How To Properly Prepare Grains & Legumes
With the western diet being so focused on grain-based foods in the modern era, the increase in disease has exponentially risen as well. Chronic diseases such as eczema, allergies, diabetes, and other auto-immune diseases are included. While well-meaning, the focus on whole grains over refined grains is just not enough. Traditionally as a species we never ate these foods in the quantities consumed today, nor were they prepared how they are prepared today.
In the past when we consumed much less grains and legumes, we would take the proper steps to prepare it including soaking or fermenting. Sourdough was the common bread before the introduction of commercial yeast. Even corn was fermented to make tortillas in earlier times. Some Asian cultures fermented rice as well in their ethnic dishes.
Science has shown us that if we soak our grains or legumes for a minimum 7 hours in water, with a small amount of cider vinegar, or lemon juice, that we neutralize the phytic acid. The phytic acid is an organic acid that blocks mineral absorption in the intestinal tract. Soaking also nautralizes enzyme inhibitors which are found in all seeds, and also adds beneficial enzymes which increase the nutrients present, especially B vitamins. Even those with a gluten intolerance, or even celiac can consume breads such as sourdough!cHere are some ways you can start soaking your grains and legumes;
Oats – mix 1 cup of rolled oats with 1 cup of filtered water and 2 Tbsp of yogurt, buttermilk, lemon juice or cider vinegar. Cover and leave out on the counter for a minimum 7 hours. Then add another cup of water, bring to a boil and finally simmer for a few minutes. You’re ready to serve warm, adding butter, cream, fruit, nuts or other ingredients as desired.
Brown Rice – Mix 2 cups of short grain brown rice with 4 cups of filtered water and 4 Tbsp of yogurt, buttermilk, lemon juice or cider vinegar. Cover and leave out on the counter for a minimum 7 hours. Then bring to a boil, skim off the foam, reduce heat while stirring in any butter as desired. Then cover and cook on low for 45 minutes.
Beans – For kidney shaped beans, simply cover the beans with enough water to just cover them, adding a pinch of baking soda and soak for 12-24 hours. For non kidney shaped beans soak with water and 1 Tbsp of cider vinegar or lemon juice for each cup of dried legumes. Best practice is to rinse and refresh the water and baking soda (or cider vinegar/lemon) 1-2 times during the soaking process. When you are done soaking, drain, rinse and add fresh water and bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer for 4-8 hours until soft.
Breads – While you can definitely make your own, we are lucky today to find good quality sourdough or sprouted breads made from organic flour without additives pretty easily. If a sourdough has yeast in the list of ingredients, just know that it is not a true sourdough bread.