Nicodemo Casciato

Greetings! My name is Nico, and I’m a recent graduate of Dr. Christopher’s College of Herbology. I currently live in Denver, Colorado and have been working towards building a future as a health educator and personal consultant.

As I have walked my personal path to better health, I have utilized some simple, nourishing meals that are quick and easy to prepare. The one I’d like to share is a combination of brown rice, mung beans and steamed vegetables that I personally enjoy. Mung beans contain vitamins A, C and E and minerals like folacin, phosphorus, magnesium, iron and calcium. They are also a great source of protein, dietary fiber and phytoestrogens. Additionally, brown rice is a great source of manganese and also provides a good amount of selenium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium and niacin (B3). This combination is great for lunch or dinner, but  it could also be enjoyed for breakfast.

Nutritious whole grains (as well as legumes, nuts and seeds) even when properly prepared can inhibit the absorption of minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc due to the presence of phytic acid.  This acid, a storage form of phosphorus, binds to these minerals making them and the phosphorus unavailable for use in the body while also inhibiting enzymes like pepsin, amylase and trypsin that are needed for digestion. To minimize this effect, we should presoak the rice as well as the mung beans—even though mung beans don’t require it as much as the rice. Presoaking grains, beans, nuts and seeds also diminishes/removes lectins (except in wheat and soy), gluten, tannins, goitrogen and other anti-nutrients, encourages the production of beneficial enzymes, neutralizes enzyme inhibitors, increases nutrient content, breaks down proteins that are hard to digest (making them more bioavailable) and reduces hypersecretion of pancreatic enzymes.

Over 60% of the phytic acid in mung beans is destroyed in cooking, so, many people don’t soak them at all. However, presoaking them ensures an even greater ability to be digested. To presoak the beans, just put the beans in a bowl and cover them with pure water and let them sit for 6-24 hours. An additional quick-soak method consists of bringing the beans to a boil for a few minutes (depending on the bean) taking them off heat and letting them sit for 2-6 hours. Once this is finished, discard the water and add mung beans in a 1:3 ratio with pure water to a pot and bring to a boil.  Reduce to a simmer and cover. Once the water has been absorbed, remove from heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes; don’t remove the lid throughout the whole process. Once you have done this, if desired, you can mash them and add sea salt, pepper or garlic powder.

To prepare the brown rice, soak them in pure water for 24 hours at room temperature. Always store 10% of the soaking water in the fridge to be added to future batches after soaking. This preserved liquid will eventually improve the effectiveness of soaking through continued use until it removes 96% or more of the phytic acid. Discard the remaining 90% and add fresh water in a ratio of 1:2, rice to water. Bring to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cover. Then, remove it from the heat and let the rice sit for 5-10 minutes covered. I normally add a little sea salt and Bragg’s Liquid Aminos once finished.

To steam the vegetables, place them in a metal steamer, put it in a pot, and fill it with pure water until the water level nears the bottom of the steamer. Bring it to a light boil. The time needed to cover and steam will vary according to whatever vegetables you are using. I personally enjoy broccoli, snap peas and cauliflower because they are all very nutritious, tasty, and can cook in about 5 minutes. Once done, you can flavor them with some olive oil, lemon, sea salt, pepper or anything else you might like.

Finally, add them all together and enjoy!

Nicodemo Casciato is a recent masters graduate from the School of Natural Healing. He currently resides in Denver, Colorado.