Did you know that soaking grains helps increase mineral absorption and enhance digestibility?
Throughout history, grains have either sprouted accidentally by being left out in the elements after harvesting or intentionally by our smart ancestors by soaking them to make them more digestible. Many cultures have traditionally used soaking, fermentation, or sourdough leavening. Minimally processed whole grains prepared using these time-honored methods maximizes their nutritional value.
Phytic Acid – The Anti Nutrient
Grains and legumes have a built-in growth inhibitor called phytic acid, which keeps them from germinating until temperature and moisture conditions are just right. Phytic acid, also called phytates, blocks phosphorus absorption and binds with other minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them unavailable as well. It also inhibits enzymes needed to digest food. Some people can even experience pain, bloating, and digestive distress when consuming improperly prepared grains.
So how do you soak grains?
Soaking grains is easy. Simply pour your desired amount of whole, cracked, or rolled grains into a glass or metal bowl and add enough water to cover the grain by an inch. You can add a tablespoon of acid such as vinegar or lemon juice to facilitate the process. Let this sit overnight on your countertop. When you are ready to cook the grain, drain them in a sieve and proceed to cook the grains as you normally would.