Sprouting is now a much recommended preparation for grains and legumes. The process of germination at the initial stages is able to reduce the amount of antinutrient substances inherent in these types of food and thus improve their nutritional profile. Sprouts have more of certain vitamins compared to seeds and the minerals become more bioavailable.
Soaking grains such as organic quinoa, amaranth or millet is a middle ground, a compromise between sprouting and cooking the grains unprepared. It is less effective in making the grains more nutritious and safer but at least you don’t have to plan your meal days ahead. Depending on the grain and other environmental factors, sprouting can take more than 24 hours. Then there’s the periodic draining and rinsing involved.
Soaked grains are still nutritious but they don’t have all the advantages of sprouts. Read on about the pros and cons of soaked organic quinoa, amaranth or millet (and be sure to also check out recommended soak times for beans, grains, legumes, nuts and rice).
Soaked Organic Quinoa, Amaranth and Millet Benefits:
While these three grains are known for having an almost complete array of proteins, a fact that sets them apart from other more common grains, they of course also provide other nutrients and benefits.
Manganese is one mineral that these three grains have in relatively high degrees. One cup of cooked millet can supply about 23% of the body’s daily need for this nutrient. Quinoa is higher with a 58% daily value. The really abundant source is amaranth, providing more than a 100% at the same serving.
The body may need only trace amounts of this mineral but it plays several important roles. As support against oxidative stress, it’s one of the substances that compose the antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD). In the area of physical growth, it’s needed in the production of connective tissues and bones. Other roles include normal nerve function and fat and carbohydrate metabolism.
As whole grains, quinoa, amaranth and millet are naturally rich in dietary fiber. In 100 grams of either quinoa or amaranth, there are 7 grams of fiber available. Millet is a bit more variable and depends on the type. Barnyard millet seems to be highest with 10 grams for every 100. Whole grains, including these three, are typically considered as heart-protective because of the significant presence of soluble fiber in them. This is the kind of dietary fiber that can regulate blood sugar levels and lower cholesterol.
Soaked Organic Quinoa, Amaranth and Millet Risks:
As mentioned in the introduction of this post, soaking mitigates (but to a lesser degree than sprouting) some inherent substances in grains that prevent the body from fully absorbing nutrients or are potentially harmful. Lectins are a type of protein that belongs to the second category.
This substance is found everywhere in various forms: plants, animals and the human body. In plants, they’re found in significant amounts in the seeds or grains and serve the purpose of keeping them intact even when consumed by animals. Its danger to the human digestive system is that it can disrupt the intestinal lining and even hinder the natural repair mechanism.
The negative effects can range from irritable bowels to a full autoimmune response. For some individuals who are highly-sensitive to grains and the lectin they contain, soaking them might not be a good enough safety measure.
Soaked Organic Quinoa, Amaranth and Millet Practical Uses:
Next to soaking, properly cooking organic quinoa, amaranth or millet can further reduce the harmful substances in them. To make things more convenient, you can always use a rice cooker just make sure you use the appropriate water-to-grain ratio:
- 1 – 2 cups water to 1 cup quinoa
- 2 – 3 cups water to 1 cup amaranth grains
- 2 cups water to 1 cup millet
In South Asian cuisine, millet is often ground to flour and used to make several types of flatbread, a staple in that region. To turn soaked millet grains (quinoa and amaranth as well) into flour, you naturally need to dry them. Just stick them into a dehydrator or in the oven after rinsing them from the soak. Ground the dried grains into a fine powder through a coffee grinder or food processor. From there you can proceed to make flatbread or any other relatively gluten-free baked goods.
In the next post, I’ll tell you the pros and cons of regular oats in your quest to Become Superhuman.
In the meantime, if you care to jump ahead, here is a complete listing of the grains and legumes on Superhuman Food Pyramid:
• GMO Corn
• Soy Nuts
If you have questions, comments or feedback about the pros and cons of soaked organic quinoa, amaranth or millet the Superhuman Food Pyramid, this website, or other aspects of Becoming Superhuman, then leave your thoughts below, as well as any tips you have on the pros and cons of soaked organic quinoa, amaranth or millet.