Updated: Jan 10
So why should we soak our beans and lentils before consuming? They are delicious to eat, important in our diets but they have a bad reputation of being gaseous and hard-to-digest. Basically, Vata aggravating.
The root cause of this lies in the bean and lentils outer covering, which contain anti-nutrients such as lectins and phytic acids that make the food difficult to digest. These anti-nutrients are a natural protective device that seeds use as insecticides to protect themselves from sun radiation, insects, and invasions from fungi, viruses and bacteria. Also, this protective covering allows these foods to be stored for long periods without them turning rancid or going bad.
Soaking your beans and lentils mimics the natural germination process, therefore transforming the seed that is indigestible into a food that is full of easy-to-access nutrients. So in the evening while cleaning down from dinner or preparing meals for tomorrow, put your chosen pulse or grain in a bowl and cover with cool, filtered water. Allow to sit overnight, drain, rinse and cook well. In addition, as you cook them, scrape impurities and bubbles off of the water to further eliminate the anti-nutrients. Add to your daal or soup and enjoy the benefits this wonderful food has to offer!
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