This is a free excerpt from the nutrition book,
God's Banquet Table!
Take wheat and barley, beans and lentils, millet and spelt; put them in a storage jar and use them to make bread for yourself. You are to eat it during the 390 days you lie on your side.
AMARANTH Until recently, amaranth became a lost grain, along with the ancient Aztec civilization. The Aztecs attributed amaranth with mystical qualities and believed this precious seed to have had the ability to empower super-human strength. The women would crush the seeds, adding honey and human blood, kneading into a reddish dough that was baked in the shape of birds and snakes. This perverse delicacy was eaten in a religious rite to encourage faith and strength. Christian missionaries burned every square inch of cultivated amaranth in response to this pagan practice. Christian troops were ordered to cut off the hands of anyone found with a single seed of amaranth in their possession. When we have a relationship with religion instead of God, love is destroyed by intolerance.
Amaranth has been discovered to be one of the most nutritious of all grains. This tiny yellow seed is packed with lysine, the amino acid that controls protein absorption in the body. Similar to quinoa, the protein’s biological value is almost perfect. It is extremely high in vitamins and minerals. Three and a half ounces of amaranth contains more calcium than a glass of milk, and a half cup contains less than 16 calories. This makes amaranth a rare grain that can be enjoyed by those who are determined to lose weight. It is sold exclusively in health food stores and is relatively inexpensive. Amaranth has a toasted sesame seed flavor and is delicious as a creamy breakfast cereal.
BARLEY Before man grew wheat or rye, barley was cultivated and used for food. Barley is a wonderfully adaptable grain that grows from the arctic circle right down to the tropics. It is also able to grow under the worst soil conditions where most grains would not do well. Barley is sold in two forms. Pot barley, which is also called whole barley, is the grain without its outer shell. It is brown in color, having a sweet, nutty, chewy texture. Pot barley should always be soaked before cooking. Pearl barley has a white color because the husks and bran have been removed, allowing it to cook faster. Pearl barely is the equivalent of white flour. The aleurone and embryo are washed away, leaving only the endosperm, the least nutritious part of the grain. For this reason, we recommend you use whole, hulled barley. It is easy to distinguish from common pearl barley because of its brownish gray color. Its high fiber content requires that it be soaked overnight. Whole, hulled barley is a good source of protein, fiber and niacin, and also contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It is chewier and a little more expensive, but it will be well worth the switch. You will quickly adapt to its wholesome natural texture.
BUCKWHEAT It is actually in the fruit family. It originated in Central Asia and is now grown and eaten in many parts of the world. Buckwheat is a versatile little plant that is able to thrive in poor soil conditions, even surviving through drought, flood, and frost. This hardiness allows farmers to grow this crop with little or no chemicals. The seeds are harvested from buckwheat flowers. It is a rich source of protein (11%), containing all eight amino acids. Its protein is considered to be a higher biological value than soybeans. Buckwheat is low in fat (2%), only half the calories of barley. It is high in iron and a good source of B vitamins. Buckwheat cannot be used successfully in producing bread or other baked goods, but is excellent in making pancakes. A traditional meal of buckwheat is called grouts, which is cooked like rice in water until soft and fluffy. You can eat them as a breakfast cereal. Buckwheat can be purchased in two forms, whole white or the familiar brown roasted, commonly called kasha. The flavors of the two are as different as night and day. When roasted, it takes on a nut-like flavor and burnt aroma. On the other hand, white buckwheat, when naturally derived, has a delicious delicate flavor somewhat like rice. For the best health value we recommend unroasted buckwheat.
BULGAR This is a wheat that has been steamed and dried. Originating in the Middle East, it became a staple across the entire world. Needing very little or no cooking, it can be simply presoaked and sprinkled over salads. Bulgur should be stored in airtight containers in the refrigerator. Two and one half cups of water are needed to cook one cup of bulgur. It will absorb moisture like rice, taking 20-25 minutes of cooking time.
CORN The American soils have supplied nutrients for this tall grain-bearing stalk for thousands of years. It is a truly, American grain. The Indians call it maize. Columbus, on returning home, crammed this wonderful treasure into the cargo hold of his ship and presented it to his king and queen. It was placed on the level of the great spices from the Orient because of its nutty sweet taste. In Central America, corn grew like forests across the valleys and hills. The stalks were so dense with cobs that, to the explorers and missionaries, they became like an unpenetratable stone wall. If there had been an opening to get through, you didn’t enter. It was considered suicide to walk through an Aztec field of corn because they were protected like gold.
So much can be done with these simple yellow seeds—cornmeal, corn flour, corn on the cob, popcorn, grits, corn bread and tortilla. The early American settlers who came to Plymouth Rock survived through those harsh winters, thanks to the corn that was supplied them by the Indians.
It is predicted that, during the 21st century, two-thirds of the entire earth’s population will live on a diet derived from corn. It is a complex carbohydrate with the potential of feeding the entire world. The versatile cornmeal is milled from the dried corn kernel. It is made up of the rough hull covering two layers of hard and soft starch deposits. In the center of this package is the germ, a rich treasure of nutritional oil and high-quality protein. Our modern day process of producing cornmeal destroys nutrients by removing the germ entirely and breaking down the fibrous hull. Stone ground cornmeal is the natural alternative. Corn is packed with potassium, magnesium, thiamin, riboflavin and niacin.
The health value we give to corn is dependent on how it is eaten. The best value for health is to simply husk it and eat it raw. Raw corn is at the top of the grain list. Raw corn is filled with essential fatty acids, enzymes and insoluble fiber for colon care. It is creamy sweet, and if picked fresh, a wonderful delight. When I suggested to my children to eat raw corn, they stuck their noses up. So I decided to experiment. I put a cooked cob and a raw cob before them for supper. In trying both, they never wanted cooked corn again. When my children are out playing with their friends and get hungry, they come in, open the fridge, grab a corn, husk it and run out to eat it while playing. Their friends find it a little strange, but it is a convenient filling meal, free from dirty dishes and the need to cook on a hot summer day. It also saves on the cost of butter.
The famous tradition of grits is a mainstay south of the Mason-Dixon line in the Southern States. Invented by the Indians, dried kernels were crushed into a rough flour. A course mixture of dried grits can be boiled and eaten like hot porridge. Another method was to soak hulled, dried corn in a mixture of water and wood ashes for a day. The kernels would puff up, bursting the hulls, resulting in a delicious flavor that tasted nothing like corn. It was eaten daily by Indian warriors for strength and endurance.
Always buy stone ground grits, insuring the inclusion of fiber and germ. Store in the refrigerator or freezer. It can be cooked in oven for10 to 20 minutes, then boiled in water.
MILLET Considered to be the most ancient of all grains. The tablets of Fan Shen-Chiu Shu, written 2,800 BC, declared millet to be one of China’s five sacred crops. It was also cultivated in India during the same period. Discovered by archeologists, these tiny seeds were found in ancient pottery. Throughout the continent of Africa, millet grows wild like crab grass. In Africa, India and China, millet is a daily staple. Millet is high in vitamins, minerals, and rich in phosphorus, calcium, iron, niacin and riboflavin. A cup of cooked millet contains only 90 calories. It can be found in health food stores and some grocery stores. When purchased in bulk, it is extremely cheap. Look for a bright, golden color with no aroma. Can be stored for one year on the shelf. When cooking millet, it is recommended to presoak and cook like rice for 20 minutes.
OATS I can remember as a boy visiting my Grandmother. Every morning I would be greeted with a piping hot bowl of oatmeal for breakfast. I don’t know how she did it, but Grandma knew how to make the perfect bowl of porridge. Because of the necessity of oatmeal during the depression and the first and second World Wars, oatmeal has become an American tradition. A high quality, inexpensive filling and nutritious food. When asking my Grandfather what he thought of his daily portion of oats, he would simply reply, it makes me regular. Eighty-five percent of the oat crop grown in the USA is shamefully used as livestock feed. Not until recently have mainstream nutritionists given the oat the respectability it deserves. Its digestible fiber makes oats an excellent food source in maintaining a healthy clean colon. Oats have the ability to grow in poor soils where wheat and barley would not survive. It was considered a food for the poor and had little respect during Medieval times.
Whole grain oats are filled with seven B vitamins, vitamin E, nine minerals, which include a generous amount of calcium and iron. It is easy to digest and a good source of a higher quality protein than wheat. Because of its soluble fiber, oats help lower cholesterol levels in the blood. Oat bran makes an excellent breakfast cereal, cooking in two minutes. Oats, powdered in a coffee grinder make an excellent natural thickener. Always buy unrefined whole oats. Organic oats can be found in health food stores and are quite cheap. Natural rolled oats will take longer to cook but can be soaked overnight to dramatically decrease cooking time, making oats a convenient, healthy breakfast. Oats contain a natural antioxidant that allows them to be stored for extended periods of time. If oat flour is added to bread, the antioxidant in oat flour will help preserve the bread’s freshness.
QUINOA The Incas crowned quinoa as being the mother grain, considering the kernels holy because eating them resulted in long healthy lives. Quinoa grows high in the Andes Mountains where grass cannot exist. The plant is so versatile even the leaves can be used to make a salad. If you have never heard of quinoa before, you are in for a treat. Here again, we find a grain that is not a grain. Even though in cooking, we treat it much like a grain, it is actually from the fruit family.
Quinoa is easily digested, the least mucus-forming and requires the least amount of cooking time of all grains. Quinoa is the food that is most like mother’s milk in nutritional properties. A cup of cooked quinoa is equivalent to a quart of milk, in calcium. This is also a more digestible form of calcium. It is about 6% higher in protein than wheat, barley, corn and rice. The quality of this protein is what makes quinoa so exciting. All essential amino acids are present and are considered to be in perfect balance. Quinoa is high in lysine, an essential amino acid that is scarce in the plant kingdom. It is also high in essential sulfur-bearing amino acids, methionine and cystine. Quinoa is an excellent source of phosphorus, vitamin E, several B complex vitamins and iron. Its low gluten content is a disadvantage when trying to make bread, but a great advantage to human health, considering the difficulties in breaking down this tough protein.
You can find organic quinoa at your local health food store. It is only starting to be introduced into mainline supermarkets. Look for a plump, clean, light ivory-colored grain. Once you find a good source of quality quinoa, it will be well worth your time and money, and may become your favorite grain. The darker brown quinoa is grown in California and does not seem to have the quality of flavor as the lighter colored quinoa. Some lower-priced quinoa will have the presence of a brown, powdery residue. Rinse thoroughly before cooking because this saponin powder has a bitter, soapy flavor, and gives the quinoa a sticky texture.
There are three different varieties of quinoa that vary in flavor, texture and color. The highest quality quinoa is called altiplano which is the purest strain and is grown in Bolivia and Peru, 12,500 feet above sea level. The result is a sweet, delicate ivory seed that is more expensive but well worth the cost. The second grade is called valley variety which is also mountain-raised, but at 7,000 to 10,000 feet above sea level. This variety is commonly grown in Peru, Ecuador and Columbia. The quality of valley variety is not as good as altiplano because farming methods can often be primitive. The lower altitude results in a yellower color and is 50 to 60 cents cheaper. The lowest grade quinoa is called sea level, describing where it is grown. This results in brownish-colored seeds and tends to be more bitter than mountain-grown quinoa. It may be half the price of high quality quinoa, but the savings are not worth the loss in taste. Always store quinoa in the refrigerator because of its high oil content.
TRITICALE In 1875, a Scottish botanist by the name of Steven Wilson, had an interesting idea. He took some pollen from a rye plant and dusted the stamen of a wheat stock. This humble experiment resulted in a new hybrid that was sterile and bore no fruit. Discouraged, he gave up the idea and went off to develop a rust-free form of oat. His idea was later adopted in the 1930’s by a group of French agro scientists. They coated the plant with a crocus derivative called colchicine which allowed this new hybrid to finally bare fruit. From the 1930’s to modern day, millions of dollars have been spent on trying to develop a field-hardy, usable triticale which is believed will solve world hunger. According to the University of Manitoba, triticale has a greater health effect than combing soybeans and yogurt together. Triticale is higher in protein than wheat and rye, containing a higher-quality amino acid balance than its parents. It is twice as high in lysine as wheat. Can be purchased in health food stores and has a similar appearance to wheat. Because it is a non-oily grain, it may be stored in the cupboard. It is a hard grain and takes 40 to 50 minutes of cooking time.
Grain in moderation is jam-packed with nutrition and for many countries who do not have a continuous source of fresh fruits and vegetables, grain becomes their main staple. Grain is sustaining and is excellent in supplying the calories needed for hard physical work.
For most North Americans, walking to the car or pushing the buttons on the TV converter is considered hard work. If you do not exercise and eat large portions of highly-concentrated food it forms mucus that clogs up the system, reducing vitality, clear-thinking and health. As you probably realized by now, we are not a big fan of highly-concentrated foods, especially of making them a largest part of your diet. Try to eat less grain products, many people have experience an increase in health by cutting down the amount of grain in their diet.
Out of the tens of thousands of grain recipes from all over the world from every culture, tribe, nation theses are six of the very best.
Click here for grain recipes: grain recipes
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