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How to soak grains

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Now that we’ve determined that grains, seeds and legumes should be soaked before consumption, in order to start pre-digesting and neutralizing most harmful components, I thought it would only make sense to show you how it’s done.

First, place what you want to soak in large bowls. From what I’ve been reading on the subject, it seems soaking in water only is not enough. A good rule of thumb seems to be to use 2 Tablespoons of an acid medium, per cup of grain. I use lemon juice, but I understand there are many other options out there, like lime juice and vinegar. Once you have your acid, cover with water. I’m not exactly sure about the quantity, but I cover the grains and then some, almost filling my bowls. Soaking properly takes 24 hours, so make sure you plan your recipes ahead.

From left to right, I am soaking millet, brown rice and chickpeas.

And that is how I soak. I have also read some very interesting things, that I’ll be happy to share with you. This scientist keeps the soaking liquid from his brown rice and reuses a portion of it everytime he soaks rice. Apparently, this process helps to get rid of even more phytic acid. I don’t understand all the details, but it seems brown rice contains phytase, an enzyme that actually degrades phytic acid, and by keeping the liquid it was soaked in, it helps cultivate microorganisms that make their own phytase. Which makes me wonder… Would keeping soaking liquid from other grains work the same way? Could you add some of the soaking liquid from brown rice to help break down phytic acid in other grains?

I understand also that it is possible to soak the flour directly, instead of the grain, like described here. I have never tried this method, mainly because I’m more comfortable with soaking grains only once a week when I make flour, instead of planning everything I want to bake at least 24 hours ahead of time. I also can’t help thinking it is odd to use the actual soaking liquid in your recipe…

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