Whole grains and legumes. These are some of the hardest foods to digest, making it very difficult to benefit from the nutrients they contain. Yet they can add lots of vitamins and proteins to your diet.
Perhaps you even know to soak them first, or at least you’ve heard you should. But you may not know why, or for how long. You may not know that soaking techniques and neutralizers vary—what works for lentils doesn’t work for lima beans.
Sounds like a lot to take in, but the artful “Preparing Whole Grains & Legumes” chart created by chef and holistic Certified Nutritional Consultant Monica Corrado will show you how easy it is to put a traditional spin on the modern diet. This hand-illustrated visual aid breaks down everything you need to know:
- What to soak: From amaranth to aduki, you’ll find a comprehensive list of whole grains and legumes.
- How to soak it: Each grain and legume is followed by beautifully presented instructions for the ideal soaking medium, including neutralizers, as well as soaking time and cooking instructions.
- Why you should soak it: This traditional cooking technique eases the strain on our digestive system, unlocks vital nutrients, and may also prevent mineral deficiencies and bone loss.
Corrado explains that soaking grains and legumes neutralizes phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, otherwise known as “anti-nutrients.” Quite simply, these are anything that block the absorption of nutrients. Phytic acid, for example, can block the absorption of copper, calcium, magnesium, and zinc. Soaking grains and legumes also breaks down their complex proteins and sugars, ultimately making them easier to digest.
Monica Corrado’s 12×18-inch “Preparing Whole Grains & Legumes” chart is a laminated, hand-lettered, gorgeously illustrated, and totally functional piece of kitchen art. Even when you’ve committed everything to memory, you won’t want to take it down.
This chart is every bit as simple as the concept behind it: if you want to get all of the nutrients you can out of the food you eat, do your body a favor and get soaking.