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How To Soak Whole Grain: A Traditional Recipe

food-grain-soaking-millet-hblWhole grains have been a principal food for thousands of years and are close to being a nutritionally complete food. They are rich in amino acids, carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, vitamins, and fat.

This ancient food strengthens the body with a warm, slow burning kind of energy and grain tastes pretty good too! We top ours with cultured butter, pesto, and a sprinkling of 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 that 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. 

Traditional method for soaking grains

1)  Sort and discard broken, moldy or discolored grain; esp. black, dark brown, green pieces which contain toxins.

2)  Rinse grain by placing in a heavy cooking pot  and covering with water.

3)  Swirl hand around the edge of pot, drain water, and repeat until water is less cloudy (bit cloudy is normal due to the 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 through a fine-mesh strainer and rinse well to remove the enzyme inhibitors.

10)  Cook or sprout the grain accordingly.

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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.

Online Resources

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