Grain Intolerant? “Sometimes we just want to enjoy some RICE!”
This article is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any illness. Consult your physician before changing your diet.
Why Soak or Culture Rice?
Soaking or otherwise known as culturing, breaks down the anti-nutrient properties which are hard-to-digest components of the rice. Culturing or soaking can release highly beneficial nutrients, proteins, vitamins and minerals. Culturing can prevent the adverse reactions related to gluten intolerance, and that is very nice.
Why Remove or Reduce Phytic Acid from Rice?
Phytic Acid is an anti-nutrient component found in rice, (also found in some nuts and seeds) which bonds minerals and can prevent your digestive system from fully absorbing them. Consumption of high levels of Phytic Acid can be unhealthy, uncomfortable and can be responsible for:
*Lowered Iron absorption which can contribute to Anemic conditions
* Mineral deficiencies, causing lack of sleep and bone density disorders, which can lead to poor bone health, muscle and tooth decay
* Preventing proper absorption of Magnesium, iron, phosphorous and Zinc which can lead to a critical imbalance of calcium to phosphorous ratios
* Causing the body to physically leech much needed calcium
*Feeling sluggish, tired or sleepy
* Suffer from Irritable bowel syndrome,
* Intestinal bacteria imbalance and can lower the metabolism which can lead to unnecessary weight gain and mood swings
* Overworked pancreatic activity which can lead to excessive release of insulin
* Destruction of beneficial intestinal bacteria which can be responsible for a lowered immune system
Phytase: A naturally occurring enzyme present in rice (also in some seeds and nuts). Phytase, , when properly released via culturing or soaking, can assist the breakdown of Phytic Acid. This is beneficial to releasing important nutrients, and making them more efficiently digestible. Cooking, boiling and steaming rice is simply not enough to adequately release Phytase and reduce or even eliminate Phytic Acid. Below, we explore some options.
• Sprouting Rice – activates and releases Phytase which helps to release important minerals, proteins and vitamins, leading to more efficient digestion. This is to be considered a pre-fermentation step, and not a complete process for neutralizing, removing or eliminating Phytic Acid.
• Culturing Rice – When culturing in a warm environment, in an acid-based medium it can promote Phytase activity (removing or eliminating Phytic Acids) which helps to activate and promote the release of critically important vitamins, minerals and proteins making them digestible.
• Fermenting or Souring Rice – This process helps to reduce or eliminate Phytic Acid.
This method, when combined with cooking, reduces or eliminates Phytic Acid in rice (also some seeds and nuts).
My Personal Tips on Preparing Rice:
Option 1> 2 cups of rice, soaked in 3 cups of warm (Reverse Osmosis) water, and I add ¼ cup of organic white wine or if the wine is not available, I use ¼ cup organic, apple cider vinegar. If vinegar is not available, I use freshly squeezed lemon juice from an organic lemon (1/4 cup) I let soak for at least 2 hours. After 2 hours, I rinse through a fine stainless steel colander until the water runs clear, and I soak again for an additional 1 hour, and repeat the rinsing until the water runs clear.
Option 2> 2 cups of rice, soaked in 1 Quart raw goats milk, and I add 2/Tb of Sea Salt. I let soak overnight. In the morning, I rinse through a fine stainless steel colander until the water runs clear. The reason I soak overnight is because milk culturing can be less effective in the reduction or elimination of Phytic Acids. I have found that it works much better when the rice is soaked in raw goat milk overnight.
Once the rice is rinsed and water is running clear, it is ready to be cooked. As the rice is straining, I add 4 cups of already heated, Organic, homemade chicken stock or bone marrow broth to a cast Iron pot with 1 tablespoon of sea salt (to taste) and 1 tablespoon of homegrown, organic pork lard, and cover until it reaches a boiling point.
Once stock has reached boiling point, I add the previously soaked, 2 cups of rice, lower the flame to low and cover the pot. Allow rice to cook, undisturbed, and in 12-15 minutes (cooking time can vary, depending on elevation) it’s ready.
Tips: I like to mix it up a little and I like to season the rice with delicious herbs, and seasonings. I enjoy the flavor of turmeric, paprika, fresh mint, and on occasion I have been known to top the cooked rice with homemade cheese, from our goat herd. Don’t let rice be boring, get creative and explore!