It may seem, at first, like a chore, but I am here to tell you that soaking or sprouting your grains, seeds, and nuts is not as hard as you think. The hardest part is getting over that initial obstacle – finding a place for it in your routine and getting your head around the process. Just doing it one time will show you that it is not a big deal and can easily become part of your daily/weekly meal planning.
Before I refer you to the directions for how to accomplish the sprouting and/or soaking, let me tell you why it is important.
Raw nuts and seeds contain enzyme-inhibitors, which are neutralized by an overnight soaking in water. Nuts are easier to digest and nutrients more readily available, if they are soaked or partially sprouted. The soaking of seeds also encourages the production of beneficial enzymes.
Grains, in their outer layer, the bran, contain phytic acid. If the phytic acid is not broken down and neutralized through soaking (in water with an acid), it blocks our absorption of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Diets high in untreated phytic acid lead to bone loss and mineral deficiencies. Additionally, soaking grains improves a grain’s overall digestibility, especially if it is a gluten-containing grain such as wheat, spelt, kamut, rye or barley.
My family’s experience with soaking and/or sprouting grains and nuts has been astounding. I’ll give you the biggest example. My daughter, A., who is gluten-sensitive, eats gluten-containing grains without any adverse symptoms – provided the grains are soaked or sprouted. This is amazing!
If you’re wondering how to accomplish these simple preparatory tasks, refer to these instructions/articles:
- Sprouting Grains
- Soaking Grains – along with a cooking chart
- Soaking Nuts and Seeds - Put 4 cups raw nuts/seeds in a half gallon mason jar or glass bowl. Fill with filtered water and 1 tablespoon of sea salt and soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain. Use as is, or dehydrate at less than 105 degrees until crispy. Flax seeds and chia seeds are gelatinous and shouldn’t be soaked.
How can these foods be used? Sprouted grains can be used raw in essene breads and crackers or dehydrated and ground into flour and then turned into delicious baked goods. Soaked grains become what you’re used to eating already – pots of rice, or millet, or quinoa, or oatmeal, or muesli. Soaked nuts and seeds can be added into recipes wet. Or when dried, chopped up and added to recipes or eaten as a crispy snack.
If you have any questions, feel free to ask away!