As you may notice I’ve been inspired by putting the process back in to things, yielding a deeper appreciation for the end result and in this case a happier digestive track. It doesn’t get more poetic than that.
Soaking and sprouting isn’t a new nutrition trend, it’s been around for many years and used in various recipes around the world. But it does seem this process has been lost a bit due to the desire for quick and easy results to accommodate our busy lifestyles.
Grains, Nuts and legumes, contain an organic acid that is bound to phosphorus, called Phytic Acid. This is considered to be an anti-nutrient due to its ability to prevent absorption of beneficial minerals. People that experience gastrointestinal dysfunction, have increased difficulty with digesting grains, legumes, and nuts as a result of enzyme inhibitors. (Sprouting Grains)
Like most things, where there is bad there can be good. Some “anti-nutrients” have been found to have health benefits as well. I think that’s why it is important to find what works best for your body and current health circumstance, and take everything in moderation. If you want to read more about “antinutrients” follow this link. (Antinutrients)
The soaking and sprouting process attempts to replicate the germination process found in nature. Studies have shown that this process decreases the anti-nutrients allowing for increased bioavailability. Have you ever felt a heavy feeling in your gut after eating a handful of Almonds? Try soaking them and see if you can feel the difference.
Directions to Soak
- Use raw, not yet sprouted nuts, grains, seeds, or legumes that haven’t been roasted, blanched, or prepared yet at all in any other way.
- Place them in a bowl covered with several inches of water and cover with a kitchen towel. Or use a sprouting container. (Refer to soaking times below, as this varies depending on the food).
- If you’re going to be soaking for more than 12 hours, rinse the grains, nuts, seeds, or beans every 12 hours and change the water. Use fresh water and completely discard the water you had been soaking in previously (I like to use this water for my plants to help conserve!)
Options after soaking
- NUTS and SEEDS are ready to make home made nut milk. They are ready to be eaten, but will still be soft and will only last a few days in the fridge before going bad unless you deh. Legumes and grains are ready to be cooked.
- Dehydrate your nuts and seeds so that they will last longer and can be stored in your cabinet, and will return to its original crunchy texture. To dehydrate your Nuts and Seeds:
- Place in a dehydrator for 24 hours (most people don’t have a dehydrator handy, in that case…)
- Place in oven on 15o degrees, depending on the oven and nut/seed you are dehydrating, it may take about 30 minutes to 2 hours. The goal is that all the moisture is out of the nut/seed.
- Continue on to the SPROUTING process. See instructions on sprouting below.
Directions to Sprout
- Strain them and leave them out in a dish or shallow bowl, on the counter top or somewhere where they will be exposed to air.
- You can keep them slightly damp by adding just a small amount of water to the bowl/dish, but you don’t need them to be covered in water completely. Try adding just 1-2 tablespoons of water.
- Refer to sprouting times provided in the chart below.
- Sprouts will vary from 1/8-inch to 2-inches long. When ready, rinse sprouts well, drain, and store in a jar or container.
- Keep in the refrigerator for up to 7 days, but every day you need to rinse the sprouted grains, beans, nuts, or seeds and put them in a fresh bowl. You want to do this to avoid having any mold or harmful bacteria grow.
NOTE 1: It is very important to prevent the chances of your soaked and/or sprouted food from growing mold. To do this, make sure the containers/bowls you are using are properly cleaned, and rinse the nuts/seeds/grains/legumes and drain any debris prior to soaking/sprouting. Make sure to carefully follow the storage recommendations.
NOTE 2: RAW nuts/seed/grains and legumes need to be used if you are sprouting. If they were pasteurized and irradiated they will not sprout, BUT soaking will still help break down the Phytic Acid.