Monday, February 15, 2010

7 days to better health

soak your grains!

this morning as i was sharing a pot of oatmeal with the kids, i began to wonder what to post about. and then it came to me- DUH! soaking grains!

i hope that by now you have been convinced that whole grains are a necessary part of every diet. they are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber- the stuff you need to build up your health. if you have not switched from instant oats, white rice, white pasta, white bread, yet to the whole food equivalent - do it! today is the day!

there is a critical step in cooking whole grains that often is unknown. in order to get all the good stuff out of the grains you are eating, they must be soaked before eating a good 6 hours or more. soaking grains before cooking them allows the phytic acid to be neutralized. phytic acid blocks your body's ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients from the food you are eating. it also makes the grains difficult to digest.

any whole grain benefits from being soaked first. this would even include the whole wheat flour you are making muffins or bread with.

i don't use any real recipe when soaking my grains, but if you are so inclined to do so, you can check out this site. the nice thing is that they can be cooked in the soak water (unlike legumes which must first be drained and rinsed). this is where menu planning comes in handy. if you know what you are making the next day, you can easily put it on to soak the night before.

***note: brown rice is relatively low in phytic acid and therefore it is not necessary to soak before cooking. but you could if you wanted to!


cally said...

I always soak my grains, but have resented it. I just do it 'cause my mom did...but you, as expected, have cleared it up.

soaking is good. and now I know why!

Cheryl said...

i still use cathe olson's dry pancake mix and keep it in the freezer. do you use a different pancake mix and soak the wheat or just soak that mixture? that's really the only thing i don't soak right now. thoughts?

nicola@which name? said...

i didn't know this. so what if i am baking, rather than eating straight grains as in oatmeal or rice?

Amanda said...

I keep meaning to start soaking our grains, but I haven't been good about planning ahead. :)