Grains: Soak 'Em If You Got 'Em

The other night, on my Facebook Live, I spoke about rice. I spoke a bit about corn. I went into oats. Touched on quinoa. Even brought up seeds and beans (legumes). And what they all have in common… Anti-nutrients.

Grains have value as foodstuffs, don’t get me wrong, with vitamins and minerals and lots of fiber and even some protein. But they are protected by so-called anti-nutrients like phytic acid, lectins, oxalates, phytoestrogens, and tannins. Oh my!

Soaking: reach through the anti- to the pro-nutrients.

That being said, humans are nothing if not ingenious. Our ancestors somehow figured out how to reach through the anti- to the pro-nutrients.

I really would like to know how people figured out that they should soak these complex carbs in an acidic solution. I really would like to know how people figured out that they should sprout to access the true goodness of the plants.

How did they know? How do we learn anything, right? Going to the moon. Building a car. Harnessing electricity. We are a marvel we humans.

In our current state of development we tend to eschew old-school. We prefer instant. We choose microwaved oatmeal over soaked. We choose microwaved popcorn over homemade. Super-yeasted breads rather than sourdough or sprouted.

And our bodies are slowly deprived of nutrition. We have plenty of food but we are not able to access its nutrition.

By soaking oats, wheat, kamut, quinoa, millet, rice, corn in water with lemon juice or raw apple cider vinegar added we cut through much of what stands in our way.

A tablespoon of ACV or lemon per cup of grain with filtered water to cover.

Generally speaking an overnight soak is optimal, but planning doesn’t always happen, does it? Sometimes we just don’t know we’re going to be cooking rice for dinner.

A quick soak is better than nothing in my books. And, of course, my personal default of not eating much grain. Then it’s not such a big deal, is it?

Using more of the acid is not something I recommend as it will impart more “tang” to the food and it won’t speed up the process. Darn.

Soaking nuts and seeds is basically the same EXCEPT we use sea salt instead of an acidic solution.

Roughly a teaspoon per cup of nuts. Almonds, walnuts, etc. can soak overnight, but cashews are a special case and require only 4 hours. I wrote a previous blog about cashews if I’m not mistaken—I’ll have to find it and not reinvent the wheel just now!

Seeds, same idea. We want to get the anti-nutrients outta da way.

An important thing to remember is to buy the nuts and seeds unprocessed. Raw. If they’re already roasted and salted the anti-nutrients are, yes, a touch depleted but we also we cannot touch them any further. Interesting, that.

So just as with the grains, if we restrain ourselves from the massive overconsumption of everything nuts (almond milk, almond flour, cashew cheese, etc.) and have only a few at a time then the phytates and lectins will be less problematic.

The bottom line is to soak or sprout grains, nuts, and seeds wherever you possibly can.

I use a dehydrator when I’m doing the right thing—soak the nuts and then dry them out to crispy them up. It’s a lot of extra steps to do at home.

So we can buy them pre-soaked and re-crisped. We can buy properly prepared nut butters these days. Boom!

And we can easily buy sprouted grains: Think sprouted bread. Sourdough bread.

Simple Soaked Oats By Helen-the-Health-Coach

Overnight oats are simple to make with the ACV or lemon juice water or a yogurt-water mix (see recipe).

Let me know your thoughts!

In a small saucepan, place a cup of rolled or steel cut oats.

Add a cup of filtered water.

Add a tablespoon of lemon juice, apple cider vinegar or fermented dairy, such as yogurt.

Stir it all together, cover, and allow to sit in a warmish room temperature spot overnight. The longer it sits, the more anti-nutrients will be broken down—and the tangier the end product will be.

I recommend starting slowly!

In the morning, simply add another cup of water and heat the oatmeal until it thickens. Don’t forget to add sea salt, as well, to bring out the nutty flavors of the oats. And some good fat to add to its staying power.

Feel free to add all your own fixings either before cooking or after.

Oats prepared this way seem to hold us longer—breaking down the anti-nutrients releases more for our bodies to grab hold of and digest for the win.

Try adding chopped apples and cinnamon—with maple syrup or raw honey if you like it sweet. The sky’s the limit—how about a chopped date and some pecan pieces?

I like butter and salt in my oatmeal. Maybe some seeds. Simple. What do you prefer?

Writing this is definitely making me want some. I haven’t had oatmeal in months and months! YUMMY!

Are you ready to learn more and take your wellness to the next level?

My next class begins on May 26th. Nine weeks of support, wraparound support. Video chats daily. Weekly classes. Recipes. A detailed guidebook. A beautiful community to foster connection which goes beyond the nine weeks. Check out my Facebook page for sign up announcements coming soon!

I am here to help you create habits for good. Habits to help you get where you want to go in your life and not be held back by brain fog and fatigue. Not be held back by anxiety. By digestive complaints.

Let’s do this.

Let’s create mind-body-spirit health. Optimal health.

Where do you want to go?

I can help you get there.

Reach out to me at or click the link to set up a quick call.

35 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All