How and Why I Started Soaking Grains

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“Nourishing Traditions”

Years ago when my son was in the Waldorf Kindergarten, the teachers started soaking grains they ate for snack (oatmeal, brown rice, barley, and millet) overnight.  It reminded me of how (as a young child) I used to watch my aunt and my grandmother soak rice before cooking it.  My son’s teacher recommended that I read a book by Sally Fallon called “Nourishing Traditions” that examines the wisdom behind ancient cooking preparations–like soaking grains.

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According to the book, the reason for soaking grains is to reduce the phytic acid–which binds to minerals like zinc, magnesium, iron and calcium and takes them out of the body before they are able to be absorbed.  I’m no doctor or chemist, but the way this was carefully explained made a lot of sense to me and I started soaking grains that we ate regularly (like rice and oatmeal) when I remembered.  I was not very consistent…

It wasn’t until recently that I really got serious about soaking grains–and nuts.  My son was complaining about stomach aches after eating oatmeal (certified gluten free so I know it wasn’t the gluten) and I started having stomach aches after eating nuts in my morning quinoa.  The clincher was when I went in recently for blood work and I was severely (off the charts) deficient in a multitude of basic vitamins and minerals.  And I thought I ate a healthy diet!

So now–without exception, I am soaking all of the whole grains and nuts that my family eats.  Once you get into the rhythm of it, it’s really easy!

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Whey

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How I Soak My Grains

A few times a week, I measure out a couple cups of grain, cover it by at least an inch of filtered water, and then add an acid–apple cider vinegar or whey from the yogurt that we always have on hand.  I give it a quick stir and let it sit on the counter (unrefrigerated) overnight.  Most grains are ready to cook in the morning, but since I love quinoa (that has a high phytic acid level) I try to soak it 24 hours before I cook it.

My stomach definitely feels better and I hope that I am retaining more of the minerals that I try so hard to eat!  I have 2 pounds of almonds soaking to make into salted, roasted nuts and almond flour.  I’ll let you know how it goes!

Linking to:  Allergy Free Wednesday , GF Wednesdays, Friendship Friday


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Comments

  1. This makes so much sense and thank you very much for writing this blogpost. I am going to give this a try (once I get some apple cider vinegar – we are out of it currently).

    • Hi Jeanette, Thanks for visiting and good luck with soaking your grains and nuts! You’ll digest them better–AND retain more of their valuable nutrients…Aloha, Lori

  2. Love the photo! Looks like something healthy. Coming from friendship Friday.
    Tess recently posted..Dreaming of the perfect homeMy Profile

    • Hi Tess,
      Thank you for visiting! I love to soak quinoa, cook it and then toss it with cut up veggies and parsley. Yum! Have a great weekend, Lori

  3. I don’t soak them, perhaps I should. love he phoo. Happy weekend wishes to you and Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things blog hop, your participation is what makes it so much fun. Come back to Katherines Corner,I posted the new giveaway today! xo
    Katherines Corner recently posted..Compliment My Style GiveawayMy Profile

  4. I tried to soak Navy beans before and had a bad experience, but I didn’t add anything to the water so maybe that was my problem. And…maybe I soaked too long. I am interested in learning more about soaking grains. I have a few recipes that call for soaking.

    Happy Belated Friendship Friday.
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    Yona recently posted..Friendship Friday – DogsMy Profile

    • Hi Yona,
      Sorry about your experience with navy beans, but yes perhaps you soaked them too long…Try grains! Thanks for visiting and Happy Belated Friendship Friday to you too! Aloha, Lori

  5. How much vinegar do you add when soaking?

    • Hi Laurie,
      Sorry that I wasn’t more specific! I add around one teaspoon per quart of water. (I just eyeball it) After soaking, I always rinse well in a fine mesh strainer and drain well. Thanks so much for visiting! Aloha, Lori

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