Q. I have a couple questions I was hoping you might answer. I feed my children smoothies every day, containing raw eggs, whole carrots, yogurt and fruit. Then I add diatomaceous earth (for parasite control, as we live on a farm), coconut oil, and ground flax seed. Lately however, I have been including chia seeds and hemp hearts. Here are my questions:
1. Everything I can find about chia seeds seems to support the idea that they would be a good additive as they were traditional foods for the Mayan and such but, do I need to soak them or is it okay to use them as is in a smoothie?
2. The hemp hearts on the other hand I am not too sure about. I was able to find, on this site, information discouraging the use of hemp oil but not about hemp hearts. My question is, are hemp hearts a good addition for a morning smoothie, and if so would they need to be soaked?
A. I would not put all those seeds in the smoothies–they are bird food (and hemp hearts may contain traces of cannabinoids). And also, just put the raw yolks in the smoothies, not the whites, which can be hard to digest. Use egg yolks, cream and/or whole yogurt, fruit, coconut oil and a little honey if you like.
Q. I am just beginning this journey of discovery regarding grains and all they “don’t” have to offer. Thank you for your web pages where I can read and learn so much. I am interested to know if there has been a study on the middle eastern history of bread, particularly the unleavened/leavened bread the Jewish population ate. When the Jews left Egypt to go to Canaan they left the leavening agent behind them in Egypt (presumably sourdough leaven) and were told they would not experience the diseases of the Egyptians.
A. That is not my understanding. During Passover, they did not use leavened bread for a short period, and had to clean the house of all old leaven, so they could start again. But they could still have leavened bread most of the time.
Q. I have recently read the articles about not having complex carbs in the diet being very bad for your health especially the thyroid. So this week I have tried to introduce more complex carbs such as oats, quinoa, parsnip and sweet potato. But as usual whenever I give the kids these foods, they get very irritable and then get colds and sore throats. In the last two weeks I have been at home for three days looking after the kids due to colds. My son had a cold last week it went and one week later came back.
A. Are you preparing the grains properly by pre-soaking? I would recommend sourdough bread as the best complex carb. . . and always with lots of butter. The oatmeal should be soaked overnight in warm water and a little vinegar, then thoroughly cooked and eaten with butter or cream. The vegetables like parsnip and sweet potato should be thoroughly cooked and combined with butter or cream.
Q. In reference to soaking brown rice, I have read that because it is low in phytase to help counteract phytates, following regular soaking procedures is not enough. Would you happen to have any new information on special soaking methods for grains like brown rice that are low in phytase?
A. Soaking in an acidic medium for seven hours is fine. If you cook in a broth, there will be minerals to counteract any remaining phytic acid.
Q. My mom purchased pecans from Costco again. She soaked them over night in water with sea salt, drained them and baked them in her oven. However, this time her pans ended up with black all over and some of the nuts had black on them. She said they don’t taste burnt or smell burnt. She noticed the black starting to appear after a couple hours in the oven. This has not happened to her before. She used the same brand of nuts and same salt. Is this normal?
A. This happens often with pecans and walnuts. I don’t think it is anything to be concerned about.
Q. I have been considering an oil press to process my crop of hazelnuts. As a member and follower of WAPF, I find myself wondering if soaking the nuts as I normally do would affect the product of oil pressing?
A. I don’t know a lot about this, but you don’t need to soak the nuts before pressing for oil.
Q. Does soaking grains, nuts, and legumes eliminate or reduce lectins in these foods? Are lectins synonymous with the terminology in your books as anti-nutritive factors and enzyme inhibitors on these foods?
A. Lectins are definitely one of the anti-nutrients. I have not seen any research on soaking/leaching/cooking to reduce them, but my guess is that all these things help.
Q. Hello, I have been studying your book Nourishing Traditions and am radically changing my eating. I do have a question, though. I have been reading about the dangers of high lectin content in some foods, especially tomatoes and potatoes, yet this book does not mention lectins at all. I would love to hear your comments or read something from your organization about lectins.
A. Lectins are most common in beans, which is why they need to be soaked, rinsed and then well cooked. Potatoes are OK if cooked and tomatoes are not good for some people. There are small amounts of lectins in all foods, but humans can handle a certain amount, especially if the foods have been properly prepared.
Q. I would like to know whether pistachios can be soaked and dried at low temperatures as other nuts and seeds. I do not see pistachios mentioned in Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon.
A. Typically when we buy pistachios they have already been soaked in salt water and then dehydrated.
Q. Basmati and jasmine rice: there is neither any mention of these two kinds of rice in the cookbook nor any recipes. Are these two safe to eat? If so, I assume I can prepare them as I would basic brown rice, with the soaking protocols?
A. Yes, but be sure the rice is organic