Among many other goals this New Year--practice French, bring my own bags to stores, looming--soaking my grains is on my long list of MUST do's in 2014. I've been OK about this off and on since I was macrobiotic seven years ago. I say OK because it does take some planning to rinse and soak grains for a good 8-24 hours. And who NEEDS one more thing to plan in their life? Not me. BUT great benefits come with soaking your grains. Very similar to those that come with soaking your nuts.
When eating grains and legumes that haven’t been soaked, the phytic acid binds to minerals in the gastrointestinal tract and can not be absorbed in the intestine and many bound minerals can lead to mineral deficiencies. By soaking, you are breaking down the phytic acid so it can be absorbed correctly for proper digestion and more nutritional benefits*.
So, next time you plan to make some quinoa, throw the measured amount in a bowl and cover it with two inches of water. Place a towel over and leave in a cool place for eight hours or more. Even a couple of hours really makes a difference if you think to cook your grain last minute. It also cuts down on cooking time. Especially with lentils.
* Whole Lifestyle Nutrition