Soaking nuts, seeds, legumes and grains

Nutritional inhibitors and toxic substances such as: enzyme inhibitors, phytates (phytic acid), polyphenols (tannins), and goitrogens are found in nuts grains and seeds, can be minimized or eliminated by soaking them.

Completely all grains contain phytic acid in the outer layer or bran, this can combine with calcium, magnesium, copper, iron and especially zinc in the intestinal tract and block their absorption. Phytic acid inhibits enzymes needed for our digestion. If we reduce or eliminate phytic acid, those enzymes will be more available to our bodies. This could be one important factor why soaking increases digestibility.

Phytic acid is reduced through soaking, fermenting or sprouting, but also; it makes the protein and other components of grains or legumes more digestible. So not only would you get more benefit from your food (such as more protein), but it could be easier on your digestion as well. When soaked, your body doesn’t have to work as hard at digesting. It is ideal to soak brown rice too as it is naturally low in phytase (the enzyme that breaks down phytic acid) and will be less denser and easily digested.

Importance of soaking~

  1. To remove or reduce phytic acid.
  2. To remove or reduce tannins.
  3. To neutralize the enzyme inhibitors.
  4. To encourage the production of beneficial enzymes.
  5. To increase the amounts of vitamins, especially B vitamins.
  6. To break down gluten and make digestion easier.
  7. To make the proteins more readily available for absorption.
  8. To prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
  9. To help neutralize toxins in the colon and keep the colon clean.
  10. To prevent many health diseases and conditions.

Basic Quinoa (Soaked)

2 cups of quinoa
2 cups of warm filtered water
2 tablespoons of kombucha, lemon juice or raw apple cider
2 cups of filtered water
1 teaspoon unrefined salt
1. In a glass or non-reactive bowl, place the quinoa and first two cups of warm filtered water and 2 tablespoons of the live cultured, acidic addition. Cover and place in a warm place for 12-24 hours. You can soak longer then this, which is especially helpful for those with digestive issues. Just make sure you change the soaking water every 6-12 hours.

2. When you are ready to cook the quinoa, strain the quinoa in a fine sieve and rinse well, until the water runs clear. Make sure you thoroughly rinse the quinoa, otherwise it can be bitter.

3. Add to a medium pot with the last two cups of water and salt. Bring to a boil, turn down to low, cover, and cook for about 12-15 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes. Serve.

*This recipe is a good example of how to soak any whole grains. Quinoa needs to be rinsed thoroughly to remove the bitter tasting saponins.


One of the easiest foods to sprout is buckwheat. Buckwheat becomes packed with live enzymes and vital nutrients when sprouted.

Sprouted buckwheat is an amazing food because it tastes like a grain but is actually gluten and wheat free and not a grain at all. It contains all eight essential amino acids, making it one of the most complete sources of protein on the planet. This makes it perfect for diabetics and those who want to cut down on their sugary carbohydrates and to balance their blood sugar levels. It is also known to cleanse the colon, alkalizes the body, lowers high blood pressure and is wonderful for those who suffer from varicose veins or any hardening of the arteries as it is high in rutin, (a bioflavonoid and powerful capillary wall strengthener). It is high in vitamins A, B, C and E, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, selenium. niacin, phosphorus, potassium and CoQ10!

This wonderful healing food is also rich in lecithin, making it a wonderful cholesterol balancer because lecithin soaks up “bad” cholesterol and prevents it from being absorbed. Lecithin neutralizes toxins and purifies the lymphatic system, taking some of the load off of the liver.

Sprouted buckwheat is also a brain boosting super food. 28% of the brain is actually made up of lecithin. Research suggests that regularly consuming foods rich in lecithin may actually prevent anxiety, depression, brain fog, mental fatigue and generally make the brain sharper and clearer.

Buckwheat is high in iron so it is a good blood builder. It also prevents osteoporosis because of its high boron and calcium levels.

Soaking Instructions (using hulled groats, we soak them and then eat the groats)

These are hulled Buckwheat. The word Groat literally means “a hulled seed”. They are one of the quickest sprouts around – soak them for 20-30 minutes, rinse a few times and you have sprouts in about 36-48 hours, or just Soak them and eat them.
Buckwheat Groats are nutty, plump and extremely tender. They make a great snack, and a phenomenal, live Breakfast Cereal! Yum!

This is great to do a big batch and then can use as rice alternative, or make my favourite buckwheat porridge!

Sprouting Instructions (to produce buckwheat sprouts)
Yields approximately 1 Cup of Sprouts

  • Put 2/3 Cup of seed into a bowl or into your Sprouter. Add 2-3 times as much cool water. Mix seeds up to assure even water contact for all. Allow seeds to Soak for 20 – 60 minutes. Note: Groats take up all the water they need quickly, that is why their soak time is so short. They get waterlogged if soaked too long, and will never sprout – so -Don’t over-soak!
  • Empty the seeds into your sprouter if necessary. Drain off the soak water. Rinse thoroughly with cool (60-70°) water. Note: Groats create the starchiest water on Earth – it is amazingly thick! They won’t sprout too well unless you get rid of it – so Rinse and Rinse and Rinse until the water runs clear. It can take a little while – but don’t skimp.
  • Every Rinse is the same with Groats: Rinse and Rinse and Rinse until the water runs clear.
  • Drain thoroughly. Set anywhere out of direct sunlight and at room temperature (70° is optimal) between Rinses.
  • Rinse and Drain again in 4-8 hours. We like our sprouts small so we stop whenever they have the tiny tails we seek.
  • Your sprouts are done 8-12 hours after your final rinse. Be sure to Drain them as thoroughly as possible after that final rinse.

When I make buckwheat sprouts, I try to use a handful with every meal to increase enzymatic activity. They will assist in the digestion of that meal, AND they are delicious through salads or with a drizzle of olive oil and lemon.

General beans and legumes

Cooking tips

Soak legumes for at least 5-6 hours or over night. After soaking, rinse and add to a pot. Cover with three times their volume of water. Add herbs or spices as desired. Bring to a boil. Then reduce the heat and simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until tender. The cooking time depends on the type of bean, but start checking after 45 minutes. Add more water if the beans become uncovered. Other tips:

*Add salt or acidic ingredients, such as vinegar, tomatoes or juice, near the end of the cooking time, when the beans are just tender. If these ingredients are added too early, they can make the beans tough and slow the cooking process.

*Beans are done when they can be easily mashed between two fingers or with a fork.

*To freeze cooked beans for later use, immerse them in cold water until cool, then drain well and freeze.

*About 500grams of dried beans yields about 5 or 6 cups cooked beans.

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