Thursday, September 2, 2010

Soaking vs. Sprouting

Thanks, Nicole, for your question. This is such a fabulous topic. You asked it just at the right time, because Kimi from The Nourishing Gourmet is doing an in-depth look into soaking grains all this week. I highly recommend her website. It's so great.

Click here to visit her site or just go there from the sidebar.

The very quick answer to Nicole's question about the difference between soaking and sprouting grains is this (as I understand it, and I'm not an expert): soaking can also be called fermenting. Sprouting means you actually get little sprouts going. They can be very little, and often people use the terms interchangeably. It can be rather confusing. But the point is that the foods are being made to be more nutritious and easier to digest.

Pre-industrialized peoples treated their grains this way before eating them, and when white flour came into play we lost a bunch of good knowledge as well as the bulk of the nutrition (and no, enriching and fortifying flours does not make them nutritionally equal to whole grains, to say the least).

Soaked grains are soaked in some sort of acidic solution, like kefir, buttermilk, lemon juice, or vinegar. This releases the phytic acid present in the grains and changes the composition of the sugar molecules so that your body can implement the nutrition better and without digestive woes.

Nuts can also be soaked and the enzyme inhibitors present in them can be released to create a more digestively-kind end product. Here is a post on that. In it, I again reference Kimi (who is referencing Sally Fallon).

In sprouting grains, one must first soak the grain, sprout it, re-dry it, and grind it into flour.

You can also soak/sprout beans for a better end result. Sally Fallon is really the guru on all of this, so if you want to check out her book Nourishing Traditions, do so. If not, go to Kimi's website and do a search. She has probably covered it.

Kara has a lot of great soaked and sprouted recipes and instructions on how to do so. Check her out.
Here are some great recipes to try that implement soaking and/or sprouting: Here. Here. Here.

As I go along, I'll try to do more on this and include some more recipes. But for now, I've got a very busy one-year-old who requires my attention.
Enjoy experimenting and see what changes you notice.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much! I've been on vacation so I just checked this the other day and I've been devouring all the information from all the sites you recommended. What a coincidende that The Nourishing Gourmet was doing a special look into the subject. Lots of great info and I feel like I'm starting to understand even more than I was expecting. Thank you so much for your help!