Soaking and Sprouting

Whole grains are the preferred choice over anything enriched, but there is MORE to the story.  And the same goes for nuts and seeds too.  Have you ever heard of soaking and sprouting?

Most of what we are currently doing is wrong!

Back in times long ago and even in some areas still today people either soak or ferment their grains, nuts, and seeds before cooking them.

  • In India rice and lentils are fermented at least two days in order to make idli and dosa.
  • In Africa coarsely ground corn is soaked overnight before adding it to soups or stews. And corn or millet is fermented for several days to make ogi.
  • In some Oriental and Latin American countries rice is fermented for quite some time before it is prepared.
  • In Mexico corn is fermented for up to two weeks in order to make pozol.
  • Ethiopians ferment a grain called teff for several days to make injera

Back “in the good ‘ole days” grains were soaked overnight in water or soured milk and served as porridge or gruel.

Even the animals know to sprout their nuts and seeds.  The real reason why squirrels hide their food is because it needs time to sprout.  And when birds eat seeds the seeds are stored beneath their bills, where they sprout!

It’s important to soak or sprout your nuts and seeds and to soak, sprout, or ferment your grains because they all have phytic acid.

Phytic Acid

  • Is found in all grains, nuts, and seeds. It’s known to bind with minerals such as calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc in the digestive system, causing them to pass through without being absorbed.  This often leads to mineral deficiencies and even bone loss.
  • Inhibits the enzymes needed for proper digestion.

The process of soaking and sprouting activates the phytase part of the grain, nut or seed which helps to break down the phytic acid.

Conversely heat kills phytase.   Prepackaged cereals and commercially prepared oatmeal have gone through extreme heat processing methods.  These products should be avoided because they are lacking in nutrients.  If you insist on cereal for breakfast then old fashioned oats, which have been properly soaked overnight, is your best choice.

Nuts should also be soaked or partially sprouted before eating. Nuts contain many enzyme inhibitors that make them extremely difficult to digest.  Soaking and sprouting them in a solution of salt water overnight and then drying them in a low oven or dehydrator will activate the enzymes that neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.

Beans and legumes should also be soaked overnight in order to make them more easily digestible.

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