25 Mar

Nourishing Traditions: Soaked Rice

Soaking grains and legumes is an ancient practice that has a true nutritional benefit.  Sally Fallon talks about the benefits of soaking grains and legumes in her great book, Nourishing Traditions, which I highly recommend.  It’s a complicated subject that you can spend weeks researching, but suffice to say that soaking rice before cooking it neutralizes the “anti-nutrients,” such as phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors, which naturally occurs in the raw rice and make it harder for us to digest.  Soaking and sprouting of grains and legumes also renders the grain or legume more nutritious, because soaking starts the germination process which produces Vitamin C and increases the B Vitamins content.  Soaking and sprouting also inactivates aflotoxins, which are potent carcinogens found in grains.

All this benefit, and the only thing we need to do is soak.

Rice is an easy grain to soak, since it has lower levels of phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors.  Sally Fallon recommends soaking rice for 7 hours (although overnight or 24 hours would be even more beneficial).  The great thing about a 7 hour soaking time frame is that you can decide in the morning to serve rice with your dinner meal, and simply set it up to soak during the day.  You can even do this in a few minutes in the morning before you go to work.  As a bonus, soaked rice tastes exactly the same and it even cooks a little faster, so there’s really nothing but upsides to soaking.

Simply take your pot, and add the amount of rice you’d like to make.  I typically make 1 1/2 cups of rice for a family meal for six people.  This usually leaves me with some leftovers that I love to have…because that rice can be made into rice pudding and served to a hungry kid with almond milk, cinnamon and stevia, or it can be thrown in an omelette in the morning for a favorite change-up on the breakfast scene.


The rule for rice is 2:1 water to rice ratio.  Since I’m using 1 1/2 cups of rice, I’ll add 3 cups of water to soak the rice.  Of course I’m using clean, filtered water from my Berkey water filter, and maybe you should be, too :).  

IMG_0935Next you simply add a a little fat and a little salt.  I’m always changing up which fat I’m using, depending on what’s for dinner:  if I’m serving fish, I might use butter.  If I’m making Mexican food, I might use avocado oil, etc.  I always use sea salt because it has the extra trace minerals that are so good for us.


Just pop the lid on the pan, and let it sit on the stove or countertop soaking for 7 hours or so.  Remember, even 2 hours soaking is better than none, so in a pinch just soak as long as you can if you make a last minute decision to make rice.


About 20 minutes before you’re ready to serve the rice, place the pot on high heat until the water boils.  Immediately reduce to low and  simmer, lid on, for 20 minutes.  Then remove from heat and your healthy rice is ready to serve!





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