Soaking and Fermenting Nuts, Seeds, Grains, and Legumes

Soaking Spelt Flour and Yogurt
Soaking Spelt Flour and Yogurt

Most people soak their legumes in order to help decrease the possibility of digestive upset and reduce the cooking time.  But what about soaking grains, seeds, and nuts?  How many times have you eaten a bowl of oatmeal for breakfast only to feel tired, sluggish, and hungry only an hour later?  What about whole grain muffins?  Seems like they would be healthy and filling with all of the fiber that they have, but I know from personal experience that I always feel bloated and sluggish after eating them for breakfast.  For the last year, I have been experimenting with soaking not only my legumes, but nuts, seeds, and grains as well, and I have noticed a big difference in how I am able to digest these foods.

It turns out that soaking and fermenting nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes not only improves their digestibility, but the absorption of nutrients as well.  Phytic Acid is present in nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes.  It binds with Calcium, Magnesium, Copper, Iron, and Zinc in the intestinal tract, thus blocking their absorption.  In the long term, this could lead to serious mineral deficiencies and bone loss.  There are also Enzyme Inhibitors in raw nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes that can neutralize our own enzymes in our digestive tract.  Soaking and Fermenting allows enzymes, lactobacilli, and other helpful organisms to break down and neutralize phytic acid.  During the process of Soaking, gluten and other difficult to digest proteins are partially broken down into simpler components that are more readily available for absorption.

Soaking your nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes only requires one more step in food preparation.  Depending on the food, you need to soak your nuts/seeds/grains/legumes for 7-24 hours (usually overnight).  An acidic medium is required in order to break down the phytic acid.  This is obtained my mixing Whey (the liquid “stuff” in yogurt is the easiest way to obtain it), pure yogurt, kefir, or buttermilk with warm water (see the link for the chart below for specifics on how to soak nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes).  If you suffer from milk allergies, you can substitute Vinegar or Lemon juice.  After soaking, you simply prepare the meal the same way as if it weren’t soaked (sometimes with less water, of course).  If it is boiled, always skim the foam off the top as these are the anti-nutrients that you have removed by soaking.

Below is a PDF of a simple chart to refer to when soaking the different types of nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes.  Specific recipes will be added to the site shortly.

Soaking and Fermenting Chart

What is Stevia?

Unknown-1There are certainly a lot of misconceptions about Stevia.  I had never even heard of the herb until a few years ago.  Now that Stevia is becoming more mainstream, there are a lot of different varieties available.  Most have fillers in them to make it measure for measure like sugar.  The fact is, though, that Stevia is 250 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, so it only takes a small amount of pure Stevia to equal the sweetness of sugar.

My favorite brand of Stevia is SweetLeaf.  It is an all natural Stevia, with no fillers.  There is no bitter aftertaste.  You may need to modify your Stevia measurements if you are using another brand of Stevia.

Here is a great resource for any questions/concerns you may have about Stevia.

Updated 9/26/13.

I Got a Versatile Blogger Nomination!

I am flattered to have received a Versatile Blogger Nomination from Becoming Madame!  Upon receiving this nomination, I am expected to follow some rules.  Here goes…

1.  I was nominated by Becoming Madame, an insightful and beautiful blog about an American experiencing the French Lifestyle.  Because of her blog, I am able to live out my dream of visiting France, if only with my imagination and her amazing stories and photographs.

Seven Facts About Me:

1.  I converted to Catholicism three years ago and couldn’t be happier.

2.  I have an 8 month old and a 2 year old.

3.  I go on a drive every afternoon to get espresso, and to get the boys to take a nap!

4.  I love the Nickelodeon show Avatar: The Last Airbender.

5.  My 8 month old is currently chewing on a rug.

6.  I have OCD when it comes to cooking.  I really have to keep it in check.

7.  I am completely addicted to chocolate.  It is my stress release.

And now 15 bloggers that I enjoy reading, in no particular order, that I am passing on the nomination to:

Kait’s Life

Health Freak College Girl

Following Faye

Frugal Feeding

Adventures in Whole Grain Baking

The Super Mom Chronicles

Simple Speedy Snacks

The Handicapped Kitchen

We Meat Again

Calamity Jennie

Cookies and Crafts

5280 Reasons to Eat

Come Back to Bed It’s Cold

Freezer Full

Le Petit Canard Farm

Thanks again Becoming Madame!

It’s Not a Race Track…

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Yesterday, we celebrated Leo’s second birthday. We enjoyed a wonderful pizza party with family and friends. Leo received many wonderful gifts, including the racetrack pictured.
In true Leo fashion, though, he decided that it was not a racetrack but an oven. He proceeded to make “cake” with his race car, making sure to blow on it when removing it from the “oven” so he wouldn’t get burned. He also made sure to share some with me. He truly steals my heart every chance he gets!