Grain Prep 101


There are 3 options to choose when preparing grains (and beans, nuts, seeds) properly – you can soak, sprout, orsour leaven. The 3 S’s. You don’t have to do all three, you just have to choose one, and once you get the hang of it, it’ll be easy peasy lemon squeezy…

Do you have to soak, sprout, or sour leaven EVERY SINGLE TIME? No. Like I talked about earlier, it’s important to live the 80/20 rule and avoid stress when it comes to eating. I’m giving you the education and instead of feeling overwhelmed you’re going to take this knowledge and slowly start incorporating these principles before you eat grains, beans, nuts, or seeds. You are NOT going to freak out and start crying, or run around your house and throw all your food out your back door, or drive your car into a tree. Just be cool, okay?

Beans are budget-friendly. They are a great extender to any meal. The best way to prepare beans or legumes is to soak it first for 8-12 hours on your kitchen counter covered in water with a tablespoon of an acidic medium such as apple cider vinegar, whey, yogurt, or lemon. (This is also in the order of my fav acidic mediums to use. Sorry lemon, you’re just not my fav as a soaking acidic medium.) Soaking with a tablespoon of an acidic medium simply helps release that phytic acid. And bonus, no more need for Beano! Gas isn’t an issue in beans that have been soaked before cooking. Apparently the magical fruit doesn’t make you toot after all. After soaking, pour off the water, rinse your beans and cook like normal, except your cooking time will be cut in half.

Nuts & Seeds can be budget-friendly as well if purchased in bulk and stored in the freezer. Before consuming however, they offer your body optimal nutrition and easy digestion if you soak for 8-12 hours in plain filtered water on your kitchen counter. If I’m having yogurt with nuts or oatmeal with nuts for breakfast or using nuts as a topper on pancakes or crepes that morning, I simply start a handful of nuts soaking before I go to bed the night before. You can also soak nuts, drain and dehydrate to store in your freezer as ready to go.

Grains are also budget-friendly and easy to purchase in bulk. They also store well because of all those anti-nutrients. Grains are divided into two categories — GLUTEN grains and NON-GLUTEN GRAINS. Those who are sensitive or allergic to gluten tend to avoid those gluten grains (and also try to convince everybody of their horrible-ness) but what many gluten-free people don’t realize that if they just prepared their gluten grains properly, they may notice they aren’t sensitive to gluten at all. (Of course those who are allergic should take care when introducing gluten grains back into their diet)


  • Wheat berries which are ground into wheat flour with a grinder   Wheat has a bit of a history. Today’s wheat is a hybrid wheat, but not to be confused with GMO. Hybrid means that a special variety was formed by combining certain characteristics in other grains. It’s a natural method of producing a new variety, but it doesn’t come without its drawbacks. Today’s wheat has a stronger stalk, but higher amounts of gluten and more anti-nutrients. This is why many people who have an intolerance to wheat will try older heirloom varieties such as Spelt, Emer, & Einkorn instead. I really love the taste of Spelt, but it is not cheap. We stick with wheat and prepared it many different ways depending on the recipe. We will soak wheat flour overnight in recipes such as muffins, biscuits, pancakes, etc. We will also use soaked methods or sour leavening methods to bake bread. And finally, we will use already sprouted flour we store in our freezer for last minute baking. Of course we’re not perfect and have been known to buy a loaf of crusty artisan bread from the health store.
  • Barley, Kamut & Rye (These are other gluten grains that can be used to make bread, although I’ve only had experience with Barley. They are all great to use, just be sure to prepare them properly)


  • Oats, Rice, Quinoa, Buckwheat, Amaranth, Millet, Kasha, Teff don’t inherently have gluten in them, but they still are a grain and therefore still need preparation.
  • As for corn, it was traditionally prepared by soaking in lime water for 2 weeks, and then it is ground up into a paste shaped into tortillas, fried into chips, or mixed with lard and made into tamales. Because organic corn is expensive & making homemade properly prepared corn products are time-consuming, we buy in bulk and use it mostly to make popcorn (in that case, it’s not prepared properly) or we grind the corn in our grain mill to make cornmeal to be used in a soaked corn muffin recipe.



And finally, if you are looking for a guide to all other grains,beans, nuts & seeds and their soaking times, check out this awesome infographic here…

How are ya’ doing? Are you ready to start preparing your grains properly?  Because it’s the cool thing now. Or I guess I should say it’s always been the cool thing, it’s just that now you actually get to be part of the club!

Source – WeedemanReap