it rest (30 minutes…3 hours….8 hours- however I fit it into my day), it extruded perfectly with the recipe I’m sharing.
The Cool Dough Trick
I recently made some dough for dinner and then, due to a change in schedule, wrapped it in plastic wrap and stuck it in the fridge for the next day. When I got it out, it seemed harder than normal, and I wondered how it would work in my pasta maker. I broke it up a little, stuck it in, turned it on, and held my breath.
Then I let it out in excitement as the pasta extruded. It was incredibly manageable! It made a great recipe even better. That pasta was indeed ready in 15. I usually have to extrude my pasta multiple times, opening the lid and moving the pasta around a little along the way, but it was so much faster with the dough cold.
Great For Rolling Out and Cutting or Hand-Crank Machines
Now, I’m not promoting this pasta maker. (I’m really only sharing it’s name, because when I searched for help online for making it work, I couldn’t find it. I’m hoping this will help someone else wondering how to get an electric pasta maker to make manageable pasta).
This recipe is also perfect for those that roll it out on the counter and cut it with a butter knife or those that have a splendid hand-crank pasta maker. I’m not sure if having cool dough would be a benefit in these cases, but I know the recipe is great for them on its own.
Sprouted Whole Wheat Pasta Recipe
- 2 1/4 cups sprouted wheat flour
- 3 large eggs
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 3-4 Tablespoons water
Combine all ingredients except water in a mixer. Add one Tablespoon of water at a time until dough sticks together. (I put mine in my food processor and mix it until the blob of dough sticks together and goes around the food processor in one big blob for a little bit). Knead it a little by hand and wrap it in plastic wrap. Let it sit for at least 30 minutes.
Cut it any way you like. Roll it out and cut it by hand, crank it out in your pasta maker, or stick it in an electric pasta maker to let it do the extruding for you. Either way, after you cut it:
Drop it into boiling water and cook it for 4-6 minutes.
My desire is that through this blog, you will be inspired to:
- engage deeply with the Lord and those you care about
- embrace wholly, bringing your whole self to the table to connect with others, and
- delight lavishly, celebrating the consequential and minutia of life.
This recipe is a delight to my taste buds and a gift of healthy eating to those I love. Just a small taste of celebration and connection in my life.
Be sure not to miss when I share my favorite recipes!
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