Doreen Spackman M.H.

It’s the time of year where we get to enjoy the holiday season! In some areas it’s getting cooler and cooler Brrrr! It’s a great time to enjoy eating more hot cereal, soups and stews made with whole grains. We have such a wonderful variety available to us, now more than ever before. I love them all. They are so full of nutrition and necessary for a healthy body. Many diets want people to eliminate grains. Obviously they do not understand how to prepare them or the superior nutrition they provide. Many boxes of cold cereal claim to be made with “whole grain”, but that’s not what I would consider whole grain at all! These products are in an acid state, ground from grain that was still in an acid state. We can release their secret by soaking them, then low heating or dehydrating them and then using them. It’s simple to do and allows us to enjoy not only their wonderful flavor but the nutritional benefits as well.

So what is a whole grain and how is the best way to eat it? A whole grain is the kernel that has not been cut, smashed, or ground. Once the grain has been processed in this way it is no longer whole and it loses nutrients fast. Let’s learn to use grains the way they were intended. It’s very simple to fix… first soak it… put 2 cups of whole grain in a quart jar, fill the jar 3/4 full of distilled water and let it sit for 8 hours, then pour off the water. You can then low heat the grain. I do this by filling a thermos 1/3 to 1/2 full of soaked grain then adding boiling distilled water up to the neck of the thermos. Screw on the lid and shake it back and forth for 20 seconds. Set the thermos on the counter and leave it until morning, or if I make it in the morning I let it sit until dinner time. This method changes the grain from an acid state allowing you to take advantage of the nutrition within. For breakfast it will come out of the thermos warm. I like to add some chia seeds, honey, cinnamon and fruit. For dinner I like adding grains to my salads, soups, and stews. Yummy!

Grains are a good source of complex carbohydrates, naturally low in fat, are a wonderful source of protein and calcium and include many other vitamins and minerals. They have also been linked to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, cancer, and digestive problems including the prevention of diverticulitis by decreasing pressure in the intestines, and other health problems.

What grains are there? Try barley, Kamut, Spelt, and Wheat. If you are gluten intolerant use Amaranth, Buckwheat, Corn, Millet, Oat groats, Quinoa, Rice (Brown, of course), or Teff.

Remember these grains have been around for a long time. For the Aztecs, amaranth was their “power food”. It is a perfect food for babies and is packed with essential amino acids. Barley was a staple for the Roman gladiators. Buckwheat has rutin which helps capillaries. My favorite popcorn is organic multi-colored. Millet is very digestible and high in nutrition. Oat groats help to lower blood cholesterol. Quinoa is considered a super grain for its nutritional qualities. It was a vital part of the Andean diet since 3000 B.C. and still today is considered to be a complete food. Spelt has been around since 5000 B.C. Grains have been given to us to enjoy in their great variety of flavors, nutrients and textures. Let’s enjoy them!

Have a Happy and Healthy Day!

Doreen Spackman is a Master Herbalist graduate and employee of the School of Natural Healing. Doreen enjoys helping others learn to rebuild and restore their bodies with wholesome food. Through classes and private consultations, they can enjoy ultimate and complete health. To contact Doreen please visit