08 Jun SOAKING GUIDE
Activating grains, legumes, nuts and seeds
– the key for good digestion and nutrient absorption
Whole grains and legumes are some of the healthiest foods on the planet.
They contain high amounts of fiber, essential micronutrients, and healthy prebiotics that nourish your gut microbiome!
BUT, here is the thing:
In plants, especially in their seeds (which are the grains, beans, seeds, nuts we consume), there are natural compounds, designed to protect from bacterial infections and being eaten by insects and animals!
These so called „anti-nutrients“ make it difficult to digest the food and absorb the minerals of the grain/legume – and cooking alone isn’t enough to decrease them.
(They can cause pain, bloating and digestive stress as well as nutrient deficiencies, caused by the bounding of the mineral to the phytic acid in grains for example.
Therefore they can’t be absorbed in the intestine.)
The phytic acid, found in all grains, mostly in the outer layer, inhibits enzymes which are needed for the breakdown of proteins and starch in the stomach.
It is this lack of enzymes which results in digestive difficulties.
Therefore I can’t emphasize enough that soaking and fermenting whole grains and legumes is so essential when it comes to nutrition and your health.
Ironically, commercially produced whole grain bread with the high amounts of phytic acid, generally perceived as “healthy,” is often not really beneficial for most of us.
Do you feel bloated after eating whole grains products or even just raw oats?
That’s because our bodies cannot digest the compounds of these crops well if not prepared in the traditional way. And since the white flour and bread is not containing the whole outer layer of the seeds, it’s mostly easier digestible for us.
But since the good amounts of protein, fiber and nutrients are only found in the whole grain – we should prefer them!
Also very important to note: These phytic acid molecules bind with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, which make these important nutrients UNAVAILABLE to us.
SOAKING. This natural process helps to break down these compounds, resulting in increased mineral availability and proper digestion – this is how these foods are traditionally prepared and consumed!
(PS: this also shortens the cooking time)
WHAT YOU NEED:
- warm water
- FOR GRAINS: acidic medium (like lemon juice, apple cider vinegar)
- for every 1 cup of water you will need 1 tbsp of acidic medium)
- FOR LEGUMES: baking soda (1/4 teaspoon/500g)
– place the grain into a bowl and cover completely with warm water (about twice the amount) & add the acid/baking soda
– cover and let sit in a warm place for the particular time
You can find the individual soaking hours below.
(PS: in general: the longer, the better!)
– afterwards continue with your recipe & cook them
(don’t use the soaking water of legumes for cooking!)
- Make it a habit to always soak your grains and legumes at night for the upcoming day
- If you want to make something like a pancake dough, simply soak your grain and blend it with the other ingredients the next morning – works perfectly!
- When it comes to bread, always go for sourdough.
Thanks to the fermentation process before baking, the probiotic bacteria pre-digested it for you, which is why it’s so different to regular bread.
The contained lactic acid from the bacteria helps decrease the level of phytic acid and therefore nutrients become much more available, digestible and absorbable!
- If you want to boost the nutrients even more, go ahead and sprout them!
(Check out my SPROUTING TUTORIAL on Instagram!)
- If you use protein powder, make sure that the grains and legumes are activated or sprouted as well (and not raw!)