Sounds like another step to add to your already busy day, doesn't it?
Well what if I told you soaking your grains would not only cut your cooking time in thirds but the health benefits would far out way anything you were doing before. U-huh!
For centuries we soaked our grains, beans and nuts, it was our way of replicating nature in the kitchen. Think of it this way, when a nut falls to the forest floor it needs water in order to sprout and germinate, right? Well, we humans are no different – we need our food to be un-processed and easily digestible so that we can absorb all of it's nutrients.
Three top reasons for why you should soak your grains:
- It removes toxins – Many studies have looked at the effects of the toxins on our body. One of the worst appears to be phytic acid. Too much of this blocks our bodies absorbing the minerals in the nuts and grains. We need to be able to absorb this with ease, we need the calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. The knock-on effect of us not absorbing the food correctly can show as a low immune system, depleted metabolism, joint pain and often the most uncomfortable, bad digestion.
- It releases beneficial nutrients – In the end, we want our food to taste great but we also want it to be great for us.
- It will speed up your cooking time – By soaking your grain, it becomes soft and pliable, ensuring the cooking process is expedited.
Four simple steps to soaking your grains:
- Get prepared – Select a non-plastic bowl for your grains to soak in. Some research shows that the plastic can leach in to the water of the bowl, leading to all kinds of health issues. To be safe, choose a stone or glass bowl or often, I'll use my saucepan so I don’t have another container to wash. Yep, I can pop the lid on the soaked grains and cook them up in that very same pan the next morning.
- Wash your grains – It's really important that your grains are clean before soaking them, so pop them in a fine colander and give them a really good rinse before adding them to the soaking dish.
- Soak – Generously cover your grains with filtered water. If you don't have a water purifier, boil some water and allow it to cool. To the water you want to add some ‘acid’ to start the process off. I use 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar for every 2 cups of water. Another alternative is to use water kefir. Do a quick Google for how long to soak your specific grain. For me, I often do it overnight if I'm eating it in the morning or at breakfast if I'm eating it for dinner.
- Wash your grains, again – Yep. Most grains should be washed again before cooking, except for oat-like grains as they're already mush!
I’d love you to try this, start with oats. In the very same pot you're going to cook in, add 1 cup of whole oats, not the instant variety – the REAL ones that still have all their nutrients in placeand 2-3 cups of water and the acid, ensuring the oats are covered by 2-3cm of water. Place the lid on and leave it on the cooktop ready for the morning. Then, in the morning, gently heat the oats, literally 2-3 minutes. Trust me, the taste you get from doing this, compared to the Uncle Toby’s Quick Oats variety will be as different as night and day. Plus, you wouldn't have filled the bowl with milk and sugar – soaking the oats develops a natural creaminess without the need for milk. Yum.
So go on, go grab that saucepan oats and enjoy the speed of eating wholefoods - it really can be quick.
Tell me in the 'comments' Have you ever soaked your grains? What about activated nuts, do you pay the extra money and buy them? Let me know your tips and tricks in the comments below. I'd love to know if you've found a difference in your energy levels by eating your food this way.
I'm extremely passionate about the whole family eating the same meal. Yes, there may be a tweak or two to cater for a fussy eaters or dietary intolerances but where ever there's a will, there's a way. I adore working one-on-one with my health and nutrition coaching clients to help them achieve this. We start by covering the basics of whole foods, what's needed when and what you personally need to make sure you burst with energy. Then we add tips, tricks and techniques to get those meals eaten. I started this service because for so long I had emails saying, “Stace, I've read so much but I just don't have the energy to to do this for me”. Let me help you. Hit reply to this e-mail so we can chat a little further. Email me here so we can chat a little further.