Rice is a beloved staple of the Dominican Republic, and why shouldn’t it be? It’s delicious! But are you preparing your rice and other grains properly to make sure your body can make the most out of all their nutrients?
After some experimenting with the Paleo diet I’ve become a firm believer that whole grains are a great part of a healthy diet, the problem is that most of us don’t prepare them properly.
Whole grains contain a little something called phytic acid, an anti-nutrient that binds with minerals such as zinc, phosphorous, calcium and iron, preventing them from being absorbed by the body, and it also happens to be hard for the body to digest. In short, we’re not receiving the nutrients of whole grains if we don’t do something to get rid of the phytic acid.
Soaking your grains before cooking them is the easiest way to neutralize the phytic acid and release the enzyme inhibitors. Doing this makes them not only easier to digest, but also makes the nutrients more accessible to be absorbed by the body. Soaking also helps break down gluten in wheat, spelt, rye and barley.
All you need to do is cover your grains in fresh, filtered water the night before you plan on preparing them. But if you forget to do it the night before, even a few hours of soaking will help, but 8 hours is a great number to shoot for.
After you’ve covered the grains with water just let it sit on the counter at room temperature. If something comes up and you end up not cooking your grains when you intended don’t worry, just change out the water after 24 hours.
The only other thing to remember is that the longer you soak, the shorter the cooking time will be. When you’re done soaking make sure to rinse with filtered water and use less water when cooking, for example for 1 cup of white rice I usually use 1 1⁄2 cups of water. And you will need to check on them frequently to make sure they don’t over cook!
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Jacqueline Banks, who grew up in Casa de Campo, is a certified holistic health counselor and busy mother. Her focus is on helping other busy moms in all stages of motherhood keep themselves and families healthy and happy. She uses natural and organic solutions to solve individual health problems and promote clean living.
Check out her website at: www.jacquelinebanks.com