Tag Archives: Sprouted Grains

Winter 2010 Letter from Steph

Hello to all our Beeyoutiful friends!Steph

Another season change has arrived since our last catalog. Winter came nipping at the heels of Fall and took over-all too soon, in my opinion. The gorgeous leaves and vibrant colors are gone, leaving the bare limbs of trees reaching unadorned to the sky. Unlike some of you in other parts of the country, we rarely get snow around here so our winter months can be rather drab and colorless without a beautiful blanket of fluffy white. On the other hand, since we don’t have to deal with muddy slush and other snow-related complications, “drab” is not so bad when I stop to think about it.

Our lives seem to get busier with each passing month. Noelle is talking up a storm and has a strong opinion on just about everything. Her presence is a constant joy and humbling reminder of our shortcomings. One of her new favorite phrases is “I don’t wANt to!” in response to an instruction or request. It’s proving to be a tough lesson for her that life is filled with many things we don’t want to do but must do anyway. The difficult, the dirty, the mundane, and the frustrating are all part of life as well as the fun, exciting and enjoyable. Nevertheless, even though she is only two-and-a-half, Noelle’s learning to help with daily chores. She loves doing anything with water and has become quite the little dishwashing and rinsing marvel. This tops the list of her favorite household duties for which to volunteer. The floor is usually covered in water by the time she’s done, but she cheerfully helps clean it up, and I can count that as an impromptu mopping of the kitchen floor.Noelle

My wonderful husband and Beeyoutiful’s CEO, Steve, facilitated an incredible surprise for me and three ladies on our Beeyoutiful staff. As you may know, we sell the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, president of the Weston A. Price Foundation. I’ve had a lot of respect for the work of Sally and the WAPF for several years now although I’ve never been able to become a member or attend any WAPF conferences. But in November, Steve surprised us with a trip to Chicago to attend the 2009 WAPF Conference. One of our most valuable take-aways is that we interviewed some of the vendors at the conference who are excellent resources for healthy foods with difficult-to-find quality and safety sources. The interviews are posted on YouTube under the username stephtallent. They can also be found in the Education forum: www.merryheartmedicine.com.

Looking ahead to the next few months: You’ll see various resources become available in several forms, one being articles from experts that participated in the conference.This month we feature an article from one of my favorite vendors: a delightful couple I dubbed “The Sprouted Grain Folks.” Co-owner of To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. (www.organicsproutedflour.net), Peggy Sutton graciously agreed to write an article for our customers to teach them step-by-step how to sprout grains and prepare them for grinding. We also have a companion article written by my sister-in-law, Stephanie Kuvik-Tallent, sharing her story on soaking (un-sprouted) flour and also her step-by-step recipe with pictures. Articles like this get me excited and make me want to run to the kitchen and create something nutritious for my family!

Someone at the conference asked me who and what Beeyoutiful is as a company and why they should trust us. The question startled me because I frequently take for granted that our customers have a relationship with us and know the work and quality control that goes into each and every product we carry. I also assume people know they can trust us to always try to do the right thing, whether we succeed or not. I realize, though, that both of these assumptions are very wrong. We have new customers coming to our metaphorical doors all the time. Questions about quality control and why a company should be trusted are both trademarks of a wise consumer. I ask them myself before trusting the integrity of a new company or giving my hard earned dollars to purchase a new product.

So, Quality Control: How well is the quality of the manufacturing processes managed for Beeyoutiful products?

I could bombard you with a lot of nitty gritty manufacturing details but in a few paragraphs, your eyes would glaze over, and you would skip to more interesting parts of the catalog. So I’ll stick with the bottom line version.

For any of you who want some particular nit or grit detail that I don’t cover here, please, as always, feel free to write us. We are what the industry calls a “full disclosure company” (the rare breed that seems to be ever more endangered). That means if you ask us, we’ll tell you. It also means that each product label tells exactly what is in the product. The law allows that, if any ingredient is less than 1% of the whole of a product, a company is not required to report it in the nutritional facts. At Beeyoutiful, though, we know that for consumers this is a terrible thing. Sometimes even trace amounts of an ingredient make a difference. So in the spirit of doing unto others what we would like done unto us, we are committed to disclosing every single component of every single product, no matter how tiny the amount may be.

Our supplements are all made at facilities with a Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) certification. GMP is a quality control check of every step of the manufacturing process. It ensures the final product is safe for consumption, is not contaminated, and that every unit is produced with consistent care. What’s more, our primary manufacturer goes above and beyond the basic GMP requirements. The company takes 11 random samples from each individual raw ingredient shipped to their facility and runs them through a mass spectrometer. If there is any trace of a pesticide, heavy metal, or any other harmful compound, the shipment is refused and not even allowed into the facility. The detection capabilities are so refined that in examining the raw materials, they can detect the equivalent of one grain of sand in a five-mile beach. This is significant because, even in certified organic shipments, they’ve found contaminants and refused to use the materials.

We also like to support home businesses. Most of our skincare products are made by cottage industries. We’ve found that large companies often cut corners to reduce expenses, and the quality of the products intended for external use suffers. It can also be difficult for large companies to consistently locate enough high quality ingredients. Small manufacturers, on the other hand, can usually buy raw herbs, beeswax, and other components locally and can personally check out the quality of the sources to ensure purity.

We’ve seen how several “natural” body product companies that we respected changed policies as they grew, letting in what we consider inferior ingredients once they had won the publics’ trust. This is something small, home-based manufacturers do not have the luxury of doing. They see their customers face to face at farmer’s markets and use their products on their own children, family, and friends. This provides a highly personal element of accountability that can be missing in large-scale skincare production.

A last comment on quality control but certainly not the least important: All of our products are manufactured in the US. While quality products can be found overseas, it’s much more difficult to personally check up on the consistency of quality controls. And it’s almost impossible to enforce any special requests. We would be at the mercy of the discretion and trustworthiness of local management, a situation complicated by the potential miscommunications due to language barriers.

Many people wonder how we go about adding products. Do we design them ourselves, or do we have a professional do it? How do we come up with the blends we carry?

Our goal is to make available the most affordable and highest quality products for families that we can. As we learn and expand the range of natural living products we use for ourselves, we try our best to make them available for our customers. Sometimes this means going to the manufacturer/designer of a particular product that we think is amazing and asking if they will allow us to private label it. Other times, this means we come up with the idea of a product and propose it to a formulator and manufacturer, having a custom product made just for us. A classic example is our Organic Red Raspberry leaf capsules.

We’ve always offered a 30-day, 100% satisfaction guarantee to our customers. If you order something and don’t like it for any reason at all, you can return it, and we will refund the full cost of the product (I would say “no questions asked” except that we do usually ask for the reason because feedback helps us learn how to improve our products in the future). Recently, though, we’ve increased the 30-day policy to a 60-day policy in order to give even more time for folks to try a product and decide if it is beneficial or not. It’s another way for us to underscore just how important your satisfaction is to us.

Finally, the most compelling assurance I can offer that we always strive to have the highest quality products is that we take these products ourselves on a daily basis and use them with our children and loved ones. Our personal best interest mandates that we  maintain the integrity of our products.

In a way, we hope that someday a company like Beeyoutiful will no longer be needed. The ideal would be for our society to offer genuinely nourishing, beneficial, and affordable foods as well as education for food preparation methods that deliver the nutrients needed to maintain good health.

In striving to learn for ourselves and pass this knowledge on to others, I recommend an amazing educational resource: the video documentary Food Inc. Request it at your local library, borrow it from a friend, or rent it. The education it provides as to why our nation has reached its current food and nutritional crisis is priceless.

I hope you enjoy this Winter Catalog. Snuggle up in front of a fire, or curl up under a blanket, get a hot cup of whatever beverage makes you happy, and enjoy! May you and your families be warm, well nourished, and healthy this winter.

As always, if there’s anything I can do to help or encourage you or your family, please write to me anytime at steph@beeyoutiful.com

Blessings,

Steph Tallent

How To Sprout Grains At Home – Winter 2010 Catalog

How to Sprout Grains at Home

By Peggy Sutton

another sprouted wheat

Many folks have been introduced –or I should say re-introduced– to the goodness and digestibility of sprouted grains and sprouted grain flours. Sprouted grains are not a newfangled food trend but a tried and true traditional means of preparing grains, dating as far back as biblical times and as recent as the industrial revolution.

Until modern farm equipment was invented to gather grains out of the field quickly for shipment to cities and large storage facilities, grains were cut and stored in teh fields until time to use or sell them. While the grains awaited use, the dew and rain would naturally sprout the head of grain. The result was an organically more healthful grain product.Today, at-home methods of sprouting grains before baking entails just a few easy steps and not very much time–and the benefits are worth every minute of the process.

Here’s what sprouting accomplishes:

  1. ~ Sprouting neutralizes phytic acid, a substance present in the bran of all grains that inhibits absorption of calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc.
  2. ~ Sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors present in all seeds.
  3. ~ Sprouting produces enzymes.
  4. ~ Sprouting breaks down the starches in grains into simple sugars so the body can digest them like a vegetable (e.g., a tomato, not a potato).
  5. ~ Sprouting produces vitamin C
  6. ~ Sprouting increases the grains’ carotene and vitamin B content.

So let’s get started!

The equipment for your sprouting operation is not elaborate, but each item is important. This is what you’ll need:

  1. 1. 4 to 8 1-quart mason jars with large-mouth lids;
  2. 2. 1 plastic needlepoint grid, 7-mesh size (available at WalMart or craft store)
  3. 3. 1 or 2 large round bowls, big enough to place 4 of your mason jars in an upright position;
  4. 4. A large colander and small strainer;
  5. 5. 1/4 cup organic cider vinegar;
  6. 6. 6 to 11 cups of; organic grains (For breads, cookies, pastries, try wheat or spelt. For sour dough starter, try rye.)
  7. 7. Filtered water.

Before setting up the actual sprouting, wash and sanitize your grains. Although not absolutely essential, I strongly recommend it. Grit often adheres to your grains, and you never know what kinds of “critters” walked through the field where your grains were harvested.

So here’s the washing process:

  1. 1. Fill your kitchen sink with room-temperature tap water.
  2. 2. Pour your grains into the water, and agitate them thoroughly for a minute or two.
  3. 3. Using a colander, scoop up all the grains you can. Then use the small strainer and your free hand to scoop the remaining grains into the colander. If you have a strainer that fits into your sink drain, it will work great to get the remaining grains and drain the water at the same time. Hold the grain-filled colander under the tap for a quick rinse.
  4. 4. Clean your sink thoroughly of all grit and fill with 2 gallons of tap water. Stir in 1/4 cup of organic cider vinegar.
  5. 5. Dump your washed grains into the vinegar solution and let stand for 7 to 10 minutes.
  6. 6. Repeat Step #3.

Now your grains have been properly washed and sanitized, and it’s time to begin the sprouting process.

  1. 1. Place about 1 1/3 cups of clean grains into each mason jar (if you’re baking only 1 large loaf of bread you will only need 4 jars).
  2. 2. Fill each jar with filtered water (the grains will sit on the bottom of the jar).
  3. 3. Place mesh lids* and screw-tops onto each jar and tighten well. Let jars sit on your counter for 4 hours. The ideal temperature for fast, even sprouting is 69 to 72 degrees F. You may need to place in your pantry or laundry room to maintain an even temperature.
  4. 4. After your grains have soaked for 4 hours (it won’t hurt if they soak for 5 or 6 hours, so don’t worry if you’re busy and can’t get back to them after just 4), hold each jar over your kitchen sink and turn upside down, letting all the water drain out.
  5. 5. Turn each jar right-side up and fill with tap water. Then turn them over again and let all the water drain out of the jar.
  6. 6. Once you’ve completed steps 4 and 5 for each jar of grains, place your jars in a large bowl at a slant with the meshed lids toward the bottom of the bowl. This will allow more water to drain off the grains as they sprout. Place the bowl on your counter and leave overnight.
  7. 7. If you are completing step 6 by early afternoon, then repeat steps 5 and 6 in the evening, and leave jars in the bowl to sprout overnight.
  8. 8. By mid-morning your grains should be sprouted. You are looking for a distinct white tail on the end of the grains. Usually sprouts begin with a 2-pronged antenna protruding from the end of each grain. (NOTE: Do not let your sprouts grow beyond 1/4 inch in length, or your grains will take on a “grassy” taste and will be hard to feed into your mill or grinder once dried.)

You’re almost finished! Now it’s time to dry your sprouts.

sprouted pre-dried

  1. 1. Remove the sprouted grains from each jar and spread onto parchment-lined baking sheets (with sides) or place onto racks in your dehydrator (set at 105 to 110 degrees, and let grains dry thoroughly).
  2. 2. If you’re using your kitchen oven, place pans onto racks and set oven at its lowest temperature. If that temperature is above 110 degrees, prop your oven door open about 1 inch at the top using a wooden spoon or dowel. Let grains dry thoroughly. This will take several hours or overnight. (NOTE: Most new ovens, since about 2000, have built-in dehydrators. Check your owner’s manual to see if you have one–it took me 3 years to discover mine!)

Store your dried grains in an airtight container in the pantry until you are ready to mill.

Sprouting is not limited only to common flour grains. I find that sprouting beans before making soups, chili, and hummus eliminates bloating and gas after eating them. Try sprouting wild rice, and mill it for gluten-free baking. There are lots of foods you can sprout for better digestibility. Be creative and have fun!

And, of course, if you are not inclined to do your own sprouting, please let us do it for you. Check out To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co. today at http://www.organicsproutedflour.net. Also, we have lots of recipes on our web site to try with the fresh sprouted flour you made on your own. Happy Baking!

*To make meshed lids for your jars: Remove a solid lid from a jar top. Place the lid on the needlepoint grid and using a pen or Sharpie, trace a circle. Repeat this step for each of the jars you will use. Then cut the mesh lids out using scissors, and place one inside each jar’s screw-top instead of the solid lid.

Peggy Sutton is the owner of To Your Health Sprouted Flour Co., online and wholesale supplier of sprouted flour products. She founded the company in 2006 to produce fine baked goods and now specializes in sprouted flours, including wheat, spelt and rye. Peggy lives with her husband, Jeff, in Alabama.