Why You Should Soak Your Grains
Soaking grains to make them easier to digest and enhance them nutritionally has been practiced for centuries in cultures all over the world. Unfortunately in America and other developed countries soaking grains has fallen out of practice. But if you are like me and you want your food SLOW and as nutrient dense as possible then you might be bringing back these ancient techniques for improving the digestibility and nutritional profile of grains. In this recipe I use clabbered raw cows milk to soak organic cornmeal and whole wheat flour for at least 12 hours. During this time the clabbered milk (that has produced a lot of lactic acid as it fermented) will help to break down the starch and anti-nutrients that can interfere with digestibility and vitamin and mineral absorption. We have to be aware as more and more people become sensitive to grains that it doesn’t seem a far stretch to assume that the way we are growing (with heavy agro-chemical use) and eating (cooking without prior soaking) our grains has changed too quickly from the way our bodies evolved to handle and assimilate grains. So when we buy freshly grown organic grains and prepare them with traditional techniques we are not only improving the digestibility and unlocking the nutrients in them but also supporting a more sustainable way of farming and consuming foods.
Please note: This recipe calls for Clabbered RAW cows milk.
A good quality plain organic yogurt can be substituted for the clabbered milk.
Click this link to learn more about Clabber Milk.
Recipe serves 8-16 and yields one 8″x11″ baking pan of cornbread.
2 Cups Cornmeal
1 Cup Whole Wheat Flour
2 Cups Clabber Milk
2 Teaspoons Baking Soda
1/2 Cup Maple Syrup
1/2 Cup Butter
1 1/2 Teaspoon Salt
The night before baking combine the cornmeal and flour in a ceramic or glass bowl. Add the clabber milk to the cornmeal mixture and stir thoroughly. Cover this mixture and let it sit at room temperature for at least 12 hours. Tip: Start the soaking at 8pm and your mixture will be ready to proceed by 8am the following day.
The next day uncover your grains and stir them well. Preheat your oven to 350°. Vigorously beat the eggs, baking soda, maple syrup and salt in a separate bowl (make sure to thoroughly mix in the baking soda) and add them to the corn mixture. Melt the butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. When it’s completely melted stir it into the batter until smooth and well combined.
Generously butter a 8″x11.5″ baking pan and pour the batter into the pan. Bake the corncake for 35 minutes until the top is toasty brown.
My favorite way to eat this corncake is with plenty of pastured butter. It also makes a great accompaniment to soups and stews and can be toasted and topped with butter and honey or preserves for breakfast.
Variation: Try adding 1 cup of grated cheddar cheese, 1 cup of fresh corn and 1/2 cup of green chilies to the batter for a wonderful Southwestern style cornbread.