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Soaking and Sprouting

Soaking and sprouting seeds, nuts, beans and grains is a method that has been practiced all over the world for thousands of years. For many people this topic is new but since the benefits that come from this process are so great, especially for those that have a plant based diet, I thought it was important to make more people aware of these benefits and how to obtain them. When possible I buy my legumes and grains sprouted because the process of sprouting, while not difficult, is time consuming and if not done properly can be harmful. 

ANTINUTRIENTS 

To be able to properly understand soaking and sprouting and why it’s so significant, it’s important to know about antinutrients. Antinutrients are compounds found in certain foods that inhibit the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and proteins. Seeds, nuts, beans and grains all contain high levels of these compounds although they can also be found at lower levels in foods such as certain fruits and vegetables. 

Antinutrients are also the cause for many nutrient deficiencies and digestive and gut related issues and is why many people react badly to certain grains and wheat products such as bread.

You may be wondering why, if these foods are considered healthy and supposed to be part of our diets, that they would naturally contain antinutrients. These compounds exist to help protect plants from being eaten by insects and bugs.  

WHAT IS SOAKING?

Don’t worry – even though seeds, nuts, beans and grains contain antinutrients, there’s still a way to be able to eat these things while also benefiting from their nutrients. The solution is soaking and sprouting the seeds from these various foods, so that they can be properly digested and so the nutrients they provide can be properly absorbed. 

Soaking the seeds in liquid is the first step in the process and needs to happen before the seeds can be sprouted. 

Most nuts don’t require sprouting but are more beneficial when soaked. See below what raw organic almonds look like before soaking, 6 hours into soaking and after 12 hours of soaking. Gross right? 

Stage 1 – Fresh

Stage 2 – 6 hours soaking

Stage 3 – 12 hours soaking

WHAT IS SPROUTING?

Once the seeds, grains have been soaked, it’s now time to let them grow which is called sprouting. This part of the process is important because once the seeds have sprouted, they will be in the optimal form for us to be able to extract the nutrients from them and for our bodies to absorb them.  

To eat healthy and avoid any digestive issues, I usually opt for a sprouted bread such as Ezekiel, which uses the ground up sprouted seeds, so not only is it nutritious but my body can also properly absorb all the nutrients. 

BENEFITS OF SOAKING & SPROUTING

There are so many benefits of soaking and sprouting food, some of which I’ve already mentioned such as being able to efficiently absorb nutrients or being able to digest certain foods better. In addition to these, this process also helps increase fiber content and protein availability, helps breakdown gluten and allergens found in grains, and potentially increases the amounts of enzymes and antioxidants.  

Here is a chart to show you how long to soak and sprout your foods.

 

Check out this video to see how to properly soak and sprout your legumes, grains, nuts and seeds. 

Will you try soaking and sprouting? Leave a comment below!

Sprouted Grains and Legumes
Katherine Garbarino, AKA KGMTL, has been building her online presence for the past 3 years. An open book about almost everything, KG’s voice has become a household sound, with an incredible and dedicated fanbase; obsessed with her knowledge of health, wellness, fashion and fitness.

Comments (2)

  1. I am learning to soak and sprout grains, lentils, and nuts! You inspired me to do even more! Thank you for all your information and videos!!

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