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— Sean Gerych, WV
Pleasant Hill Grain Baking Glossary
Galactose – This is a dietary monosaccharide sugar (simple sugar) found in living organisms, created through photosynthesis. Glucose and sucrose are the other two dietary monosaccharide sugars.
Garbanzo Beans/Chickpeas – A legume high in zinc, folate, and protein which yields the most when grown in tropical or sub-tropical regions. In India specifically, where these beans are eaten daily, garbanzo flour is often used for cooking. Dried garbanzo beans may take a couple hours to cook, so soaking them overnight before use will eliminate about a quarter of the cooking time. For speed in preparing, as well as better digestibility it is best to soak beans before cooking. Throwing out the soaking water will mean throwing out some good nutrients, but it may be worth it when weighed against the unwanted substances in the soaker water. Up to 33% of the raffinose and up to 20% of the stachyose are removed by throwing out the soaking water—both of which cause flatulence. Garbanzo beans help prevent kidney stones and are a good source of carbohydrates, dietary protein and dietary fiber for those with insulin sensitivity and high cholesterol since the beans have a low glycemic index. (See our non-GMO garbanzo beans.)
Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) / Genetically Engineered Organism (GEO) – A GMO is an organism which has been genetically modified from its original, natural state by having genes from a different species engineered in. This engineering creates mutations within the plant’s DNA structure.
Germ – The embryo of a wheat kernel. This is the part of the wheat kernel from which germination takes place. The germ is packed full of essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, polyunsaturated fats, vitamins (B complex and E), and minerals such as phosphorus, thiamin, zinc and magnesium so it’s a greatly beneficial health food. Essential fatty acids and fatty alcohols are also present in wheat germ.
Since wheat germ contains polyunsaturated fats food made with whole wheat flour (still containing the germ) will go rancid more quickly than food made with white flour (white flour only contains the endosperm from the grain).
The germ contains some oil, which is referred to as “wheat germ oil.” The germ oil is so delicate it will go rancid in whole grain flour within a few days. Packaged whole grain flour in stores has often gone rancid before it’s purchased.
Germination – The beginning process of a seed or spore developing.
Ghee / Clarified Butter – Ghee is clarified butter, that is, butter with the lactose and milk solids removed. Ghee originated in South Asia and is still primarily used in South Asian cuisine. Ghee is a remarkable cooking oil that requires no refrigeration and has an extremely long shelf life. It is a pourable liquid at room temperature, and can be used in any type of cooking. It has easy-cooking properties, and its amazing taste enriches the flavors of both sweet and savory foods. It has an excellent aroma and is so flavorful that you can use a third to half less than you would of other cooking oils. Having a high burning point, it won't burn or smoke when sautéing or frying food. It can be used for barbecuing or in baking, replacing butter and oils. (See our conventional ghee and organic ghee.)
Glucose – A dietary monosaccharide sugar (simple sugar) found in living organisms created through photosynthesis. Galactose and sucrose are the other two dietary monosaccharide sugars. Glucose is a body’s main source of energy; this energy is the result of the body breaking down (digesting) the sugar and starch found in carbohydrates. Once glucose reaches the small intestine it is carried through the body through the bloodstream, and with the help of insulin, it’s taken into muscles and the brain to give energy. When the energy from glucose isn’t needed by many cells in the body it converts to polysaccharides stored together as a glycogen granule in the liver to be used as energy later once broken back down into monosaccharaides. It’s important to regulate the glucose intake as too much will cause hyperglycemia (high blood sugar levels) and too little will cause hypoglycemia (low blood sugar levels). Consuming food with a low glycemic index will help promote healthy blood sugar levels and steady energy.
Gluten – The developed mixture of liquid with proteins containing gliadin and glutenin. Gliadin and glutenin are found in the endosperm of wheat, rye and barley. Gluten allows yeast bread dough to be elastic, have a nice rise and hold its shape, but for all of this to happen it’s essential for gluten to be well developed. Working the dough by kneading it, as well as letting the dough rest will develop the gluten as needed for bread with optimum texture and structure. Trying the “windowpane test” will show if the gluten has developed sufficiently within dough. Gluten is a good source of protein. When more gluten is desired, dry vital wheat gluten may be purchased to add into a recipe. (See our vital wheat gluten.)
Gluten-Free – Ingredients or cooked and baked food void of gluten. Gluten-free bread is often made with a mixture of coconut flour, white rice flour, whole grain (brown) rice flour, tapioca starch, and potato starch. Eggs or xanthan gum are typical “glue” agents used in place of gluten to hold dough together and to allow it to rise.
Glycemic Index (GI) – An index of the level of glucose in blood after the consumption of carbohydrates. Foods have a GI rating between 0 and 100, but people will have different blood sugar responses to the same rated food depending on their body’s level of alpha-amylase levels.
Consuming food with a high rating (simple carbohydrates like pure glucose) spikes blood sugar levels, producing a burst of energy before causing an energy crash which makes a person feel lethargic and hungry again very soon. This spike in blood sugar is caused because the carbohydrates are either very simple to break down, like fruit and vegetables, or have already been partially broken down, such is the case in refined food like white bread and white rice. In foods like these all of the glucose enters the bloodstream immediately, instead of slowly through the digestion time of unrefined complex carbohydrates.
Consuming a medium (56-69) or low (0-55) GI-rated food means the body will consume the carbohydrate slowly, turning the carbohydrates into glucose gradually. This gradual process helps the body better maintain steady and healthy blood sugar levels, have prolonged energy, and a more satisfied appetite.
Having too high glucose levels in blood may cause a person to suffer from hyperglycemia, weight gain, worsened diabetes, acne, and chronic diseases, and too low glucose levels may cause hypoglycemia. It’s best to usually eat lower glycemic index food, but unrefined high glycemic index foods (such as fruits and vegetables) are good sometimes, especially just after exercising, to quickly refill the body’s energy storage.
Low glycemic sweeteners are rare, but agave syrup is one of the lowest GI natural sweeteners, with a rating lower than both honey and maple syrup. (See our organic, raw agave syrup.)
Glycogen – The granules within our liver holding polysaccharides together formed from converted glucose molecules. Glucose molecules will convert for storage when the energy afforded by glucose goes unused by the body. These granules may be broken back down into monosaccharides and used for energy later.
GMO – (See Genetically Modified Organism.)
Grain – The fruit kernel(s) from cereal grass which contain endosperm, germ and bran. The higher the percentage of complex carbohydrates compared to simple carbohydrates within a grain, the healthier the grain. (See our non-GMO Amaranth, Barley, Basmati Rice, Brown Rice, Durum Wheat (Pasta), , Kamut®, Millet, Oat Groats, , Quinoa, Rye, Soft Wheat (Pastry), Sorghum, Spelt, Triticale, White Rice, and Yellow Dent Corn.)
Grain Flaker – A manual or electric powered machine used to flake (similar to rolling) whole grain kernels by crushing the grain. Flaking grain at home offers health benefits as well as taste benefits over the over processed flaked or rolled grain found in stores. (See our.)
Grain Grinder, Grain Mill – A manual or electric powered machine used to grind whole grain kernels into nutritious whole grain flour. The way grinding is achieved varies from one style of machine to another. A popular style (see KoMo grinders) is designed so two stone burrs together mill the grain quickly and relatively quietly. Another milling method is impact grinding (see the Nutrimill grain mill). Mills are adjustable for how course or fine of flour is desired. Besides grain, many grain grinders will also grind buckwheat, dry beans, spices and lentils. (See our .)
Grigne – French term for the blooming that takes place along slashes in baking bread.
Groats – (See Oat Groats.)
Gut Microflora – Bacteria and yeast which inhabit the intestinal tract. Much of the bacteria that make up the gut flora help us digest nutrients we’d otherwise be unable to digest, like carbohydrates. People can live without a gut flora within their body, but it is beneficial to have one. As well as other benefits, a gut flora promotes a healthy immune system and creates vitamins such as biotin (a B vitamin) and vitamin K. Adding live, good bacteria cultures (found in fermented food) into a diet helps maintain a healthy gut flora.