Whole grains have been a principal food for thousands of years and are dang close to being a nutritionally complete food. Rich in amino acids, carbs, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and fat this ancient food strengthens us body with a warm, slow burning kind of energy and grain tastes pretty good too! We top ours with cultured butter, pesto, and hemp seeds!
Unfortunately, grains also contain enzyme inhibitors and toxins – such as phytates, tannins, and goitrogens – that harm the body, especially the lining of the digestive tract; extending from mouth to the anus.
You can read about the problem with un-soaked grain
The modern way of preparing grain tends to overlook a crucial step traditional civilizations did to minimize and eliminate harmful enzyme inhibitors/toxins. That overlooked step is to soak grain in acidulated water (to make acid) prior to cooking, sprouting, or eating it.
1) Sort and discard broken, moldy or discolored grain; esp. black, dark brown, green pieces which contain toxins.
2) Rinse grain in a heavy cooking pot by covering with water.
3) Swirl hand around edge of pot, drain water, and repeat until water is less cloudy (bit cloudy is normal due to presence of natural starch).
4) Put washed grain in a 1/2-gallon size mason jar.
5) Soak grain with twice the amount of warm water to grain (1 cup grain/2 cups water).
6) Add 2 tbsp acid (i.e. kefir, whey, lemon juice) per cup of grain.
7) Cover with a towel or loose mason jar lid.
8) Place in warm spot (ideally 80-85F) for 8-24 hrs, depending on size/hardness of grain kernel.
9) Strain in fine-mesh strainer, rinse to remove enzyme inhibitors.
10) Cook or sprout the grain accordingly.
Fallon, S. (1999). Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats. New Trends Publishing, Inc. Washington DC.
Bohager, T. (2009). Everything You Need To Know About Enzymes. Greenleaf Book Group Press.
May all bellies be happy!