Saturday, March 20, 2010

Oats, Peas, Beans, and...Phytic Acid

Oats, Peas, Beans, and Barley Grow,
But better to soak them first. :)

Are you spending a lot of money on supplements to try and increase your mineral intake? I was until two months ago. I have been battling iron deficiency for years and relied on iron supplements to keep my levels up. Then I discovered I was probably wasting my money on supplements that my body was not even absorbing properly. Sally Fallon's book, Nourishing Traditions, has helped me realize the role that phytic acid plays in inhibiting mineral absorption. Phytates, or phytic acid, are responsible for inhibiting absorption of several essential minerals and is present in most nuts, grains, beans, and cereals. In addition, these foods have enzyme inhibitors that block the essential work of enzymes in breaking down all of our foods into absorbable forms. Usually, one can solve the problem by soaking these foods for 12 hours prior to cooking. The simple action of water neutralizes the phytates and enzyme inhibitors. The process is further aided if one adds probiotics or raises the pH by adding lemon juice to the water.
Now, I've made a new discovery about oatmeal and phytates. Amanda Rose, Ph.D. at has written a white paper on exactly how much phytic acid is present in a wide gamut of foods, and offers some very helpful kitchen techniques. Oatmeal, it turns out, is an exception to the rule. Soaking only reduces 30% of phytate levels in the oatmeal. So can you do about it?

The solution is adding 10% freshly ground wheat before soaking. Why? Wheat has phytase--an enzyme that breaks down phytates. See this link.

Unfortunately for gluten-sensitive people like me, this is not a good solution. However, Amanda also gives other solutions, such as eating a vitamin-C-rich food in that same meal.
There is also advice about corn and beans. Check it out.

Friday, March 19, 2010

A New Song: God Made Me A Helper (To the tune of I Love You A Bushel and A Peck)

God made me
A Helper-to-Be
A Helper-to-Be
For my family
My mom and daddy
and I can start right now
To please the Lord,
He'll give me strength somehow
I'll start now
To please God
Right now
A cheerful Helper I will be!

Just a simple little song for the younger girls at our mother-daughter tea. Listen to the original tune here, done by a cute couple of girl friends in nice harmony.

Update on Kefir-Making

Recently I posted about making kefir out of young Thai coconuts. Our friend Lindsey at Passionate Homemaking has found an easier, cheaper way--using canned coconut milk. I have ordered a case from Azure Standard and I am going to try it. Lindsey has a how-to video and instructions on her blog, along with lots of good tips. Lindsey is an amazing young lady. I first met her when her family came to my house while she was in courtship with the man who is now her husband. She has mastered the art of homemaking much younger than I; I have a lot to learn from her. As she points out, homemaking is a full-time job; there is no end to one's scope for imagination in the home.

In addition to organic recipes, her website has a wide variety of topics from how to reduce junk mail, to making an organized planner and natural personal-care products. Enjoy!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Woman's Calling: Helper Part 2

My friend and elder of our church was reviewing the thoughts I wrote and suggested I add some qualifiers. I heartily agreed.
My blog should not in any way imply that our lot in life as women is to be of any less value than that of men. We are all servants of the Most High God. We as Christians are bond-servants of Christ whether male or female. SO we stand equal before God. We have the same access to the Holy Spirit and His gifts. We are just as intelligent and capable as men. We are called help-meets because we are comparable to the men we help. However, we do fill different roles and operate in different spheres of influence. We manifest our service to Christ differently. Just as Paul writes that "one plants a seed, another waters, but God causes the growth", so it is that God has called men and women to fill various roles in spreading the gospel and producing godly offspring.

This is the complementarian view of gender, as opposed to the egalitarian view, which denies any differences between men and women with respect to their roles or even their physicality, as well as their relative value. Those who hold the complementarian view of scripture include Philip Lancaster, Douglas Wilson, John Piper, Wayne Grudem, and Douglas Phillips. A growing number of evangelicals are adopting an egalitarian (mis)interpretation of scripture. It is important that we understand these concepts and are firmly grounded in our understanding if we are to be following God's will as women. For more information on the topic see Desiring God Ministry's website here.