...a God to serve...a family to love... a work to do...

Why Soak or Sprout Grains, Seeds, and Nuts?

It may seem, at first, like a chore, but I am here to tell you that soaking or sprouting your grains, seeds, and nuts is not as hard as you think. The hardest part is getting over that initial obstacle – finding a place for it in your routine and getting your head around the process. Just doing it one time will show you that it is not a big deal and can easily become part of your daily/weekly meal planning.

Before I refer you to the directions for how to accomplish the sprouting and/or soaking, let me tell you why it is important.

Raw nuts and seeds contain enzyme-inhibitors, which are neutralized by an overnight soaking in water. Nuts are easier to digest and nutrients more readily available, if they are soaked or partially sprouted. The soaking of seeds also encourages the production of beneficial enzymes.

Grains, in their outer layer, the bran, contain phytic acid. If the phytic acid is not broken down and neutralized through soaking (in water with an acid), it blocks our absorption of calcium, magnesium, copper, iron, and zinc. Diets high in untreated phytic acid lead to bone loss and mineral deficiencies. Additionally, soaking grains improves a grain’s overall digestibility, especially if it is a gluten-containing grain such as wheat, spelt, kamut, rye or barley.

My family’s experience with soaking and/or sprouting grains and nuts has been astounding. I’ll give you the biggest example. My daughter, A., who is gluten-sensitive, eats gluten-containing grains without any adverse symptoms – provided the grains are soaked or sprouted. This is amazing!

If you’re wondering how to accomplish these simple preparatory tasks, refer to these instructions/articles:

  • Sprouting Grains
  • Soaking Grains – along with a cooking chart
  • Soaking Nuts and Seeds – Put 4 cups raw nuts/seeds in a half gallon mason jar or glass bowl. Fill with filtered water and 1 tablespoon of sea salt and soak 8 hours or overnight. Drain. Use as is, or dehydrate at less than 105 degrees until crispy. Flax seeds and chia seeds are gelatinous and shouldn’t be soaked.

How can these foods be used? Sprouted grains can be used raw in essene breads and crackers or dehydrated and ground into flour and then turned into delicious baked goods. Soaked grains become what you’re used to eating already – pots of rice, or millet, or quinoa, or oatmeal, or muesli. Soaked nuts and seeds can be added into recipes wet. Or when dried, chopped up and added to recipes or eaten as a crispy snack.

If you have any questions, feel free to ask away!


  1. Charis Williams

    I have questions, you can email me the answer! Do most animals like sprouts? How long does it take to sprout? How long do they sit in water? What kind of things can’t you sprout? I need help! Can you answer these?????

    • Sylvia

      I’ll try to answer your questions here and then email you with the answers too.
      Do all animals like sprouts?
      Well….. I don’t know about all of them. The ones I have experience with that like sprouts are:
      cats, dogs, horses, cows, birds, chickens, geese, sheep.

      How long does it take to sprout?
      It depends on the seed you are trying to sprout. The alfalfa seeds I sprout take about a week but the mung beans only take 3-5 days.

      How long do they sit in water?
      That’s the thing, they don’t sit in water. You rinse them off in water, drain them and then allow them to sprout. You rinse them every day while they are sprouting but you don’t want them to sit in water.

      What kind of things can’t you sprout?
      I don’t know. Its probably easier to tell you what I do sprout:
      alfalfa, mung bean, sunflower, radish, broccoli, wheat, chia, lentils, arugula, barley, rye, lettuce and pumpkins.

  2. Tim

    If you are not to soak chia seeds how do you reduce the phytic acid in them? It is rather high (2%).

    • Sylvia

      Tim, some people do soak chia seed, so if you’d like to do it, I say go for it!

  3. Marg

    Hi Wardee, thank you for the info. What about grains that are already ground to flour? Should they be soaked? If so how?

    • Wardee

      Marg, yes, flours should be soaked. There are lots of “soaked” recipes on the internet, and just reading them or trying them will show you how to go about this. Here’s a recipe I have for soaked biscuits – either starting with sprouted flour, or using regular flour and soaking the dough: http://gnowfglins.com/2009/07/15/cinnamon-honey-spelt-biscuits-with-raisins/ .

      But normally, what happens is that you combine the flour and wet ingredients and leave it to soak overnight with an acid (Kombucha, yogurt, apple cider vinegar, etc.) and the next day, add the leavenings, and bake. Hope this makes sense. Have you read “Nourishing Traditions” ~ it has much info on this.

    • Charis Williams

      This is very help full! Your doing a great thing! 🙂