30 January 2013

Soaking -- A Valuable Cooking Technique

Spelt Grains Soaking

Soaking grains is a simple and effective way to reduce cooking time, release more nutrition naturally, and get yourself directly involved with your well being with your own two hands.

Grains such as spelt and brown rice need to be washed a few times, scoured (rub the wet grains together in your hands to soften the hulls), and then soaked for at least 6 hours.

Grains like millet, quinoa, amaranth, and teff don't need to be soaked, only briefly rinsed.  These are more like seeds than grains, and don't have a tough outer hull.

Grains like white basmati rice and other polished grains have their hulls removed already, so soaking time can be brief, if at all.  I do like to soak my basmati rice from time to time, to produce a more tender grain.

However, soaking helps pre-digest the food before it goes into your system, breaking down the fibers and making it easier to absorb all the beneficial elements of the grain.  Grains are unique because you end up eating the fruit and the seed of the plant.  Most plants you eat are either strictly seeds or strictly fruit.  Now, it is good to eat seeds for all the nutritional benefit, and it is good to eat fruit as well, but when do you normally get both in one sitting from the same plant?  Only with grains.

If you end up not cooking the grains after you soak them, drain the water, add fresh water, and place in the fridge.  You can even add fresh water for a second or third time, and hold the soaking grains in the fridge for up to 2.5 days.

Get some grains soaking right now.  Wash them, scour them, and fill with water so that it covers the grains to a level an inch or two above the grain.  Grains don't really expand as much as beans do.  Cover the container and leave out on the counter for 6-12 hours.  Drain off the water, add fresh, and cook or place in the fridge to hold.

Soaking is so easy to do, so simple.  I dare you to try it.  Let me know how it tastes and how it makes you feel.  

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