We have the so-called fresh grain dish (also known as fresh grain porridge or fresh grain muesli) almost every day. It is so tasty and varied that it is still our favorite breakfast even after years. On top of that, the fresh grain dish is also extremely healthy and is considered one of the cornerstones of whole foods that are rich in vital substances.
Now, what is this “fresh grain dish”? You can think of it as a kind of muesli made with fresh, unheated grain. The fresh grain dish can be prepared in a variety of ways. But before we tell you our tips and tricks, let’s start with the original recipe for the “fresh grain porridge”.
Fresh grain porridge original recipe
Many books by Dr. Bruker (the founder of the wholefoods rich in vital substances) presented the fresh grain porridge according to the nutritionist Prof. Kollath:
Three tablespoons of grain (e.g. wheat, rye or a mixture of different types of grain) are roughly crushed with a coffee or grain grinder. Three tablespoons are about 50 g of grain.
The crushed grain is mixed with a little cold tap water to a pulp and left to stand at room temperature for about 5 to 12 hours (not in the refrigerator).
After the soaking period, seasonally chopped fruit, some freshly squeezed lemon juice, a tablespoon of cream and a few grated nuts are added. If possible, a grated apple is stirred under the soaked grain to make the whole thing “airy”.
When we first heard of the fresh grain porridge, we were skeptical. We could not imagine that raw grain really tastes and is digestible. After a short time of hesitation, Sönke’s curiosity won out and he bought a small hand grain mill from the health food store from his tight student budget.
Our initial concerns were completely unfounded. Our stomach didn’t rebel and to our astonishment we found the fresh dish to be surprisingly tasty.
The “secret” recipe from the Bruker House
We found our fresh grain dish to be delicious. the fresh grain dish tasted even better than at home. We got to know the special tricks at our practical seminar last year in the Bruker House :
We used to make the mistake of using too much water when soaking. This made our fresh grain porridge taste watery quickly. You should really only dose the soaking water so that the grain is soaked through, but does not float in it.
In addition, half of a banana is mashed with a little fresh peeled lemon per serving in the Bruker House and then mixed with the grains. Grating or grating the apple and adding it to the grains really make a difference in taste. Since then we are mostly not too lazy for this extra step. 😉
In addition, a good portion of cream is used: for 20 portions approx. 1 liter. The creamed cream makes the fresh grain dish very tasty, but we try to eat as little milk products as possible. That is why we only offer the fresh grain dish with cream on special occasions. Alternatively, and as a vegan alternative, we like to make raw almond butter *.
Grist, flakes, and sprouts
Traditionally, the grain for the fresh grain dish is roughly crushed and soaked. Soaking makes the grains softer and easier to chew. In addition, enzymes become active during soaking, similar to when sprouts are grown. This allows our body to digest the nutrients and vital substances more easily. In addition, these active enzymes are important vital substances for our bodies.
You can vary the standard preparation of the fresh grain dish:
Those who like it pithy can grind the grain fresh and eat it without soaking. Buckwheat and oats are pleasantly soft even when freshly crushed. You need good teeth for other cereals. 😉
We find it particularly tasty to grow grain sprouts over two to three days and thus refine our fresh grain dish. With a flake squeezer, you can even make fresh cereal flakes yourself. (The grain sprouts and flakes will not be soaked overnight.)
You can also deviate completely from the traditional fresh grain dish and, for example, mix a “fresh grain shake” or “power drink” with very finely ground fresh flour.
The right kitchen equipment
It is always called “grinding grain kernels”, but how do you best get them small? We use an electric flour mill in our kitchen to grind and grind the grains. We usually take our small hand mill with us on vacation. You can also use a small coffee grinder to grind (then of course not grind coffee in it 😉).
If you do not have a grinder, you can use suitable mixers or kitchen machines. With the grinding attachment from the “Personal Blender” mixer, you can also grind grains, for example. The “Thermomix” food processor is also suitable for crushing the grains. But with these variants, the degree of grinding cannot be adjusted as nicely as with a mill.
To make cereal flakes yourself, you need a flaker or flake squeezer. Unfortunately, we do not yet have a flake but have been flirting with one for a long time. (Update summer 2016: We now have a flake squeeze *. Our children and we love freshly flaked oatmeal.)
We grow grain sprouts in seed glasses. Alternatively, larger mason jars with holes in the screw cap also work.
In the grain paradise
We do not eat the same cereals every day but change from time to time. We usually use a mixture of two to three different types of grain. This variety makes sense because different types of grain have different levels of biologically active or vital substances such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and trace elements. In addition, each grain has its own aroma, which ensures variety in taste.
Almost all types of cereals fit into the fresh grain dish, such as spelled, einkorn, emmer, barley, oats, durum wheat, millet, Kamut, rice (brown rice), rye, triticale, and wheat. Gluten-free pseudo-cereals such as amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa are also suitable.
Only unheated and germinable grain
The only selection requirement for the grain in the fresh grain dish is that the grains are unheated and germinable. If cereal grains are still germinable, this is a sign that the cereals have been harvested ripe and the grains have not been damaged. Only then is there an optimum of vital substances. In order to check the ability to germinate, we often make a so-called germ sample of our grain by trying to pull sprouts out of it.
It is also important that the grain is not baked, boiled, or otherwise heated. Enzymes and vitamin B1, in particular, are lost. The mere 50 g of unheated grain in the fresh grain dish makes an important contribution to the daily minimum requirement of B vitamins. (Of course, this also applies to other vital substances from the grain.)
On the whole, you can use the grain as you like. There are a few small things to note only with some types of grain:
We soak whole buckwheat. If you grind and soak buckwheat, it becomes slimy. It tastes good, but the consistency is strange. 😉 Instead, you can grind buckwheat just before you eat it or pour it over the fresh grain dish without soaking whole. This will be nice and crispy.
As oats and barley, we use so-called naked oats (or sprout grain oats) and naked barley (or sprout grain barley). These are special breeds without a hard, tight skin. With “normal” oats and “normal” barley, the husk is often damaged by the husking. As a result, the ability to germinate is lost.
Oats, we deviate only a ungeschrotet as whole grains, as Shredded Oats during soaking may be bitter overnight. This is not toxic, but it is no longer tasty … Alternatively, we grind the grains fresh in the morning and eat the oats without soaking. This is especially useful when we forgot to soak grains in the evening. With the help of a flake squeezer, you can also make wonderful oat flakes.
We prefer to mill fine millet and rice. Because both remain pretty hard as soaked grist and then it grinds unsightly between the teeth. 😉 We find the taste too bland and prefer to mix millet and rice with other grains.
Barley and rye taste too strong. We prefer to use them in combination with milder cereals such as spelled or wheat.
You shouldn’t use Grünkern. Because the green kernel is unripe harvested spelled that has been dried in the heat. This is, therefore, neither raw nor capable of germination.
Variation over variation
There are countless possible combinations when it comes to grain selection and preparation. This continues with the fruit and nuts.
We simply choose fruit depending on the season, using bananas and apples almost all year round. In winter, for example, we like to eat pear, orange, mandarins, and persimmons or even frozen berries. In summer and autumn, when many native berries are ripe, the selection is particularly large.
The nuts can also be varied. It is best to use raw, untreated nuts. Not so easy, because many nuts are dried at over 40 ° C. European almonds, apricot kernels, hazelnuts, and fresh coconut are generally raw – even walnuts collected in autumn, of course.
Normal cashew nuts, California almonds and often also bought walnuts are heated. In special raw food mail-order shops, there are various exotic nuts in raw food quality. Unfortunately, raw cashew nuts & Co are not exactly cheap.
In addition to nuts, you can of course also use various seeds such as sunflower seeds, sesame, linseed, pumpkin seeds, and chia.
We are happy to refine our fresh grain dish with spices such as cinnamon or ground vanilla pod. For special occasions, there is also raw nutmeg, raw cocoa nibs or raw cocoa powder.
What does not belong to the fresh grain dish?
After all the possible variations, there are also a few things that do not belong in the fresh grain dish – even if they seem to be a good addition at first. It is about using fresh and natural food as possible for the fresh grain dish.
Dried fruit, cooked fruit, and canned fruit, therefore, do not belong in the fresh grain dish. They can cause digestive problems in sensitive people. Also, honey and other sweeteners are not added to the fresh grain dish. The fruit should make the dish sweet enough – unless you use too many red currants. 😉
In addition, yogurt, milk, and curd cheese are not recommended because they can also cause digestive problems and the high protein content can promote certain diseases. In addition, today’s milk has long not been what it used to be (but that’s a very special topic…). The cream is fine because it contains mostly fat and little animal protein. Apart from that, the cream is not consumed in large quantities. Strictly speaking, however, the cream is no longer fresh, since only heated cream can be bought. For this reason, too, we rarely have cream in the fresh grain dish. If we eat cream, then only organic cream and without the carrageenan additive.
No bought oatmeal or muesli
Purchased oatmeal also does not belong in the fresh grain dish, as it is always heat-treated. Otherwise, the broken grain would quickly become bitter. Due to the long storage in the broken state, further vital substances are also lost. So bought oatmeal is no longer particularly healthy. If you want to eat healthy oatmeal or other flakes, a flake squeeze is a good investment. Other muesli bought is always heat-treated and often sweetened with factory sugar. Purchased muesli is therefore also not part of a real fresh grain dish.
For breakfast only?
Dr. Bruker writes in his books that the time of day when the fresh grain dish is eaten is “irrelevant”. It was important to him that unheated grain was eaten once a day. We prefer the fresh grain dish for breakfast: grind cereals in the evening and soak overnight – add the remaining ingredients in the morning and enjoy a delicious breakfast.
And who invented it? The Swiss!
Even if the impression might arise, the fresh grain dish was not approved by Dr. Bruker or Prof. Kollath invented. Dr. Rather, Bruker relies on the Swiss health pioneer Bircher-Benner, to whom our muesli goes back. Bircher-Benner, in turn, picked up a local Alpine dish. But the origins certainly go back even further. Because porridges made from raw and cooked grain are very old and have been with mankind for millennia.