Introduction to Grains, Nuts & Legumes
WHAT? SOAK? GRAINS? WHY?
Traditionally, humans ate whole grains --- but NOT as they are offered today in the form of quick, yeast breads, extruded cereals, hard granolas, and other quickly-prepared foods such as pasta, cookies, cakes, donuts, etc.
Virtually ALL of our traditional ancestors soaked or fermented grains BEFORE making them hot cereals, breads, casseroles or cakes.
Soaking times varied across the cultures: 2 - 5 - 7 days --- up to 2 weeks.
The ancient practice of soaking is in agreement with what modern science has discovered about grains.
All grains contain phytic acid. Untreated, it binds with important minerals in the intestinal tract and blocks their absorption.
Eating lots of whole, unfermented grains may lead to mineral deficiencies, intestinal difficulties, and bone loss.
Soaking allows helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid, and encourages production of beneficial enzymes (and therefore, vitamins, especially B vitamins).
During the soaking process, lactobacilli also pre-digest gluten, making the nutrients more readily available.
WHY IS CONVERTING TO THE SOAKING PROCESS SO DIFFICULT?
This takes planning. It's something that you have to think about and prepare for. It has to be deliberate.
If you're planning on having chili next weekend, you're soaking beans this weekend. It just takes a little forethought. It's not complicated. It's not time consuming.
It's putting water in a bowl.
But, it does take pre-planning.
WHAT IF I DON'T HAVE TIME?
What it comes down to is more time or money. If you have more time, you can do the soaking and sprouting yourself. If you have more money, you can pay for someone else to do the soaking and sprouting for you.
Properly preparing grains, nuts, and legumes means that we can't just go to the grocery store and bring home a box of corn meal to make cornbread.
It takes planning --- all it is is soaking, but you have to purpose to soak your grains, nuts, and legumes. It's a hurdle to get over at first, but when you make it a part of your every day routine, it will become automatic.