Saturday, 30 June 2012

Soak your nuts and Grains!

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Soaking nuts and grains has been in a bit of a conversation around me lately. What is it? We hear that its better for us but why? How do we do it? Are we meant to dehydrate them after? So many questions and its a bit silly because grains have been soaked for so many years in so many cultures and the reason people are not doing it so much now is because our culture has become lazy. We want things quick and we don't want to take hours, days, weeks preparing food. But guess what? Thats what we are supposed to do! In so many cultures, traditionally food was prepared with so much more time and love. A good sourdough bread should take at least 2 weeks to make. Grains were soaked, sprouted and fermented. This was all done so we could digest everything really well and our bodies loved it. Now, bread takes half an hour, rice takes 15 minutes and nuts we eat straight from the bag. We are eating nuts from god knows where, packaged in god knows where, with who knows who's finger prints all over them and probably covered in mould we cant even see. Yes I know, sounds disgusting when you think about it like that doesn't it? Eating healthy, clean food is going to take more time, I understand that but what we want is to put our health first and if that means taking a little bit more time to prepare things I think we should just do it! Lets take it back to old school living and eating when people were healthy!

The facts:
  • Nuts and seeds are great foods; they are rich is good fats and proteins although nuts contain enzyme inhibitors so thats why many cultures soak them before they are eaten. Soaking them; activates them, wakes them up, brings them to more of a live food state and absorption of nutrients, minerals and proteins is much higher. 
  • Most grains benefit from soaking. Grains, dried beans, lentils and peas all contain phytic acid; a mineral inhibitor and enzyme inhibitors in the outer layer which interferes with absorption of many minerals, especially calcium, magnesium and zinc. Soaking grains reduces the phytic acid. If we can reduce it in our food then we will allow our bodies to absorb more minerals from our food. Iron is a great example, if we remove phytic acid from grains, iron absorption will improve by 3 times in rice and in wheat almost 12 times. Pretty amazing!
  • In saying all this; it is pretty impossible to remove phytic acid completely from our food in our own kitchens but soaking can do alot and is a good start to reduce it quite substantially.
  • We shouldn't just soak grains but we should ferment them too. Fermenting grains creates good bacteria that starts to break down the phytic acids and enzyme inhibitors, creating lactic acid as a by-product. The Bacteria also breaks down gluten (gluten is very hard to digest). Due to this it also creates more tolerance to people allergic to wheat. 
  • Soaking is best over night; 6-12 hours.
  • Always rinse your nuts and grains really well after soaking them, before eating them or cooking them!!!
  • If you prepare your nuts and grains well, you may double your absorption of the minerals in them. You may even absorb more than that.
SO here's how to:

Soak grains:
  1. In a large bowl put your grains, beans, lentils or peas; cover with water and mix in a table spoon of raw apple cider vinegar or organic cultured yogurt to assist in fermentation. Soak each kind separately.
  2. Cover and let to soak and ferment over night at room temperature.
  3. In the morning; rinse your grains thoroughly under running water and serve or cook as you like.
  4. ENJOY!
Activate nuts:

  1. Place nuts or seeds in a large bowl and cover with water. Soak each kind separately. 
  2. Cover and let soak over night at room temperature.
  3. After soaking, the nuts will look nice and puffy and may even start to show signs of sprouting. 
  4. Rinse the nuts thoroughly under running water.
  5. ENJOY!
  6. If you have left overs as I always do as I make a big batch to save time later; either dehydrate them or put them in air tight containers and freeze them until you need them. 
Its not the end of the world if you cant soak everything but if you do, your children and your family will get more goodness out of them!

Cass xo

Reference: Whole food for children, by Jude Blereau. (AMAZING BOOK! MUST READ!)

CHOOSE LIFE, LIVE IT, DO IT!

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