Ok guys. It’s time to talk nutrition.
For over year, I have been regularly soaking my grains, beans, nuts and seeds before eating or cooking them. Although it is not necessary, soaking does have its nutritional benefits. You see, most whole grains, nuts, seeds and beans have the power to grow into beautiful, strong and healthy plants after sprouting. To prevent them from sprouting in the first place, they all contain a naturally occurring substance called phytic acid, which inhibits mineral and vitamin absorption. Have you noticed that you can keep any pulse, grain or nut in your kitchen cabinet for months without them turning into a plant? Well my friends, that is because of phytic acid. So, what does soaking have to do with this? Well. Soaking grains, beans, nuts and seeds will switch on the sprouting process, whilst neutralising the phytic acid. This means two things. First, soaking will help your body to absorb all minerals and vitamins present in your grain, bean or whatever you are soaking. And second, your body will be better able to digest it.
Personally, I believe that it is important to alternate cooked meals with raw, uncooked meals to get enough nutrients in your diet. Soaking is a method which can be used to skip the cooking process. For example, some grains, such as buckwheat, require to be cooked before they can be eaten. However, soaking buckwheat groats will make them edible in their raw state. But even when you want to eat your grain or pulse cooked, soaking will substantially decrease the cooking time, which means more vitamins and minerals will stay intact than you cook them unsoaked. Either way, eaten raw or cooked after soaking, that’s what I call a win-win situation!
After soaking, it is important to thoroughly rinse your soaked grain or pulse to remove the phytic acid. So how long do grains, beans, nuts and seeds need to be soaked for? Well, of course this will depend on what type of grain, bean or whatever you want to soak. But usually around 10 hours, with a maximum of 24 hours. This means that it is ideal for overnight, before you go to bed! Tip: Adding a small amount of acidic liquid (such as apple cider, lemon or lime juice) to your soaking good will help break down phytic acid even more.
Now on to this recipe. This super seed bircher muesli is very nutrient dense as it makes use of the soaking method. Usually I make a big batch of it in one go so I can eat it a few mornings straight, without me worrying about soaking every single night.
So guys. What are you waiting for? Let’s get soaking!
(Makes 4 large or 6 smaller breakfasts)
• 200 grams of oats
• 4 tablespoons of chia seeds
• 750 ml plant-based milk (almond, rice, coconut) or water
• 20 grams / 1⁄4 cup of sesame seeds
• 40 grams / 1⁄4 cup of pumpkin seeds
• 40 grams / 1⁄4 of sunflower seeds
• 70 grams / 1⁄3 cup of buckwheat
• pinch of sea salt
• 250 grams of raspberries (can be substituted for any other berry, or a mix)
• 4-6 dates (without pit)
• 1 tablespoon cardamom
• Splash of milk (almond, rice, coconut, or normal)
• Raw Raspberry-Cardamom Jam
• A drizzle of honey or maple syrup
• Fresh fruit, such as berries and pear, sliced
1. The night before, combine the oats, chia seeds and sea salt, and let soak in your milk.
2. Combine all other seeds and add a tablespoon of lemon juice. Let soak overnight.
3. The morning after, rinse your soaked seeds thoroughly, and combine with the oats and chia seeds.
4. Using a (hand) blender, blend up the raspberries, dates and cardamom until smooth.
5. Measure out a fourth of the bircher muesli mixture into a bowl, and add your toppings.
6. Save the rest of the ingredients for other breakfasts during the week, or share with friends and family!