Soaking grains and legumes has been around for centuries, according to Saly Fallon’s book Nourishing Traditions (a nice bookshelf addition).
Although it’s true that quinoa, millet, chickpeas, mung beans, nuts, and seeds are beneficial to the health of the body, it may only ring true if they are properly prepared.
Now, I don’t want to scare you, but, all grains and legumes have some anti-nutrients such as tannins, saponins, digestive enzyme inhibitors and lectins, as well as flatulence factors. If you haven’t heard about the paleo diet, they “eat like our ancestors eat,” and for them this means no grains or legumes since these anti-nutrients are present. Eating primarily a vegan diet, the exclusion of these things just did not work- which is why I went searching for other alternatives.
Turns out, soaking grains, nuts, and legumes in water for a certain period of time reduces this toxic load, and makes them easier on the body.
For the small percentage of the population that doesn’t have any food related problems and that have excellent gut health, some of these grains may be okay unsoaked.
But for those of us who have something lingering around either in our guts, on our skin, or lodged in our bodies somewhere, soaking and sprouting really is the best option if you don’t wanna give up on these babies. (like me!) That being said, everything in moderation, right?
Nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes all have different soaking times for optimal nutrition. Here’s a little chart I found helpful.
Adding a bit of lemon juice, kefir, or probiotic into your soaking water can help with digestion as well :)
I like to have something different going all the time- whether it is quinoa, almonds, or lentils.
The best tip I could give would be to rinse your grains at night, cover with water and some lemon juice, and they'll be ready for use in the morning or anytime the next day!