The Art of Soaking & Sprouting
Soaking and sprouting seeds, legumes, beans, and nuts is life-changing for a foodie. Or, for someone with digestive issues. “Beans, beans, the wonderful fruit. The more you eat, the more you toot” …. UNLESS, you soak your beans before cooking them. Preferably with kombu. And then of course, you could always just skip the cooking process all together and after soaking your beans, move on to sprouting and enjoy them raw!
The trick is simple. Soaking your seeds, legumes, beans, and nuts in water, usually overnight, increases bio-availability and removes the phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient. It breaks down the fibres and increases digestibility.
Say goodbye to the excessive flatulence after your favourite black bean burger. I’m sure you won’t miss those and neither will your partner.
Another added bonus is that now, with the phytic acid broken down, these little nutrient dense morsels now have even more nutrients! The art of soaking is like repeating the natural growth process in nature; the water in your soaking jar or bowl is like water in the soil from the rain. So, I guess that would make you….God in this process.
So, what’s the big deal with phytic acid and why do we want to remove it? Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient; the term anti-nutrient is just how it sounds. These organic chemical compounds inhibit the absorption of vital nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, etc. So, if you have a high intake of phytic acid, you are at risk of vitamin and mineral deficiency. Phytic acid specifically has been linked to tooth decay and bone damage. Enzyme inhibitors that cause flatulence, bloating, gastrointestinal pain are also broken down during this process. Overall, soaking enhances nutritional value, bio-availability, and digestibility!
Step 1 is to rinse your seeds, legumes, beans, or nuts prior to soaking, especially if you purchased them from those plastic bulk bins at the health food store. Who knows what kind of particulates are floatin’ around there….
Step 2 fill up a mason jar, or a large bowl with the desired amount of pre-sprouties but make sure to leave about 1/3 room for water. Also, whatever you are soaking, will increase in size due to water absorption. Use good, clean, filtered water. Spring, or well water works fine, as well and cover with a lid. Set aside overnight, although soaking time does vary. Refer to the above chart for minimum soaking times! (Image from weedemandreap.com)
Step 3 rinse! Rinse thoroughly to ensure all of the unwanted particles are removed. All done! How simple is that?! Soaking just requires a little bit of planning, but really is only a few minute thang.
Step 4 to continue on to sprouting, once you are done thoroughly rinsing, put your pre-sprouties back into the mason jar but replace the solid lid with a sprouting lid. You could also use a cheesecloth but I highly recommend in investing a sprouting lid that is just a few dollars. This gives ’em some vital breathing room.
Step 5 continue the rinsing process twice a day, every twelve hours or so, once in the morning and once at night. Ideally, they shouldn’t be in direct sunlight but no need to stick ’em in your cabinet or anything. I have found that sprouting is best when the jar is upside down at an angle, or when the jar is on its side and I rotate it after every rinse.
Step 6 when you start to see little sprouted tails, they are ready to be consumed. It takes about 2-5 days. I like my sprouties nice and sprouted with looong tails, so for me, I usually wait the 5 days. But, that part is up to you. Taste test ’em.
Step 7 rinse thoroughly one last time and lay out on a plate to dry just for a little bit, then store them in a glass jar or glass container with an air-tight lid, in the refrigerator. They will be good for 2-3 days. Eat them raw or that kind of defeats the purpose, as cooking will diminish the nutrients.
*Per usual, it is essential to purchase raw, organic seeds, legumes, beans, and nuts to avoid pesticide residue. You can find decent prices online (www.handypantry.com is awesome) or when buying in bulk at your local health food store.
Keep up with my blog for some upcoming sprout and bean recipes!
Side note on wheat: If you find you are sensitive to wheat, try Sprouted wheat and see how you feel (If you are not gluten intolerant, that is). My favourite sprouted wheat bread is by Silver Hills Bakery. It’s called Big Red’s Ancient Grain. They use all organic ingredients and skip out on the added sugar. TOTALLY AWESOME.
Peace, Love, & Good Health ~~~~