Benefits of Soaking and Sprouting
Soaking and sprouting is a very old but simple practice that has huge nutritional benefits. You can do this with any grains, seeds, legumes, or nuts.
This removes a lot of the phytic acid, lectins, and other enzyme inhibitors or anti-nutrients. These are what cause health and digestive problems such as bloating, stomach or intestinal pain, gas, and more. Soaking even partially breaks down gluten, making it easier to digest. Phytic acid, also blocks the absorption of vitamins and minerals and actually depletes your body of minerals, and for this reason it is linked to tooth decay and bone weakening. It also lowers metabolism, and even contributes to anemia. While soaking you can even see the phytic acid and other anti-nutrients bubbling up in the jar, which normally goes into your system.
Soaking and sprouting also adds many more enzymes, vitamins, and minerals that were locked up inside of the seed, bean, or grain. It also adds Phytase, a natural enzyme that helps to break down phytic acid.
Essentially all you have to do is put the grains/nuts/seeds in a jar, add pure water, an acid medium, then let sit overnight. Then rinse, let sit for a day or two, and cook normally. The acid medium serves as a catalyst to initiate the culturing/fermenting process that enables phytase to be released. See the chart below for amounts.
This makes a lot of foods that are otherwise unavailable to most people now a healthy part of their diet. It actually takes a grain, bean, or seed and makes it into a vegetable because it is now growing. In fact many people who are gluten intolerant can actually eat sprouted grains. (Check with your doctor before doing so.)
- - Put the seed/grain/nut in glass jar or bowl, (not plastic, to avoid BPA)
- - Rinse off seed/grain/nut with filtered water.
- - You’re going to use 2-times the water as the grain you have. (exact measurements are below)
- - The water is most optimal at 140 degrees F (but you could do it at room temperature.)
- - Add acid medium like lemon juice or Apple Cider Vinegar, (or salt for nuts because it naturalizes the enzymes.)
- - Let sit in water overnight (or longer – see chart below)
- - Drain the water with a strainer, nut milk bag, or stocking and rince.
- - Let it sit at room temperature, after about 6 hours rinse with pure water and let sit until sprouting occurs.
- - Let sit a few more hours, rinse and refrigerate or cook normally. (cook time will be about 20 – 30 % less)
- - Nuts will take longer, in some cases 2 days and will either need to be put in a dehydrator. If not dehydrated, then roasted, or frozen after done. They will taste a lot less bitter. (see dehydrator below)
Details for Sprouting
After rinsing, turn jar upside down and rest it in a bowl or dish so that the water is allowed to drain out of the mesh screen or stocking. Repeat this process of rinsing and draining about every 6-8 hours or at least 2 times a day for 2-3 days, depending on how long it takes to sprout. You will begin to see sprouts after 2 or 3 days for lentils or beans, sooner for quinoa. Once the sprout is 1/4 inch long they are ready for use. You can store them in the refrigerator with a regular lid, but be sure to use them within a few days.
Below is the measurements, however don’t make too much of getting it perfect. Often times I just put them in a glass ball jar, fill it with water and leave overnight. The ACV is important but if I don’t have it I do it without. Basically for every 1 cup of liquid you will need 1 tbsp of acidic medium.
• Legumes - 24 to 48 hours (Adding baking soda in soak for black beans cuts cooking time in half). Change the soak water two to three times, and add the acid medium each time.
• Grains (including rice) - 12 to 24 hours. Change soak water once or twice, and add Pink Salt each time.
• Nuts & Seeds - 12 to 18 hours. Change soak water once or twice, and add the acid medium each time.
Amount Acidic medium Soak time
2 cups black beans / 2 tbls / 24 hours
2 cups black eye peas, beans /Warm water / 12-24 hours
2 cups brown rice / 4 tbls / 7 hours
2 cups split peas / Warm water / 7 hours
2 cup lentils / 2 tbls / 7 hours
2 cup millet / 4 tbls / 7 hours
1 cup quinoa / 1 tbls / 12 hours
1 cup chickpea / 2 tbls / 24 hours
1 cup teff or amaranth / 2 tbls / 24 hours
1 cup oat groats / 2 tbls / 12-24 hours
Basic rule is 1 Tablespoon of ACV for every cup of water. The Acidic Medium can also be whey, ACV, lemon juice, keifer, or yogurt)
This book has a lot about soaking and sprouting
Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats
Nut Milk bag: (put seeds in the bag, inside the jar of water and then just remove bag and let sit. These are organic cotton and hemp avoiding BPA and other environmental problems of nylon.)
Regarding nuts, they should not be dehydrated above 150degrees F. This is a good low priced dehydrator
Nesco American Harvest FD-61 Snackmaster Encore Dehydrator and Jerky Maker
According to Ramiel Nagel in the book Cure Tooth Decay: Sprouting is not enough to remove that much phytic acid. Typically sprouting will remove somewhere between 20-30% of phytic acid after two or three days for beans, seeds and grains under laboratory conditions at a constant 77 degrees Fahrenheit. Sprouting was more effective in rye, rice, millet and mung beans, removing about 50% of phytic acid, and not effective at all with oats. Soaking by itself for 16 hours at a constant 77 degrees typically removed 5-10% of the grain and bean phytic acid content. Soaking increased or did not reduce the phytic acid content of quinoa, sorghum, corn, oats, amaranth, wheat, mung beans, and some seeds.” But soaking and then cooking quinoa reduces its phytic acid levels by more than 61%. The same holds true for beans. Soaking and then cooking removes about 50% of phytic acid. With lentils this same procedure removes 76% of phytic acid. Roasting wheat, barley or green gram (Mung beans) reduces phytic acid by about 40%. A very interesting report shows the value of grain and bean storage in relation to plant toxins. In humid and warm storage conditions beans lost 65% of their phytic acid content.”
It’s important to note that it is not necessary (or practical) to completely eliminate all phytic acid from the diet, it’s simply best to keep it within reasonable levels. Sprouting although doesn’t remove all phytic acid it neutralizes it as well.
– Soak nuts – wholelifestylenutrition.com/recipes/appetizers-snacks/is-soaking-nuts-necessary-how-to-properly-soak-your-organic-raw-nuts/
– faq – nourishedkitchen.com/soaking-grains-nuts-legumes/