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Why I Don’t Soak Grains

Why I Don’t Soak Grains

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To soak or not to soak grains?! Why I am bucking tradition and have decided not soak grains for our family.

I’ve needed to write on this topic for a while.  Back in August, I wrote a post about soaking grains. It was basically an overview of why to do it and how to do it.

In the Beginning

When I first started out on this whole foods journey, I felt like I needed to do everything…everything. So, soaking grains just fit right in that category. I just started doing it because “everyone else was doing it.” And I guess you know how that saying goes. But, something you’ve probably figured out about me already is that I like to swim upstream. I’m not going to swim downstream just because everyone else is doing it.

All of a sudden, I felt this burden about soaking grains. It took extra time…sometimes I would forget and then I’d feel bad. I felt like I was all alone – everyone else in the entire whole-foods world was soaking…except Stacy. So, I hid in the grain closet. I didn’t really tell anyone unless they asked. And some of you DID ask.

Aside from the extra burden of soaking grains, I felt somewhat of a spiritual burden…I actually felt like God wanted me to research this topic and see what there really was to say so that I could tell people about it. You know what?  I told God no. I told him I wouldn’t tell people that I didn’t soak grains…and I wouldn’t tell them that for me it was somewhat of a spiritual issue.

You know why I said no? I was afraid. I told Barry that people would burn me at the stake…I’d get lots of nasty comments and people would shun me.  I was scared to go against the flow. I’ve done tons and tons of reading on the subject – hours and hours of time. I’ve found that while I have no issue with people that want to soak, if you ever mention that you don’t do it, the comments are not always very nice.

To soak or not to soak grains?! Why I am bucking tradition and have decided not soak grains for our family.

Stacy Comes Clean

But then Laura from Heavenly Homemaker posted her same thoughts on the matter and I felt the biggest relief I’ve felt in a long time…a BIG blogger was voicing her same confusion. I felt the push from God again, and this time I’m not saying no.

Am I saying soaking grains is wrong? Nope. Am I saying that not soaking grains is the only way to go? Nope. I’m saying that there is TOO MUCH CONFLICTING INFORMATION for anyone to say that soaking grains is a must-do.

At first, the only information I could find about soaking grains led back to one source…one. Sure, lots of different people would say it, but if you followed it back to the source it was always from a certain book and author (whom I won’t name here to avoid being strung up by the closest tree).

My thoughts and feelings about how I eat is tied to how I think God wants me to live. He created good foods for me to eat – and I think His Word gives us a pretty clear path as to how we should eat. Because I do have a Biblical stance about food, I really like to read what Sue Becker  has to say in the matter.

To soak or not to soak grains?! Why I am bucking tradition and have decided not soak grains for our family.

Information To Cover My Butt

Sue has lots of information to back up the fact that she thinks soaking grains is un-necessary. You might want to read up on it yourself and really make your own decision…instead of just jumping on a band-wagon. Sue states (with backup research) that phytic acid is actually good for you. And through other research, I’ve found that soaking doesn’t reduce phytic acid enough to even bother with the process…if you wanted to rid yourself of the phyic acid in the first place. Some even say that the body, through digestion, reverses the process of soaking anyway. See my reason for conflict?

Phytic Acid: Friend or Foe by Sue Becker

Whole Grain Goodness by Sue Becker

Phytic Acid in Grains by Nutrition Diva

Where We Stand Now

I realize I’m one of the few people in the entire world that’s bucking this method. But, I’ve done my research for my family. We saw absolutely no difference in how we felt when I soaked versus when I didn’t soak grains. It only added an extra step for me…and in fact, we didn’t even care for the texture of the bread after it was soaked. The only difference we saw was when we switched to fresh ground flour –period.

Some people say they can’t eat grains without soaking them – their body can’t handle it. That has not been the case for us. For them, if soaking makes them feel better then I think it’s great they do it! But, I don’t think it’s for everyone.

For us, it makes sense to feed our family whole grains. Whole grains are better than white flour. God made wheat for us to eat, and he even mentions it in His word…and guess what? No soaking was involved that I can find:

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry and began to pick some heads of grain and eat them.” Matthew 12:1

*It should be noted that I used this verse to show that Jesus did indeed eat grain, but my reference here is to show that even Jesus went against what “everyone” else said he should do.

Later I want to write more about why we still eat bread when almost everyone else in the entire world will say that you should avoid it.

To soak or not to soak grains?! Why I am bucking tradition and have decided not soak grains for our family.

Comment Policy: I love hearing your thoughts and input on what I write. Since I write about what works at my house, what pleases my handsome hubby and darling children; I'm sure we'll disagree sometimes. In those cases, do what's right for you and yours. As with any form of communication, please only post comments that move the discussion in a positive direction.

About Stacy

Stacy is the author of Crock On: A Semi-Whole Foods Slow Cooker Cookbook and Keep Crockin': A Poorganic Slow Cooker Cookbook, and a stay-at-home and homeschooling mom to her three children, Annie (June 2009), Andy (August 2012) and Eli (September 2014). After an “awakening” in March 2011, her family switched to a more natural, whole foods diet. She likes to blog about how to live on less than you make and how to eat good food while doing it. Her passion is teaching others how to save money and she tag teams with her husband in this endeavor. At Stacy Makes Cents you’ll find information on how to save money in the kitchen, how to have fun with your kids, and how to be thrifty in all areas of life. Her passion is teaching others how to live debt free. Make sure to follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Pinterest and more to keep up with her daily antics.


  1. I actually don’t soak grains, either, because I haven’t gotten around to trying it yet. I did soak beans once, and we *could* tell a difference in that.

  2. So glad you “came clean” about not soaking grains! When I first started on our own healthier-food journey, I too felt obligated to soak them. And we didn’t like the bread either! I was becoming overwhelmed with having to soak everything (and planning ahead in order to have soaked rice, etc for dinner the next day) that I gave up. I decided it wasn’t worth stressing about and we really didn’t notice any differenc in the way we felt either. And the bread was being wasted time and again because no one liked it. So I felt that I was being more wasteful and legalistic than nurturing my family. Anyways, I am glad we conquered our guilt on this topic!! :)

  3. I must admit that I have felt guilty about not soaking grains, even though we don’t grind our own flour. I really look forward to reading your post about bread.

  4. I stopped making bread on a regular basis because I couldn’t find the time to soak/remember/get a good recipe for large batches.

    I’ve been set free.

    Thank you very much.

  5. Thank you! I has used whole grains for a few years now but haven’t gotten on the band wagon to soak yet. Thank you for your useful article relieving me of my guilt for not soaking. There are more people like you out there who feel the same way. I’m not saying one day I won’t do some soaking but it does take extra time and it is not something I would feel that I have to do every time.

    By the way is the book that you are avoiding mentioning Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon?

  6. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I have felt this way for awhile now and, like you, felt guilty about it. I didn’t want people to think that I was one of THOSE people who didn’t care enough about her family to do the RIGHT thing and soak them grains. It became such a hassle that we went without a lot of foods because I kept forgetting to prep the night before. Then I read those same articles by Sue Becker. Honestly, I could have hugged her. I do have 2 recipes that I soak and that is only because the taste is different if I don’t but I only make huge batches once a month so there is no pressure. You are doing your readers a great service by pointing out that there are different ways to go about whole foods eating. I, personally, love the biblical way. Thanks Stacy!

    • How can we ever go wrong with the Biblical way? :-) I also have a soaked recipe that we LOVE (Overnight Baked Oatmeal)…but I don’t feel any pressure if I don’t get it soaked.
      Thank you, Tracy! Blessings to you today. :-)

  7. Tiffani Landis says:

    Thank you for this!!! I stopped soaking due to the mental anguish as well.:) I do soak beans because it really does seem to help my husbands digestion. We could all use a little grace when looking in someone else’s window. There just isn’t one right way to take care of your family. Blessings.

    • Yes, soaking beans is a must….unless you enjoy, um…well, toots.

      • Some questions regarding soaking beans! How long? Do you add anything to the water? After soaking, do you dump and rinse, then cook with fresh water, or, do you just cook in the same water?

        • I soak the way my mom always did. I cover with water before I go to bed…that’s all. Lots of water. In the morning I drain them and then cook them with some beef broth…or sometimes ham broth if I’m feeling froggy. :-)

  8. We don’t soak either Stacy.

  9. Thanks Stacy! I’ve not gotten around to the soaking grains with making bread as I’m still trying to learn the bread making process and switching everyone to whole grain slowly. We are almost there! Thanks for saying it’s okay as I’ve been stressing myself out that we weren’t doing what everyone else was!

    • I’m a fish that swims upstream. :-) I think you’re doing great, making a gradual switch. If you try to go whole hog, you’ll quit. :-)

  10. Veronica says:

    My friend and I were just talking about this … how there’s so much information out there, and you will always find info to support & deny any topic. Just figure out what works best for you & your family, what you’re comfortable with and believe in, and don’t worry about what others think!
    I watched a webinar about soaking & sprouting grains, I’ll have to go look at my notes again!

    Have you done any posts about 100% whole grains versus 100% whole wheat? Just curious :)

    • No…I haven’t done too much research on the topic. All I know is that when we switched to grinding our own grains (whole grains) that Barry and Annie both experienced a positive change in health. Barry hasn’t needed to visit a specialist since. That says enough for me. :-)

      • Veronica says:

        That’s great! And it’s in line with what I’ve heard about whole wheat not being digested as easily as whole grains.

        • Isn’t it funny how many different takes there are on EVERYTHING? You see all the time how doctors tell you to eat your whole wheat!! :-) Good grief.

  11. Thank you, Stacy! I also read Laura’s post with liberating interest, and I’m so glad to hear there is plenty of support for you, as well. :) I just cannot find the time for everything. We all do the best we can, and some things make more of a difference for some of us than others, so that’s what we need to focus on, especially when there are food sensitivities involved.

    I’m glad Kay mentioned the book, I wondered… I will confess that I think SF has a lot of useful information in NT, and I don’t necessarily think she’s wrong, usually she’s spot on, but there are a few things where her cost benefit analysis does not match mine. Soaking held dubious benefits for me, so we do the easy stuff that still tastes good, such as oatmeal, and skip the rest. Milk is another. While I do think the benefits are there, I also think the risks are higher than she acknowledges, and that is not okay for my family, so we obtain organic, grass-fed, non-homogenized milk, simply pasteurized milk.

    Thank you for taking a risk and “outing” yourself. It helps the rest of us “rebels” feel a little more comfortable knowing we are not alone! :) Thanks for all you do!

    • I’ve been a rebel since Day 1…..but I used to hide most of my orneriness on here. :-) Now, I’m just letting it all hang out. LOL
      The only issue I have with SF isn’t her….it’s the people that follow her and almost give her god status. That’s quite alarming to me.

  12. Applauds to you, Stacy! You do what works for your family :)

    • We have to take care of OUR family…who cares what the neighbors do? Unless of course, the neighbors are letting their cats poop all over our yard…but that’s a moot point.

  13. Thank you, thank you, thank you! It’s such a relief to know that I’m not the only ‘rebel’. Soaking does seems to help me, but does nothing for the rest of my family. So sometimes I soak (usually pancakes or other things that I can manage to make actually taste good and have good texture)but usually bake like normal. And there is no way that I can keep a sourdough starter alive while making sauerkraut, kefir, kombucha, yogurt and every last food that we eat from scratch all while homeschooling, being supportive of hubs’ projects, and all else that life involves. Other women ARE able to do more than I do but I am choosing to do what God gives me the time and strength for. For a long time there after we started on the Real Food (isn’t it weird that we even feel that we must capitalize those words?) journey it was an idol to me and food held a place in my life that was really unbalanced. I did read those articles you posted a while ago but when I mentioned them at a chapter meeting (you know what organization I mean) I felt like a bug that wandered into a fire ant hill. Not pretty. So thank you…I feel like I can hold my head high again! lol

    • When you need a buddy to wander into your fire ant hill, you just give me a holler. :-) It is SO dangerous when food becomes our idol!!! That scares me pretty badly. Thanks, Laurie! Blessings to you and your family!!

  14. delloraine says:

    Thanks for sharing, I give you credit for at least trying grain soaking. We made the switch(after reading the afforeto referenced, unmentioned book)to baked bread and fresh ground flours, even unusual flours, but I have Never soaked. (oh the horror)Never seemed to remember to do it Before I was ready or needed to bake. We use keifer and raw milk, but I don’t make my own butter. We rarely eat out and we all pack our lunches. There are only so many hours in a day and we pick the best things to spend our time and money on. So far all of our changes have been good ones and they work for us. You are NOT the only one and I can tell you that among our social circle, we are the odd “foodies”. Many of my friends still cook from boxes and eat fast food several times a week. I don’t judge them and I don’t judge you. I have my own opinions on just about everything and I respect other peoples’ right to an opinion. Thank you for your honesty and your credibility. I enjoy spending my time reading your opinions.

    • :-) I like your take on life. Why should we spend our time judging others anyway? It’s just a total waste of time….

  15. Love this post, I think you touch on an even larger issue: It seems that if you question any of the research/facts behind the author and book in question, her followers will attack you with incredible vitriole. I bought the book after hearing so much about it this past fall. While there was some interesting information in it, I was not thrilled with the strident tone or what I felt was questionable research behind it. I was going to write a review on Amazon, then realized that other reviewers who had aired similar views were absolutely demonized. I went to the related website to this book and read some of the author’s other papers. Again, the writing was so strident and extreme in tone, that I’m not surprised that her followers have adopted a similar attitude when responding to criticism of her work. In this “real food” movement, there is so much conflicting information out there that people *should* question the science and trust their own judgement. (Remember, we were once told how *good* margarine was for us!) And they should be able to air their opinion without being demonized or fearful of reprisals.

    • Maureen, I have noticed the exact same thing…and it’s why I put this post off for so long. The fear was hard to overcome. Being a blogger really leaves me open for BIG criticism.
      We should always question everything. If we don’t, how will we have an answer for those who ask us? :-)

  16. I am so glad you went ahead with this post. I decided not to soak mine as well, for several reasons. I didn’t really do too much research on the matter like you did, but honestly I felt like it was hard to soak them in the first place. Everytime I tried to do it it just ended up like a ball of dough, which was difficult to work with later! I just said whatever, it’s better than white flour and called it a day. Sometimes, you have to pick and choose your battles! I will always eat grains and bread too – simply because I don’t feel good if I leave them out (always hungry, weird digestion issues).

    • Our digestion is BAD when we don’t eat bread….really bad. When we go out of town and don’t eat much grain, we feel it. Barry comes home and says “Please make me some bread now!” :-) Thanks for commenting, Rachel. I appreciate it!

  17. I’m looking for a tree to string you up in…..but I can’t find one large enough for both of us! LOL

    We must weigh out these decisions for our individual families. NOT just because everyone else is doing it. We must be sensitive to what God is leading US to do not what he’s leading Susie Blogger to do.

    The whole “real food journey” can be very overwhelming. It seems like no matter what you do it’s not good enough. There’s always one more step that better.

    Doing your own research and asking the Lord to show you what he wants you to do is key.

    I so appreciate your honest!

  18. A little bit off topic but, if you think not soaking grains is controversial, try saying that you don’t eat grains – AT ALL! My husband is diabetic and we found that the easiest way to lower his carb intake was to eliminate grains, legumes.sugar and very limited amounts of fruit. Wow!!! Talk about having to deal with a family that just doesn’t see how you can survive without those things. I get tired of having to justify our lifestyle while I don’t criticize theirs of processed food, low fat, high carbs. Ugh! We eat a very well rounded, healthy, whole food diet and we’ve never felt better or had more energy. We get our nutrients from the foods we DO eat so we don’t have to worry about the ones we DON’T eat. I say that if not soaking grains or not eating them in the first place is the “worst” offense in our eating styles, then we’re still light years ahead of what the average American eats today and we should be proud of it!

    • Becky, when you have health issues you just have to do what you have to do. :-) I think eating bread in moderation is just fine – otherwise Jesus would not have called himself the BREAD of life. However, that thought doesn’t apply to those who just can’t eat bread.
      Cutting out all those foods for the sake of health is a big deal…you’re one strong lady. :-) GREAT comment!

  19. We don’t soak grains either although we do grind our own flour. I tried soaking them and my family just didn’t like the taste or texture and I found I was wasting precious ingredients. It was killing this frugalite to throw away food. So I said to heck with it. Thanks for a great post!

  20. My story is so similar to yours Stacy. I stressed myself out about it big time when we first started eating whole foods, but I slowly got over it and haven’t soaked my grains for over a year now. I do like to use sourdough though for some things, because it tastes AMAZING! :)

    • It is funny how each family is different. :-) We don’t care for the taste of too many sourdough things – we do like sourdough pancakes, waffles, and English Muffins though! :-) Love ya Mindy!!!

    • Mindy, we like sourdough too. I just can’t ever keep mine alive. You should do a really long detailed series in this. Just for me.

      • Leigh Ann…..I have a hard time believing you can’t keep something alive. I mean, you DO have a baby and a dog. That says a lot.

  21. You know, I don’t think God cares if you soak your grains, or bake your own bread, or go gluten free, or eat Wonderbread straight out of the store. I get so very tired of the falsehood that we are what we eat. A lot of people are just food fetishists slapping holiness on their preferred food hang-ups. Jesus said the opposite. It’s not what goes into the mouth that defiles a man, but what comes out. Also, out of the fullness of the heart the mouth speaks.

    You know why I don’t soak my grains? I don’t have time. I bake my bread when I can, but most of the time, I grab a loaf of Nature’s Own at Walmart and call it a day. So there ya go. 😉

  22. Whoah, Stacy! You bit this bullet! Good for you. I have contemplated doing a very similar post on my own blog, definitely going to now. My reasons are all the same as yours, especially the one about the single source of information. It irritates me when I see bloggers state emphatically that every culture around the world has historically always soaked their grains… I have not found evidence for that ANYwhere outside of the one commonly quoted source. Porridge-type foods are the only ones I’ve found that are historically and traditionally soaked, not breads or other baked foods. So if I ever soak anything, it’s grains for hot cereal. That’s it. I’m with you on the bread/grains consumption, too. I find this current fascination with Paleo/GAPS/grain-free diets to be disturbing, especially because proponents of those diets have the same attitude you referred to here – one that attacks anyone who chooses to do differently.

    • Anne, let’s stick together okay? :-) I too looked high and low. I cannot find ANYTHING (other than the mentioned source) that states that traditional cultures soaked. It’s quite odd…and I find it very disturbing.

  23. The truth shall set you free, and apparently, a lot of others too. We hated soaked bread. Beans and rice we soak because we prefer the taste and …errrr …effects. *ahem*

  24. Wow, fantastic post! I have been slow in getting into soaking because I too have been unsure that this is really the best path for me. Funny how you linked to Bread Bekkers. I live in GA and have been wanting to go there forever. I don’t think that all cultures soaked traditionally. There was just no time for that! I’m going to ask my grandma when I go visit her (she cooked traditionally in Siberia) and I am counting on a funny look when I do!

  25. Maybe God doesn’t have clear instructions on whether we should soak grains or not, but He does make it pretty clear that we should take care of our “temples”. I am pretty sure that any processed food does more damage than good to our “temples”. BUT, that said, we should be listening to His Holy Spirit in our hearts regarding what we eat and what is right for each of us individually. We can’t just do or eat whatever we want and not end up with consequences. It is a principle. Sure, food is not going to defile your heart, but a lot of what we have available today is for sure going to defile your body.
    Stacy, wouldn’t you agree that eating fresh, live grain from the plant, like the disciples did is quite different than the dried up version? I have done a lot of reading on sprouting and soaking whole grains (not a flour product) and soaking actually starts that sprouting process, making the grain once again a live, growing thing. The vitamin, mineral and enzyme content increases dramatically, too. We do try to soak our whole grains, mostly for hot cereal in the morning. I know, cooking them kills a lot of that, but the digestibility is much better for us and the nutrition content is still higher.

    • I’m not an expert on the subject…I’ve just been doing a lot of reading. :-) Is fresh better than dried food? I’m not 100% sure…drying is just a way to preserve food. You can eat dried fruit without soaking it. I do know that soaking may start the sprouting process, but it doesn’t finish it.
      If you’re referring to the fact that some say that the grain in the field had already begun to sprout, Sue talks about that in her Phytic Acid article.
      It doesn’t actually say in the Bible passage that the grain that Jesus and his disciples ate was fresh and green. It just states that they were in the “grain field.” Perhaps it had already been tied up to dry for storage.
      Then Jesus goes on to say that his disciples were just hungry…and David also fed his men from the food of the temple which was really taboo – hence going against what “everyone else said.”
      In the New Testament, Jesus declared all foods “clean.” Does that mean that we should all be eating HoHos and Ding Dongs? No…we should take care of our bodies – but that is relative to everyone. Our family eats a very healthy diet, but I don’t have a cow if we eat out and enjoy a burger on a white bun.
      If soaking is better for your family, I think that’s fabulous! :-) All I am saying is that there is not only one way to do things….too much conflicting evidence has led me to this conclusion. It’s a decision that each one of us has to make. Thanks Melissa! :-)

      • While I do agree with you, I think it’s important to remember that junk/processed food is not “food.” It is comprised of many manmade chemicals, created in a lab. When God said that all foods were clean, He really was talking about true forms of food that were made by His hands! Chemical lab “food” does not fall into that category 😉

        • Agreed. I don’t think I stated here that processed food was food? I believe it falls in the 20% of the 80/20 principle. But, I also believe that Christ had the foreknowledge to know when he said those words that this would be a struggle later on with people. :)

  26. Hi Stacy, I recently stumbled across your website while researching coupons and I just can’t get enough of it…you have a new follower! I thought it was time to stop stalking and introduce myself and this entry just screamed for me to comment. I could not agree with you more and I know that it is more important to follow God’s leading then to jump on a band wagon. Two years ago I was diagnosed with IBS. I was told that I needed to eat a lot of soluble fiber. It is mostly found in oatmeal (which I eat a lot of) but also things like white flour, potatoes and white rice (not brown). Ugh, all the things I was trying to cut out of my diet. I was also to be careful with not eating too much fruit…WHAT! But I can’t question that this is where God has me right now…and guess what? I’ve had little to no IBS flare ups since I changed my eating habits…go figure.

    • Yay!! I’m glad to hear you’re feeling better! And I’m also glad to meet you. :-)
      PS – We hate brown rice and only eat white Basmati. 😉

  27. A couple of weeks ago I actually laid awake at night feeling like a failure because I had made homemade bread that day and hadn’t soaked it. I thought it was a reflection on taking care of my family. The next day I woke up and realized I made my family homemade bread and that was enough! It is way too easy to put too much pressure on ourselves to do every whole food crazy thing. I do soak many things- but I am going to lighten up on myself now. I haven’t read the articles that you linked to yet but I will- Thanks. :)

    • Isn’t it sad what we women put ourselves through? I’m done with the guilt…life is too short to spend it feeling guilty! I’d rather go around with a smile on my face and joy in my heart. Thank you Katrina!!

  28. When I saw this post I thought ‘Yeah STACY! I’m so proud of you, and wanted to come tell you right away. But, I read the post first 😀 since that just makes sense.’ I enjoyed reading it. I’ve not done a ton of research into it, just the links you gave me a while back. I soak sometimes, because I think there is some benefit to it, but not that I’m gonna die if I don’t. If I find that soaking allows me to eat gluten when otherwise I can’t (still not sure on the results of this elimination diet) I will occasionally.

    I love reading your posts, but I will avoid the one about bread for the next couple of weeks :D.

    • :-) I probably won’t post it for the next few weeks….my docket is full. You’re the reason I wrote this, ya know.

  29. Thank you so much for this post! I do soak oatmeal (your recipe), but like you told Tracy, if I don’t get around to soaking the oatmeal…it’s no big deal. There are still only 24 hours in a day! LOL. I’m sure you feel very relieved that all of this is off your chest now!

  30. Andrea Nagel says:

    Wow, I am so glad to see I am not the only one to have struggled with this. I tried soaking flour for braed and muffins but they tasted yucky. I could only get the squirrels to eat the leftovers. I resorted to buying bags of sprouted wheat flour instead but it’s a bit pricey. I am curious to know what the benefits of grinding wheat at home is? I have been given an electric grain mill a long time ago as a gift that is never used. I thank you for pointing out that it’s more important to eat asgod intended, point blank.

    • I really don’t think God would give us grain (which He states in His Word is a blessing) and then say “Oh wait! It’s not good for you this way. You have to soak it first.” If that were the case, don’t you think it would be somewhere in His instruction book?
      PS – I wish I had squirrels!

  31. thank you so much for posting this. I have not had time/energy to put into the research of soaking grains and thus have not tried it. I usually just buy some really REALLY good multi-grain bread when its on BOGO at our local grocer [i LOVE this bread]. otherwise we just have rolls or whatnot made from scratch from wheat flour. We eat as healthy as we can and attempt to grow some veggies :) seems the only thing I CAN grow is babies. lol I have cut out most processed foods and cut back on the amount of sugar we consume, but if it isnt yummy, even I wont eat it! so we are just picking and choosing what works for us and learning about nutrition and what our bodies need. this past 8 months has been a time of great change in our family nutrition and I love it! my kids LOVE the baked oatmeal [from here] and the granola bars… they wont touch store bought ones or regular cooked oatmeal but they ask for both of these with great frequency! yeah :) I enjoy your blog. Thanks for sharing all you’ve learned!

    • Oh, that just tickles me pink! :-) I think it sounds like you’re doing a fabulous job! Keep up the good work, mama!

  32. You’re in Smythe County! I didn’t catch that. We’re only a couple of hours away from you. I’m in Boone. Howdy, neighbor!

    • AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!! Boone rocks! :-) If I ever go, I’ll give you a holler! Been one time since getting married – to the casino. *Cough*

  33. I am so encouraged by all this positive feedback! It is not very often that you can look through the comments and not even find one negative nelly!
    I don’t soak much either. It is all I can do to take care of all the house duties, homeschool and make as much as I can from scratch! Thank you for your post and the attached articles. I appreciate the lessening of my guilt :)

  34. I have never soaked my grains. It seemed like to much extra work. I am a big fan of Laura ~ Heavenly Homemaker and loved her post on not soaking. Thanks for the great information. Diane ~


  36. After my seventh baby, the only thing I still soak is the occasional too-smelly-to-hug kid in the tub. Stand tall, girl!

  37. Thank you! I too found Laura’s post freeing. I sometimes soak my pancakes and one muffine recipe, but other than that we are doing it a little more simply here!

  38. Thanks so much, Stacy! We have a very similar story. I too began soaking a few years ago, but with 4 kids, I was feeling overwhelmed. I was in the kitchen constantly, and something had to give. I felt very guilty about not soaking my grains anymore, but then I read Sue Becker’s article on Heavenly Homemakers! It opened my eyes to the lack of evidence to it being crucial to our health! I also love how she pointed out the spiritual connection with bread and Jesus being “The Bread of Life”. We shouldn’t feel guilty for how we make it or if we eat it! Using real wholesome ingredients to make our families homemade, healthy, and delicious food is a wonderful thing! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, it encourages the rest of us that much more! :)

  39. Kate @ Modern Alternative Mama says:

    Have to say that we DO soak. :) I would like to mention Amanda Rose’s research, which is what a lot of my theory is based on. That, plus my children simply react badly if I don’t soak, and have no problems if I do. For my family, it would be soak or don’t eat grains. We soak. :) Just wanted to mention that in case anyone was interested in further research!

  40. I’m summing up my comments in one word, WHEW! 😀 (Okay, I lied, I’m adding to my comment…I love your blog, Stacy!)

  41. Good for you Stacey!!! I don’t have any nasty comments for you cause guess what…I don’t do it either!!!! Parenthood is hard enough thanks, we don’t need anyone else telling us what THEY think we are doing right or wrong. After having six kids,nursing 4 of them & bottle feeding 2….I have learned to develop a thick skin. You do what you can & hope your doing it right!!! Keep up the great work :)

  42. :) I tried the soaking a few times, but it was just too much for this mom of 2 young kids! I figure we eat much better then we used to so even if soaking was/is “better” leaving it out isn’t gonna kill us! I’d much rather focus on the big picture and work on things that make an immediate difference for us. My goal this summer is to stock up on natural remedies and stuff for next winter. Oh, and attempt canning for the first time. That is If I don’t kill my garden :p

    • Oooooh! Canning is so much fun! You’re going to love it! It’s a lot of work, but the reward is so awesome! :-)

      • I have been canning and freezing for, it seems, my entire life, and I’m 60. I grew up on a farm and alwayed helped my mom with the harvest. When I married and started having kids, I was up for the task of doing my own canning. I have been doing it ever since! It is so rewarding to go to the basement and bringing up from the fruit shelves or freezer what we are having to eat. I live in the city and no longer have a garden, but I found an organic farm that I help on every week. Wonderful produce! Yes, it is work, but so rewarding. Don’t give up:)

        • There is just something about seeing a shelf lined with canned foods that just fills up the heart with happiness. :-)

  43. I have two kids, 5th and 7th grades and I still feel like I don’t have time to always soak grains. I do sometimes, but I’m a terrible planner. When I make a sourdough recipe I plan it, and then plan ahead to get my recipe ready the night before. But normal soaking for everything? Nope. Not only is it the time issue, but like you, I wasn’t absolutely sure about it. Either way, since we don’t tend to have issues with bread, I haven’t worried about it too much.
    Good job getting that out there. I thoroughly enjoy your posts (and sense of humor too) and think that if we lived closer (I’m in WA state), we’d be fast friends. :-)

    Keep ’em coming.

  44. LOVE this post! You read my mind…or I read yours. We think alike in so many “food” ways…and it’s so refreshing! Let’s unleash food GRACE! Let’s break the chains of food SLAVERY! Praise the Lord!

  45. I am guilty of reading ‘that’ book. Lol It really is the only source, isnt it?
    I feel better physically and mentally eliminating white flour and white sugar but the pressure to soak everything and be that organized is not for me either. I am not a planner and also have 4 kids… I did however very much enjoy the soaked pancakes. I am not usually a fan, but these were great.
    I was just starting to feel the guilt this week, that i should get organized and start soaking again. Thanks for posting… I am heading over right now to see what Laura has to say.

  46. Thank you Stacey!!!
    I also have the same dilemma, and appreciate you sharing this.

  47. Considering that my grandma, and my great grandmas before her DIDN’T soak grains and just made food using basic, raw ingredients, I think that this is one of those things some people might need to help with their specific digestive issues. So unless you are shouting on a daily basis that YOU MUST SOAK GRAINS TO BE A XXX IN OUR MOVEMENT, then you should not be ashamed to be yourself. If those people say I’m XX and I soak but since you don’t you’re XX, it’s not the “movement” you need to be in. I’ve read cookbooks from CENTURIES (if I can get a link to it, I’ll send it to you, it’s AMAZING) past that didn’t soak grains. The ONLY time people soaked anything was to make it more palatable or to change it to use in a new food item (e.g. stale bread = bread pudding). Also, it’s great that you allow us to post a comment, but ya know what – listen to your hubby when he says DELETE THE HATERS.

    • So far…no haters. :-)
      But yes, I see no reason to soak unless you have health issues that require it. This bandwagon is staying in the driveway. 😉
      I would LOVE to see the cookbook you’re referring to!

  48. Our family does not soak grains…nope. I have way too many other important things that I have to remember to do than to have to remember to put on my To Do list to start soaking grains. And like you I feel that from God’s Word no mention of soaking grains. So don’t feel badly that you do not. We all need to do what we feel that God is putting on our hearts to do.

  49. Thanks for posting this, Stacy. My husband and I are making diet changes toward more wholesome foods, and I had come across the idea of sprouting grains, which I’m assuming is the same thing you’re talking about. I have fibromyalgia, depression, and a list of other problems that affect my ability to get things done, so I was feeling rather guilty about not trying the sprouted grain method. You have helped remove that burden from my shoulders. Again thank you!

    • Soaking and sprouting are similar but different. :-) I don’t do either…but you can buy already sprouted flour if you like. The purpose of both is the same – to reduce phytic acid….which I don’t find to be an issue for us. :-) Thanks Karen!

  50. You’re such a non-soaking rebel, Stacy! :)

    I’ve experimented with soaking, too. For now, things are hectic and I’m working and about to have a baby and I think that it’s just good that I’m making homemade whole grain bread, so I haven’t been soaking, either.

    I do find that I like the texture better when it’s soaked, but it’s nice to know that I’m not doing my family a disservice by being so lazy as to not soak my grains!

    Thanks for your honesty and for doing the research for us!

    We still eat bread, too…lots of it. Can’t wait to hear you thoughts!

  51. Thanks for relieving a lot of my guilt on this matter! I also stopped soaking for the same three reasons 1)time/ planning 2) bad texture 3) no noticeable benefit. I keep thinking I should try again, but knowing that other whole foodies don’t do it helps make my decision.

  52. Oh my goodness!! What a brilliant and honest post – I love it!! I’m a Nourishing Traditions fan, but I also live a young, urban, foodie life … and so there are some compromises I need to make and regular slip ups I enjoy making (desserts in restaurants). A lot of the time Ive tried to make connecitons with people that have been TOTALLY rejected… I think because Im viewed as a big of a half way house (or maybe they just dislike me :) ).

    Anyway – thanks for being so honest! I cant wait to explore the rest of your blog. I also (and I hope linking striaght to it isn’t REALLY bad form) wrote a post on my journey to real foods, over at Summer Tomato today. I’d love for you to read it.

    Thanks again dear!

  53. I think I really needed this.

    I would love to soak my breads. I would love to have oatmeal steeping in a big bowl on the counter Every. Single. Day. waiting to fill the bellies of my Manlings Every. Single. Morning. I would LOVE to convince the Men in My House that ALL THAT BREAD is really not as good for you as you’d think.

    I am the homeschooling mom of Four Manlings (ages 10 to 17) who are involved in a LOT. Some days the two older ones run out the door to VoTech with muffins in hand…usually from my old muffin recipes that I have NOT had time to update. My Hubby (God love the man) is having a hard enough time with the fact that I took his breakfast cereal away. (I told him he can have corn flakes and Fruity Pebbles back when he finds some with honey or molasses and no preservatives! LOL)

    I find it almost amusing that on my favorite “Traditional Foods” blog, this week’s topic was “Not Letting Your Food Become an Idol”. When is eating GOOD ENOUGH, good enough?? I guess we are in the enviable position of only having some minor food allergies, not needing to be gluten-free or worse. (A good friend’s husband and two boys just started adjusting to life gluten-free. I don’t envy her.) So when is it okay for us regular folks just to eat GOOD food, as good as we have the time and patience to prepare and cook and the resources to afford?

    I count it a win that I’ve got most of the sugars and bad fats out of my kitchen. I count it a win that my boys will grab fruit and veggies over cookies and candy. I count it a win that I know where (MOST of) my food comes from and what goes into it before it goes on my dining room table. Anything else is just icing on the cake.

    Thank you for being brave enough to post this…and admit your “non-soaking” habit! Sometimes it just takes a rebel to get us all out of the closet! *Grin*

    • I gotta tell you, this was NOT easy for me….but I really, REALLY appreciate the support of you all. :-)

      • Thanks for the links too. I’m halfway through Sue’s view on phytic acid, and I gotta admit, it makes more sense.

        • Sue’s articles are great! I hope you enjoy them. :-) I love passing along great information…and you’re right – it DOES make more sense.

  54. Another non-soaker here. Like you, I couldn’t quite grasp ONE source telling me to soak grains. I also read and read, and kept going back to the story of Ruth and gleaning…how they prepared their grain. And so like you, I stayed under ground. Thank-you for just coming out and saying something many of us probably either question or don’t do. 😉

  55. Stacey said …. “Not Letting Your Food Become an Idol”

    I agree…and not just food but also the entire healthy eating…I started to where that is all I was thinking about. Not healthy spiritually to do that. Anything can become an idol..if it consumes us and take us away from God it is an idol… Not to get off topic, but even trying to live up to the Proverbs 31 woman/mother…I have and have seen others take it to where that consumes us as well. We need to find a balance in every part of our lives. Again, I have to weigh everything to what God wants in my life.

    • Balance is a necessity! Without it, we’re sunk. :-) And you’re right….anything can become an idol rather quickly. Thanks for chiming in, Nora!

  56. I’m a wheat grinding, bread making, bean eating, lentil loving momma who doesn’t soak either! So there…you are not the only one!!! I’ve tried it didn’t like it…end of story! BIG HUGS!!!

  57. Thank you for this post. We’ve only been on this real food journey for about a year now. I’ve made soaked oatmeal, which I really like and still make at least once a week, and I made soaked pancakes once, which turned out decent. But anything else…breads, muffins, etc….yeah, I haven’t even tried those. I have enough trouble trying to get them to turn out decent without soaking to try to add the extra step of soaking. I have horrible luck with breads, still trying to find a recipe that works that I don’t mess up. I have been wanting to try sourdough, but with my luck with “normal” breads, I don’t know when I’ll work up the courage to try it.

  58. Okay, I’m going to take this one step further and not feel guilty that I haven’t sprouted my wheat lately, either!!! Dried and ground it lately. I do have guilt that I haven’t baked bread in forever, though. Worked for a bit, though. The piano teacher was baking bread when we arrived today and my kids almost went into a swoon!!! Alright gotta go and make some bread now.

  59. Thank you for posting this. I’m somewhat new to the real food / whole foods blog world…and the whole soaking grains was really throwing me for a loop. Definitely seems like a lot of extra work.

    I soak my beans…but that’s all I’ve ever soaked. Is soaking the same as sprouting? I was reading something that said sprouting the wheat first turns it into a vegetable, instead of a starch, and that is why it was healthier. Any thoughts on this?

    • They are along the same lines. Soaking supposedly breaks down phytic acid and you soak with flour that is already ground. Sprouting is extended soaking of wheat berries that actually causes the wheat to sprout. After that, it has to be dried in an oven or dehydrator and then ground into wheat. It’s a several day process. You can buy flour that is already sprouted, but it’s a bit pricey. Lots of people like it though…and it’s good for those who have digestive issues with whole wheat.
      I have never heard the vegetable thing…but I have a hard time thinking that wheat was intended to be a vegetable. Sounds strange. :-)
      Thanks for the comment, Jessi. I appreciate it! :-)

  60. I have read blogs many times that insisted that you need to soak grains. I have thought over and over about that I really don’t think God made our food to be that complicated. If it makes you feel better (mentally or physically) to do it, go right ahead. I would rather make good, nourishing and not overly time consuming meals for my family and spend the rest of the time doing all of the other things that my family needs(and that I need) including relaxing:)

    My family already has enough special food needs(peanut and tree nut allergy, dairy intolerance, beef intolerance). I don’t need another thing to worry about.

    Don’t worry about what others say. There are millions of different opinions about nutrition. Do what you feel is best for your family.

    You did a great service to post about this.


    • Linda, thank you. :-) And you’re right….most of those people forget that rest is essential for a happy life. :-)

  61. Yay, Stacy!! I’m with you. I was soaking ALL our grains for the last few years, but didn’t really notice a huge difference with the way it affected our family. And THEN I read the same blog post on Heavenly Homemakers you referred to, read Sue Becker’s articles, and came to the conclusion that I don’t believe God intended for us to soak all our grains in order for them to be beneficial to us. The part that really made things click for me was where Sue talked about how grains had to be kept unsprouted/unsoaked (dry) in order to have seed for subsequent crops. If all grain had been left to ferment before storing, those grains would have become extinct eons ago.

    I do have to say I am continuing to soak and dehydrate nuts. I like the taste and texture of the crispy nuts (and I don’t like to roast nuts if possible, since it makes them very acidic to our bodies), plus I feel it really does help with reducing my IBS symptoms.

    Anyway, it’s totally freeing not to feel the burden of having to take all that extra time to soak everything…or feel the guilt if I’d forgotten. Bless you for validating my conclusion…in such a public forum, no less. ;P

    • Christi, that’s a wonderful comment. :-) Thank you! I have never had soaked and dried nuts, but I did buy a used Excalibur dehydrator that is just begging to be used. :-)

  62. Heather McCool says:

    It’s probably got a lot of flaws – but I weigh most things by the ‘what’d they do 100 years ago’ rule. And 100 years ago, they made their own bread and had they even ever heard of white flour? Without soaking of course, I mean where did they get time to do that with growing and canning their own veggies, tending to meat animals and dairy animals and chickens and washing everything by hand. I’m worn out just thinking about it! Just wanted you to know, that were you to hang around in my circle of influence, people would think you were nuts for attempting to make things from scratch in the first place! The foodie world, isn’t the whole world :) And now I’m off to toss some stuff in my bread maker and set it to rapid so we can enjoy some with dinner, thanks for reminding me of that :)
    Oh yes, and I too have fallen down the path of the food idol. I cried a lot. It was retarded. We eat ice cream and store bought cookies now after our wonderful homemade stew and bread and I wouldn’t have it any other way :)

    • And I bet your life is so much happier than that of those who work so hard to measure up to others. Well said, Heather! Thanks so much for your comment!!!!

    • “We eat ice cream and store bought cookies now after our wonderful homemade stew and bread and I wouldn’t have it any other way”
      So do we.
      A great reminder that making the important things (as relevant to your family) is enough. I shouldn’t beat myself up because I didnt make the butter from my own cows milk, as well as the bread that we had with the homemade stew!!
      Real food should not be a measure I judge myself against. I have to remember that!!
      Thanks Stacy for the post.

      • “Real food should not be a measure I judge myself against..” I don’t think I have heard anyone else state it SO WELL. Thanks! :-)

  63. Jennifer says:

    Thanks again for keeping it real, Stacy. Posts like this are the reason I love your blog. Your frankness is refreshing. Keep it up!

    • My frankness often gets me in trouble. LOL I’m finally being completely frank on here…I’m glad you stuck around. :-)

  64. I would like to mention that soaking doesn’t “only” reduce phytic acid, but it also activates other enzymes that make a grain more digestible–there is much more going on there than we know.

    Really, though, this whole soaking/sprouting thing is just like everything else–and like Stacey (commenter above) reminds us to not let food become our idols–I would go another length and say, let not food become the stick with which we beat upon others! I’m playing on “Bible-thumpers” with “real food thumpers.” I could sure do some damage with some of my early attempts at a loaf of sourdough whole-wheat bread if I whacked someone over the head with one of those!

    But really, we’re all here to support each other, and encourage one another (and if you’re not here for that, please keep your trolling to yourselves!) I haven’t seen an 11th commandment that reads “Thou shalt not eat unfermented or unsprouted grains,” and so I don’t think it’s anyone’s place to erect a stake with some kindling at the base of it and go witch hunting. Ultimately, we are all free to choose what works for us, and if anyone is whipping up any condemnation, then shame on them!

    The other thing to remember is that some people read stuff online or in a book, whether written by a doctor or not (or supported by sound evidence or not), and take it as cut and dried advice, then turn around and give their own advice, just almost acting like a doctor themselves–based on their own “research,” experience or opinion. This is why I have stopped reading a few blogs (one blog’s Q&A left me completely speechless with the answers they gave to readers’ questions–who do they think they are, anyway?).

    Anyway, Stacy, you should have no shame whatsoever in your so-called revelation. Nobody can possibly love your family more than you do (well, except Jesus), and you are going to do the very best thing for them that you can based on what information God puts in front of you and you discern from it–you’ll have more information than can be given to a doctor, even, in a 1-hour appointment! Let’s not forget gut instinct and women’s intuition, either. I would think, based on your “how to clean ceiling fans” post, that the last thing you would do is be fearful to “admit” to not soaking your grains!

    • I read every word of your comment and I enjoyed it greatly. :-) Thanks so much for leaving it! I loved this part: “Ultimately, we are all free to choose what works for us…”
      I’m not sure if I was fearful of admitting it, or just fearful that I’d be ripped apart. :-) But, in the past few months, I’ve developed more of a back bone. And about the ceiling fan post…that was just a small glimpse into my odd since of humor. LOL

  65. M. Lillian says:

    I am with you, Stacy! Plus, my husband doesn’t like the idea of things being left out at room temperature overnight to soak. Its my husband I am to submit to, not the foodies. So, I just skip that step and go on about my business.

  66. My take on it is, do what floats your boat…or your oatmeal in this case…LOL We’re still using from the store white and whole wheat flour and it stays dry, but I’m taking baby steps towards a happier and healthier life and doing it one step at a time, and many of those steps I’ve found right here. There’s oposition to every school of thought out there….vaccines/no vaccines, modern medicin vs. holistic, public school vs. home school, republican vs democrat, etc……we all won’t get along all the time. Don’t feel bad about anything you post…this is your blog and your thoughts, and I’d rather see an honest person who respectfully disagrees with others than someone who presents themselves with a know it all attitude. Those are the blogs we usually never read again. Keep up the good work!

  67. EXACTLY what I needed to read today, thank you! I’ve been pondering this as well lately, and struggling with the time (extra steps) factor. We just made some of your honey-oat bread this week and it is fabulous. :0)

  68. Amy Carter says:

    I have to comment, I don’t usually, but thank you for this post. I am starting to get more of a backbone as well. We changed to whole foods in Jan 2011. I planned on starting slow but within 3 weeks had changed everything. All boxes were gone, raw milk was in and I was starting to soak. My family were stunned. Then I kept going and made my own shampoo and got rid of toxic chemicals. I did nothing but raise kids and live in the kitchen. For a while that was ok but then I came up for air. In October I got really sick with a sinus infection that wouldn’t go away. In November I had a massive miscarriage, December brought 2 birthdays and Christmas and traveling, January brought a back problem with 2 month on bedrest then February brought pregnancy. So I have had to really reevaluate how much time I can spend in the kitchen and soaking my grains has had to go, for the most part. I still soak my tortilla dough as I like it much better.
    I also read Laura’s post on HH’s. But one thing I’ve learned is reading too many blogs is like keeping up with the Jonses’. I had to really slow down and stop beating myself up cause my body has already taken a beating this year. I’ve also noticed that my family hasn’t changed because of soaking so why do it? If it improves the overall texture or taste and I like it then I do it. If not, I don’t. Thank you again for your post we all need to be supporting each other not tearing each other down cause we don’t do as much as the next person. The fact that we are making as much as we do from scratch is a huge benefit for our families and should be applauded!

    • You know, I’ve learned the same thing about reading too many blogs…once you reach a certain amount, it just becomes overkill. :-) Thanks so much for taking the time to comment…I hope you’ll do so again!

  69. Stacy,
    This is what I know for sure: those rolls look awesome and I would love to try the recipe! Hope you are having a wonderful Spring day and thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

  70. I started questioning the whole soaking grains about a month ago. My first tip was when twice I gave my son Almond Flour muffins (You know, trying to do some Gluten free stuff) and it made him sick but when I gave him fresh ground wheat flour soaked or not soaked, he was fine. We all were fine. I thought that was interesting. Then I decided to research it further. I have come to the same conclusion as you. I still soak sometimes just because I like the texture but I do not feel if it is not soaked it is unhealthy. Great post!
    P.S. I made your homemade pizza sauce last week…Yum!

    • Thanks for chiming in, Gina. :-) I have never tried almond flour – the expense has kept me from doing so, since we don’t need to go gluten free. We see a huge (bad) change in our health when I don’t use fresh ground flour.
      I’m so glad you like the pizza sauce! :-) I love knowing that I always have it on hand in the freezer.

  71. Hi Stacy. I don’t really have an opinion on soaking grains one way or the other. I’m not even particularly religious. But I just wanted to say that you should be proud that you said something that you found difficult to say, and found your voice. It was a brave thing to do, and something we need to role model to our daughters and women friends. Good work!

  72. Great post! I have never soaked my grains (and we mill fresh grain regularly) but it is something that I always wonder if I should be doing. And ironically (or not!), I happened upon your post just as I was battling with the decision once again! I am in agreement with you though. I don’t feel like GOD is calling me to soak grains, the only thing I feel pulling me in that direction is what I read online. (which generally does that to me no matter what the topic, and creates a lot of unrest in my life!) And I *heart* Sue Becker!!!

    • Ooooooh! I love my mill! Makes me happy just thinking about it. :-) And you’re right – things I read sometimes make me feel unrestful with life, so I try to cut back on the amount that I read and I cut out all the “junk.” Thanks for chiming in, Bryn! :-)

  73. Yep, yep, yep! I get SO tired of the sanctimonious tone some “real foodie” bloggers/writers take sometimes. I hope that it is unconscious on their parts, but it’s there just the same.

    It’s easy to want to jump on the band wagon and do everything that everyone else is doing….and easy to forget that what works for one family (or person’s body) won’t work for another. I’m glad that people with celiac and other digestive disorders have options to make food their systems can handle, but if you aren’t ill like that, why fix what ain’t broken?

  74. Great thread. Legalism comes in all different ways! Just wanted to mention that yes, the disciples ate wheat as is, but that wheat is very different from the wheat we have today. Check out the book Wheat Belly by William Davis. Our wheat has been changed thousands of times in a laboratory and does not even resemble ancient wheat. But again, while eating is important, we will all loose this body sooner rather than later, and there are more important things to stress over!

    • Susan, you are so right! Why stress over this silly matter?
      This is something I’ve considered even before I read the post – because I’ve heard several people mention this same thing…I can understand that the wheat is not the same. I’d be quite surprised if much of anything we eat today is still the same as in Jesus’ time, but that doesn’t mean we should stop eating altogether. :-)
      I mostly used the reference to show that even Jesus went against what everyone else was doing…even in the area of food. I think I’ll go back and add that as a note.
      Thanks so much for the GREAT comment! :-)

  75. I think if we learned to listen to our bodies we would be way better off. I personally soak nuts and seeds and oatmeal, because I get very bloaty and yucky if I don’t. I have no problem digesting wheat or spelt flour, so I don’t soak them. I do wonder about the studies that have showed the nutrients that are bound up in the grains, being more available to the body after soaking. I do plan to continue my own research on the topic, and stop listening to the “hearsay” all over the internet….

    Great post!

    BTW has anyone taken the ecourse by Dr. Amanda Rose over at I’m very curious to hear what she has to say about the issue.

    • I haven’t taken the class. If someone else has, maybe they’ll chime in. :-)
      Yes, I think it’s totally based on what your body needs and not what “everyone” says you should do…excellent point. Great comment, Heather!

    • I would have to say I agree with Heather– I feel no guilt for not soaking some of my flours, but nuts (and beans, truthfully) are a whole ‘nother story. Hmm… beans couldn’t be stored wet anyway, so they HAVE been soaked for 1000s of years (just thought of that). Anyway, oatmeal in particular seems to affect me differently when I soak it, so I do– it’s not hard anyway– I just throw it in the bowl with a dollop of yogurt and cook it the next day like normal. I also notice a taste in soaked whole grains like rice, and I prefer it. But no guilt when I forget or can’t or eat something with a non-soaked flour in it. Listening to our (and our kids’) bodies really does matter, you’re right!

      • Everyone has different taste buds and different reactions to different things. :-) We have to listen to our gut and do what’s right for our family….and the funny thing is, we don’t care for soaked things – don’t like the texture. I like my oats to have a bite to them. 😉

      • Great comment by the way. :-)

  76. Oh Stacey! You’ve Made My Day! I wouldn’t even talk about that on my blog (I don’t have any readers who do these things anyway!) But just in case one of ‘those’ people stopped by, they’d quickly leave and go somewhere else, if I would have talked about what I thought about soaking grains, nuts, and everything lacto-fermentation. I know from personal experience: the name of my blog used to be Kefir Creature! I started out all excited about the new information from the website that has a funny name and starts with a G…. I ordered water kefir grains,and milk kefir grains, from an Etsey shop, and made my own kombucha. My stomach started doing weird things, but they said that was my body’s way of adjusting to the kefir or whatever. I began to feel sick, so I googled lacto-fermentation. It led to a site that was researched by doctors who said that too much of this stuff could lead to…gasp!…stomach cancer! That people in Asia who eat a lot of kimchee experience this. I didn’t save with that sight, so maybe I could find it again.
    I emailed the site I mentioned earlier about my discoveries, but she never returned my email. I decided that all of this was just not for me. I only wanted to help my body and share with others about it. Guess is just wasn’t meant to be for me. I really liked the kefir smoothies! But I just can’t take the stomach problems I had from drinking them. Maybe a little bit every once in awhile would be better than all three meals everyday! Hopfully, no one else has experienced the same thing I did. I haven’t read about it if they have. All you hear is how great all of these things are. Well, I let it all out now and I feel so much better! Thanks for all you do! Blessings from Bama!

    • Hello in Bama! :-) I don’t do lacto-fermenting. I don’t like water kefir (it makes me want to yak) and kombucha scares me. LOL I do love making dairy kefir and I use it for all things buttermilk, but we surely don’t have it for every meal. I MIGHT use 1 cup total per day…for the whole family. I just like having it around because it’s convenient and I don’t have to keep buttermilk on hand.
      That’s so scary to hear what happened to you! I’m glad you were able to figure out what it was. Thanks so much for sharing it here so we could all read it. :-)

  77. When I saw this on FS, I just had to come see why you don’t soak either. Thankfully, I haven’t had to give the issue too much thought because my husband drew the line for me at soaking & fermenting thinking that I had way too much on my plate already to take up even more time consuming kitchen work. Of course, I know that it is a sacred cow in the real food community so I don’t bring it up at all. Even when I post recipes, I’ve made the decision to stick to basic ingredients and let everyone make their own adjustments according to their convictions. Thanks for having the guts to come clean! 😀

  78. Thank you for your submission on Nourishing Treasures’ Make Your Own! Monday link-up.

    Check back later tonight when the new link-up is running to see if you were one of the top 3 featured posts! :)

  79. This is a great post. I have been in a quandry in the past as well, and out of sheer laziness I agreed with you – who needs to soak! My family doesn’t have sensitivities and such that we noticed the difference.

    I am guessing those who really notice a difference probably have low mineral stores, particularly iron and calcium.

    Although it seems that Nourishing Traditions is the only source for promoting soaking, there are actually references even in the 1960’s that soaking is beneficial. On a scientific level, whether you feel it or not, phytic acid remains in the grains (or beans) and without soaking, you will lose minerals.

    So I’m really glad to have re-discovered sourdough. It’s an easy way to soak! My first soaked breads were literally for the birds. I can’t successfully soak and dehydrate and grind wheat berries and have bread come out good. Fortunately, where you soak the flour with sourdough, I get the best of both worlds: bread that will “come out,” and the minerals remaining in my body. Funny, it wasn’t until finding this easy method of bread-making that I realized yes, it really does matter.

    As for the “phytic acid is good for you” – as you may remember from our e-mail exchange a few months ago, I wondered the same. I think if your mineral stores are up and you can afford to have the phytic acid possibly “detoxify” you, then go for it!

    But the bottom line is, stress will kill you faster than phytic acid will. If soaking your grains is causing stress – skip it!

    • Thanks Lea. Great comment. :-) Our family does not care for the taste of sourdough items – with the exception of pancakes, waffles, and English Muffins. But, I think it’s a great option for those who enjoy the tartness of it. :-)

      • I find using the “5 Mins a Day Bucket Method” and baking on day 1 or 2, the sourness isn’t very present. In fact I made a chocolate cake out of sourdough and it was delicious! The key is not to let it sit 5 days :)

        • The key to not letting it sit 5 days would be remembering it was there. LOL :-) Thanks for sharing, Lea! I need to read the 5 Minutes a Day book. I’ve heard it’s very good.

  80. Actually, it’s that “5 Mins a Day” book with a sourdough twist. I got it from GNOWFGLINS Sourdough ebook here: (and ecourse). Also called The Bucket Method :) Perfect for busy moms!

  81. Denise says:

    I have decided that I really love your sense of humour. I have also decided that it is your fault I have sat here for 30 minutes reading through your index rather than doing my laundry – and I haven’t even made a dent in the list! This is going to be fun! Now – to the laundry . . .


  82. Stacy – I think I love you! A FB friend led me to you by posting a link to your thoughts on real food as an idol. Thank you for standing up and taking notice of this alarming tendency.

    Then I followed a link here. I can’t believe how much you and I think alike. We never did jump on the soaking bandwagon for the reasons you mention here – I too noticed that the pro-soaking arguments always sited back to the same single source. Sure, I’ve fiddled with it here and there, but I’ve just not been ready to commit based on one organization’s word.

    Are we sisters?

  83. I’m new to your blog, and I am SO happy that I found this post! I’ve been learning more and more that different food choices work for different people–for example, when I added coconut oil to my diet, I noticed a positive difference in my health. But that doesn’t mean I think everyone in the world should/needs to eat coconut oil! And now I’m going to take a deep breath and be glad that I’m not the only one not soaking grains. :)

    • :-) You’re not the only one! You can sit with me as we watch people ride by on their bandwagons. lol

  84. Debbie says:

    Thank you for “coming out” about your grains :) I, too, have recently committed to making whole foods for my family, and while searching recipes soon found the “soaked grain” world out there that I’d never, ever, ever heard of before. And when I found animal fats as a good source of fat, I was recommended to the book about traditional cultures and their fermented food.

    I knew I was in for a guilt trip, but bought it anyway. As for grains, I tried sourdough bread, bagels, English muffins, crackers, and waffles. The kids didn’t like any of them very much (and 3 out of 4 kids never touched any of them again.) I tried an overnight soak of buttermilk waffles and pancakes. The pancakes they liked (though I hated the gelatinous mess it made for my batter), but the waffles they still didn’t eat. I have to admit that I’m not the hugest fan of any of these foods I’ve made, either.

    My family has never had problems with grains, whole or otherwise. We still buy from the store because of the cost of grain mills. For me, I started wondering where God fit into all of this, and I knew the people in the Bible ate LOTS of grain, and it would seem they gathered it dry (Ruth in the field behind Boaz), Elisha and the widow with the flour and oil that never ran out (she didn’t have acid to soak, it would seem…)

    And then, for me, there’s the part where I would LOVE to live like “traditional cultures.” But here’s the thing many, if not most, of those cultures, the women cooked, cleaned, and shared the duties of raising their children. It wasn’t usually ONE WOMAN taking care of her ONE FAMILY. If I had a whole neighborhood helping with meals and child care every single day, I suppose there are a LOT of things I could do (sew my own clothes, perhaps?!)

    But as it stands, I have four kids. Who need healthy food, yes, but who also need ME. I don’t want to say no to going on a walk because I have to do something MORE in the kitchen. I don’t want to force my kids to eat sour-tasting food that I don’t like simply because someone somewhere said it’s the only way to eat grains.

    Laura Ingals Wilder lived until she was over 90 years old. She did not soak her grains, and she even ate sugar (gasp!) She had one winter when they only ate the wheat kernels straight because they didn’t have any other food. She survived, and apparently even thrived in spite of it.

    I think moving towards whole foods is a good step, and for now, the stuff that’s NOT perfect won’t immediately kill us. It’s about balance, in all parts of life. And I wish I wasn’t the kind of person that researches so much because sometimes, ignorance really IS bliss!

    • LOL I agree about the ignorance part. :-) I’ve had to stop doing too much reading because it really leaves me in a bad place. I find myself trying to “measure up” when I really should be concerned with taking care of my family to the best of my ability.
      I loved your reference to Ruth and Elisha….two that I had never thought about. Excellent point. :-) Thanks Debbie!

  85. A few comments: Just because you didn’t feel a difference doesn’t mean there wasn’t one because you’re already doing so much to clean up your diet. Not every change is perceptible by results. People can have Celiac with no presenting symptoms. Therefore some changes need to be made just because it is a good change. Many people gorge on sugar, but seem to function normally and be healthy. Doesn’t mean sugar isn’t harmful.

    Also, you mentioned you couldn’t find soaking in the Bible. Well, that was the only way they made loaf bread – sourdough, which is soaking and until very recently it was the only way to get a loaf bread. Wild yeasts. Or they made flat bread. The yeast they got rid of for Passover was their leaven – sourdough. They surely weren’t using quick rise!

    Having pointed out these things, I agree 100% with your point. It isn’t right or wrong so much as beneficial or not beneficial. For some it will be, for others – their diet is already excellent and it doesn’t really matter as much.

    I keep a teff sourdough starter and make a flat bread. When I bake, because I need to be gluten free, I use Pamela’s Products Baking Mix for bread. Yum!!! My family eats the best bread I can buy them.

    HOWEVER – what concerns me more than soaking or not – and you have inspired me to do more research! – is not the process, but what wheat is used. The “wheat” we have today is not what Jesus ate – and He ate that wheat to make a point about the sabbath and not likely because it was usually eaten that way – nor is it what was used until recently. It is a hybrid of a hybrid of a hybred . . . and on and on. There is also the fact that many people recover quickly from chronic illnesses when reducing or removing grains from their diets. Some people just don’t do well on them. We are all different. Results of sin and the Fall.

    Reminds me of GMO – or heirloom seeds as opposed to the seeds sold today, where the plants don’t reproduce viable seed. Wheat today is not wheat as God made it. I have begun to research Einkorn wheat, which is wheat as it used to be and is becoming more and more available. Preliminary tests have shown some celiacs can tolerate it well. I believe that gluten and gliadin are more of a factor than the phytic acid. I am excited to try it.

    There is so much to research and we can’t know it all. Like you have said in the past, we need to do our best and trust God to care for us. You always give much food for thought and I like to read things that make me think and do research for myself. If so many theologians can earnestly study God’s Word and come to different conclusions – pre-, mid-, or post-trib? – we certainly won’t all agree on what we should be eating. Nor should we condemn each other for what we do and don’t do as far as diet.

    Off to research phytic acid! Oh, by the way: It’s a fascinating site!

    Best, Denise

    • The condemnation part is mostly what I was addressing here…I find the condemnation of those who do NOT soak to be appalling – and unacceptable. I agree with you 100% there.
      You said “just because I didn’t feel a difference, doesn’t mean there wasn’t one.” I think I have to disagree with that statement. We DID see a difference…when using fresh milled grain instead of flour from the store. Barry was having chronic stomach issues and when I switched to using my Nutrimill, he saw immediate results. He hasn’t had any problems since and has not been back to the doctor. I think when you eat a primarily healthy diet and you don’t have allergy issues, there doesn’t seem to be much reason to soak grains.
      I have no doubt the wheat we have today isn’t the same wheat that Jesus ate…in fact, I would be astonished if ANYTHING we eat today is the same thing that Jesus ate…but I don’t think that means we shouldn’t eat at all. :-)
      And I think you’re spot on about the gluten…it’s likely more of a problem than phytic acid. When I read Sue Becker’s articles, they just click with me – they make sense…and I can’t say much for other information that I’ve read. I have a hard time believing that God would say “Here, I made this for you to eat! Oh’s not good this way, YOU have to fix it first!” When He does have something to say about our diet, He tells us…which is why He addresses not eating animals with the life blood still in them.
      Thanks Denise! I enjoyed your comment immensely! :-) All things in moderation…including moderation.

      • Denise says:

        I would have to say that because cancer can grow in our bodies for years and we don’t “feel” any difference, that doesn’t mean it’s not there. So too we can make changes we know are good and not “feel” any difference, that doesn’t mean there wasn’t one or that nothing changed.

        But I do not disagree with what you wrote about soaking. I have been on the fence about it too. Do it or not – but don’t make it an issue. And your your word “appalling” is perfect to describe the condemnation! We each need to make our own decisions.

        I don’t really think things like soaking are “fixing” what God made. It is no different than cooking meat, peeling vegetables, culturing cabbage to make sauerkraut, or grinding the flour. Just makes it in a different form, more palatable and digestible.

        After I get home today, I am going to read those links about the phytic acid and soaking that you posted from Sue, I think it was. All the links and information you put up are really helpful.

        And to reference your last blog about hurtful posts, I really DO appreciate your attitude, both in your blog and in handling those whose posts are not appropriate. Thanks so much for what you do!


        • Denise….one more thing. LOL I have to say that even those people who do eat healthy ALL the time and soak their grains and don’t eat processed foods, still can get cancer. :-( It’s a sad part of living in this fallen world. Come soon, Lord Jesus!
          Those foods you mentioned don’t always require cooking to be edible (cabbage doesn’t have to be made into sauerkraut to be edible…it’s just a method of cooking, which is how I feel about soaking). My point was that foods that DO need special preparation, God talks about in His word…hence the lifeblood comment.
          :-) I like your comments. They keep me on my toes! Thanks!

  86. And your last comment just brings it back to the articles you ladies wrote. Our lives are in His hands – because we live in a fallen world. We can do everything “right” and still have health challenges. Thankful we have heaven and eternal life to forward to!


  87. I came over from Homestead Revival and I wanted to let you know that I’ve struggled with soaking grains. In fact, I’ve never done it even though so many of my friends are. My family doesn’t have any kind of food sensitivities and so I can’t justify taking the time to add another thing to my “to do” list.

    It’s funny the things that can cause division and how it makes us “scared” to come clean about what we do as a family. I just posted how me make my daughters’ bathing suits more modest. I have friends who think we’re immoral for even buying a commerical bathing suit that doesn’t cover from head to toe and other friends who think we’re crazy for even worring about a plunge neckline for a 12 year old. I found myself in the same boat wondering what kind of backlash I would get.

    So, thanks!!

    • Angi, that’s ironic. :-) I just wrote a post very similar to that this week – about teaching modesty at an early age. Thanks for speaking out too! :-)

    • Excellent post…thanks for sharing. :-) We love sourdough goods, except for loaf bread. The pancakes are awesome!!

  88. Wow! I’m glad I found your blog! It’s great to know that it might NOT be necessary to soak my wheat berries. Not that it’s hard, of course, but it would be nice to put away the 1.5 quart jars and roasting pan I use for that process. I’m always looking for more room in my kitchen…and few things to do is always helpful!

    Could you clarify, please, that by “soaking” you mean soaking the wheat berries. Or is there some other “soaking” method? I’ve been wondering if people actually “soak” FLOUR and if they do whether that is separate from the making of sourdough starter and/or mixing up a sourdough bread (or xxx) batter?

    I’ve been soaking/sprouting/dehydrating/grinding my wheat for several months because I thought it was important to remove the phytic acid. I was looking for a change in my daughter’s stomach problems, and possibly mine, but she recently said it hadn’t made a difference. I’m not sure about that because she eats all kinds of junk food anyway–and avoids my bread, pretty much. We ALL kinda avoid my bread, pretty much, so we eat less bread overall. Maybe THAT’S how it helps, lol. My bread is heavy and dry (can’t figure out how to avoid a hard crust) and the only way it is decent is if it is toasted. I’m going to check out the possibility that the Vitamix (dry blade) is not grinding the wheat finely enough. I’d love to have a Nutrimill or a Wondermill but it costs $$$, don’t you know, so I’ve been happy with the Vitamix until now. (I broke it last week, so can’t grind any wheat anyway…)

    I tried sourdough through the winter but none of us cared much for that either–I blamed it on our species of wild yeast. I’ve been thinking about buying a good sourdough starter to see if that improves things, but am suspicious that it will end up “contaminated” anyway. I was excited to discover that you can make sourdough-anything (pretty much) because I want to have a way to bake -anything when I can no longer buy commercial yeast.

    I’ve tried the bucket method for making sourdough bread and I like it–as long as I bake the dough within the first two or three days, as someone said, although that seems to defeat the purpose. Might just as well bake 5 loaves of bread on the first day… I used up the last batch of that awhile ago (stocked up on bread so I wouldn’t have to bake while putting in the garden) and used up my ground rye flour in it. Those loaves were great. Wonder if it has anything to do with the rye???

    Well, I’m rambling so I’ll stop now. I just wanted to say I’m enjoying your blog so far (just found it today). Keep up the good work!

    • Yes, there is a method of soaking the flour that is different than soaking the berries and then dehydrating them. See post here –
      I find that it really depends on the type of grain you use as to how the bread turns out. I use hard white wheat berries for yeast bread and if I’m using store flour, I buy King Arthur White Wheat Flour. You might try this recipe and see if your family likes it –
      We LOVE sourdough pancakes and waffles…and a few other things, but we are not very fond of the sourdough loaf bread. It just tastes WAY to sour for us. :-)

  89. Hi Stacy –

    I myself have been looking into this “whole foods” thing a lot lately and changing a lot about how I think and prepare food for my husband and I. I’ve been quite disturbed about the whole “no grains”/”no bread” movement and feel it is wrong, but don’t have the resources to back it up.

    You mentioned that your search for the “soaking grains” idea always comes back to one source, would you mind sharing with me what that is? You can just email me if you don’t want to post it publicly (seeing as how you didn’t want to put it in your original blog post I totally understand).

    p.s. I too am a believer and after getting a little too wrapped up in this whole food thing, I started to turn to God to help settle my mind and heart and to understand what is truly important in all of this (what sometimes seems like) “mess” of information on the internet. Thanks so much!

  90. This is interesting. I’m one of those who soaks when I remember, which is not very often-ha! I was definitely convinced that it is necessary, and we like the texture fine. We don’t really see a difference either way, though. I think it is one of those things that works for some and not others. Everyone’s system is different, right? Probably some folks don’t have what is needed to handle wheat very well and soaking helps them some way.
    I’ll be reading those articles you linked.

    • Right – and for those people, soaking makes sense…however, you’re right – everyone’s system is different. :-)

  91. Thank you so much for this post. I also felt like I had to soak, but would forget more often then not and feel guilty. When I first started to research soaking grains I googled pros and cons of soaking and didn’t come up with any cons, so I figured it had to be the way to go. I am going to check out those links.

  92. Sarah Katz says:

    Thank you for posting this. I mean really.
    Aside from me squealing and pointing that some other housewife is listening to Papa about what food to feed her family based on what He created, you so expressed everything that I have been in my own little Real Food panic-closet about regarding grains.
    And totally, maybe we would feel a little better if I soaked the grain or cut out gluten from our diet! But right now, I just can’t… And your post helped me rise above the real-foodie guilt. Maybe I’ll have more energy to inquire of the Lord myself and do some research to find what’s best for us now that I’m not stressing. =)
    Thank you!!

  93. Wha’d’ya think about sprouting grains for flour and such? I’m looking into it, it seems to be the best way to go but again it’s up to time, preference, and thorough research.

    • I don’t sprout either – the whole process is daunting to me. :-) However, my friend Nikki from Christian Mommy Blogger is a hard core sprouter. I think it’s just personal preference.

  94. Cathy Walker says:

    Hi Stacy,
    I just read your article from August 12, 2012. I just wrote almost the same thing on facebook today. I have been reading articles and listening to videos of Sue Becker’s. I came to two conclusions-I am not so sure we need to sprout or soak. I am going to try freshly grinding them. My grain came yesterday. My grain mill comes tomorrow. If we have trouble for some reason, I am not against trying to soak or sprout. The other decision I made was though Sue Becker uses agave; I am not at peace using it. The explanations about agave in articles I read on Weston A. Price didn’t assure me of the safety of agave. I will us honey and rapadura. I haven’t ordered Maple Syrup Grade B yet. I might use the honey granules (sucanat w/ honey) occasionally. I have used sucanat. I decided yesterday everyone has their own opinions and somethings we just don’t know for positive. We just have to trust God to lead us.

    • Exactly right – and some of us will be led in different directions based on health and convictions. I think you’ll really enjoy your mill! :-)

  95. First…I would like to say THANK YOU as I have had the same vein of thought for some time now and was having a hard time finding anything that agreed with me. Also, I read you why I eat bread post and again, AMEN! In my family I have one group that has celiacs and can’t eat gluten (totally get that), one family that has done the Adkins and doesn’t eat bread at all and it is the epic evil, and then my mom, who eats gluten but has switched over to buckwheat, spelt…ones that are “better” for you. Basically, she is on a whole food diet but doesn’t eat sugar at all. I am one of the few hanging in with the idea that bread is not bad for you and in fact, I have a slice of bread every morning for breakfast. I think my new goal is to start grinding my own flour. I’ve wanted to do it for a while but am hesitant at the undertaking of it. Did just start using spelt though and really enjoy it. Thanks again!

  96. Thanks for posting on this! We also get our wheat berries from Bread Beckers and grind our own wheat for bread. I’ve wondered if I should soak or not soak but after reading Sue’s posts in my own little research a while back I just came to the realization that soaking wasn’t an end-all be-all for eating “real food”. I can’t justify soaking my fresh ground wheat because I would loose the benefit of the fresh grinding! I think in the next year I will delve into sourdough which is seeming to me like a happy medium (the starter doesn’t feed well off of fresh ground, but the rest of the flour in the bread can be!). That said…my lil man (12 mos) is grain free and I will probably avoid introducing it to him until I can do so gently (aka sourdough or soaked oats but not necessarily soaked bread). Again…I appreciate your honesty! I love bread and I thank God for sending us the Bread of Life!

  97. Stacy: Thank you, thank you, thank you for writing this article. You said just what I had been thinking all along about the mysterious phytic acid/grain soaking situation, and you said it in a very nice way. I had felt like I was the only one questioning this particular nutritional information. Like you, most of what I read about it was credited the same single source, a book that I read a long time ago and wasn’t actually too impressed with (rhymes with Flourishing Renditions.) I have never been a fan of believing anything that has only one source. I think it’s sad that so many people have given up eating grains because of this one theory. So, again, thank you for your bravery. Keep up the great work, and God bless!

  98. Every since I was convinced of soaking,y bread turns out horrible. Something always goes wrong. I’m not doing it anymore. It’s too expensive to waste and I’m tired of eating bad bread

  99. I found this article very thought provoking. I do soak, sprout, and ferment. I also have the book which you were referring to. I can see how she can come across. It was intimidating and almost seemed like you must do it her way or the high way. Some of the information felt too extreme. She’s very famous in the real food movement and so it’s true that a lot of information may come back to her work ..but she’s not the main one. Dr. Weston A. Price’s work is the one she’s trying to honor. He’s the only one who took the time to see why tribal people who ate traditionally soaked and fermented food had better dental hygiene and had much less health problems. Each tribe was different. The fact that he took the time to see the difference that diet can make on a person’s health was what convinced me. I know you mentioned that, in the Bible, you couldn’t find where they had prepared grains like this. Don’t forget the grains from that time was very different than the grains today. You can’t compare the two scenarios because modern wheat is a hybrid. The genes are different. It’s now been modified to suit the agricultural business. It’s no wonder why there are more gluten sensitive people today. A basic generalization, although incomplete, would be that WAPF traditional way of eating puts emphasis on bone broth and other natural nutrient dense rich foods that aren’t man-made in a lab. Here’s a very good article in regards to religion and real food: Some people might consider phyctic acid beneficial because it binds toxins. The fact that it binds minerals should not be overlooked because our soil has a lot less nutrition due to irresponsible farming and pesticides in the water contaminating the land. Our fruits and veggies have a lower level of nutrients because there wasn’t as much that the roots of the plants and trees could get from the land. The food that a lot of people eat in the U.S. is heavily processed and even those who try to eat healthier may be deficient in those essential minerals. That’s a big reason in favor of soaking, sprouting and fermenting. Have you looked into different cultures diet and food prep during your own research? I didn’t just rely on a book or person.. I checked out studies, ancient civilizations, and felt that this made sense to me. You are right in implying that nobody is the same and so there’s no perfect diet for everyone. My husband who has had not only food allergies but is allergic to dust and pollen has since made a huge improvement when we decided to give WAPF way of eating a try. He can drink whole raw milk with no problem. Eating too many grains growing up (me not him) led to me having way too many cavities. I didn’t even have that much of a sweet tooth compared to other kids. I preferred bread over any candy. I love bread and rice. I’ve heard that it could contribute to cavities and that may be because this modern wheat we’re eating hasn’t been properly prepared to be easier to digest. (Modern whole wheat and modern white rice).. I’m not saying I’m right and that you should do what I do. I’m just saying that it’s a tough call but since you mentioned the Bible, that way of eating was much more pure. They didn’t use the vegetable oils we use today or the ingredients that are in boxed foods. It’s safe to assume they used the pure grains that came from nature, they didn’t use white sugar, kosher salt, or eat food that was sprayed with man-made chemicals and pesticides that ruined the earth that was created for us and the water and our health. I think if a person would eat as they did in the Bible, in honor of God, then they would choose organic unprocessed foods and drinks, and not eat or support food created in labs heavily processed for supermarkets and eat fast food which not found in nature and does not honor all that he has created. I am not trying to attack anyone. This is what I think of the situation and only did mention it because you referenced the Bible in your post. I sincerely do not mean any disrespect. I just think that It’s hard to compare the Bible to modern day food. some of the grains from that time are still available today: so it is an option, still. The Bible isn’t very specific in general.

    • You know, about a year later I’d agree with a lot of what you say. :-) I do know that food preparation is different…but I also know that the Bible does not say we HAVE to prepare bread by soaking or sprouting. I actually have learned to love sprouted bread, but I don’t think it’s necessary. And I don’t do it often. I think it is really based on your health and how your body handles grains. I just wanted to point out that it was okay if you didn’t do it. :-) Thanks for the comment!

      • Thank you for taking it so well !! Sometimes I worry how things can come across when having a conversation that’s not in person. You can’t really get anything by a person’s tone online. It could definitely be taken the wrong way. I personally am still trying to eat healthy like everyone else and I think it’s a constant struggle with all the information out there. I know that you’re trying to do what’s best in the interest of your family and that’s all any of us can do. You are a great blogger and are pretty inspirational. I love your posts! I think there are too many questions and not enough answers that people can agree on .. so I’m not trying to say that everyone should eat how I eat. just that there are so many pros and cons for just about everything. Honestly? I would love to know for sure how exactly they prepped their food back then just because of how they appreciated and valued it. I’ve been interested in that kind of stuff for ages! I still eat bread and I don’t always soak, ferment and sprout everything. Store bought sprouted bread is good but I’ve had trouble with the flavor and texture of some of soaked bread recipes and do cringe when it doesn’t turn out which is a waste of ingredients and money but the ones that do are a keeper for me. It’s tough trying to find the balance in food prep and actually in life (in general) .. If I have trouble, I do what I can realistically accomplish.. if I remember! I’m not very strict about that because I can totally understand how you felt. Sometimes it can seem like an extra chore and if you and your family don’t feel any different in regards to consuming soaked, fermented, or sprouted items.. then at least you’re listening to what your body tells you and you gave it a shot. A part of what I had mentioned previously wasn’t directed at anyone in particular.. it’s more of the same questions I have asked myself and think about from time to time. Thank you very much for your reply to my previous (maybe too long, sorry!!! lol) comment !

        • Even today I still question things – soaking and whatnot. When I wrote that post, it was to give myself and my friends some grace and mercy about food. We can’t be expected to do it ALL and do it all RIGHT. Since there is so much conflicting information, it’s hard to know what is the right thing to cook or eat – so we can only do our best, right? :-)
          And for the record, I love sprouted bread. 😉

  100. Stacy…what a relief! I hate soaked granola & soaked bread is just a pure pain….I enjoyed Sue’s post about grains and its comforting to know that God doesn’t judge me on whether I soak grains or not. He’s more concerned if I make a hog of myself at the dinner table..ahem..SO, Love this post & thanks~

  101. Thank you so much for your honesty. I too feel conflicted about soaking grains and I have only the ‘it doesn’t feel right’ explanation. Not to mention the fact that it takes too much time and preparation ahead of time for me. I make most of our snacks/foods to avoid gmo’s and processed foods and it just seemed like one more thing to do. Glad someone else feels this way!

  102. Lea Ann Anderson Savage says:

    I would like to say that I also buck some traditional views (I sell Vitamix machines, and eat meat and other cooked foods!). Most people assume I am a vegan and/or raw foodist. That being said, I have learned that there is a “kernel of truth” in most dietary advice – just not always the WHOLE truth. I do know some people for whom soaking grains was the difference between being able to eat them or not. One homeschooling friend of mine has a few of her kids who cannot eat pancakes unless the wheat was soaked, but who can enjoy pancakes with the rest of the family as long as the batter was soaked. I often tell people to “listen to their bodies”, and it sounds like you go one step better… “listen to God”. Thank you for this informative post. I am certain that a lot of people who were previously stressed by the idea that they HAD to soak their grains, have found that their body did not respond poorly when the grains were no longer soaked, and therefore are saving a lot of food-prep time!

    • Thanks. :-) I do realize that preparing grains the traditional way IS probably best – but if I don’t have time or I forget, I won’t lose my mind over it.

  103. Wendy Hoge McKenzie says:

    I’ve popped in on your website many times, but your honesty on this and the “no THM” has got you a new subscriber! I very much see your point of view and am quite relieved to have someone else “in my corner”, I get so tired of being judged for every choice we make. Keep up the honesty!!!

  104. Thank you, thank you, thank you for saying this! The one piece of the real food/traditional foods movement that has always bothered me is the phytic acid and soaking grains bit. People are downright militant about it, but I just can’t find enough actual scientific research showing that it’s all that bad, or that soaking changed the phytic acid content enough to make it worth it. All the info out there, like you said, goes back to the same original source, which is fairly lacking in proof, in my opinion. For the life of me, I can’t tell the difference digestively, and I decided a few months ago that it just wasn’t worth the amount of worry, guilt, and food obsession the whole issue was costing me. I’ve gone back to baking regular old bread with regular commercial yeast, and it tastes amazing. And I’m nowhere near as hungry as I always was when my rule was soaked/sprouted/fermented or no bread at all (don’t even get me started on my brief foray into paleo, and how hangry I was all. the. time.).

  105. Melanie Robinson says:

    This is good and just what I have been studying on. I also never get any releif from soaking beans overnight….. I mean I know you must to cook a good bean, but it does not releive the after effects at all.

    Anyway, I am glad I found this article. I have also poured over Sue Becker’s article several times. I never put it together that the soaking argument came from one source and I am sure I have read that one too.

    • I’m still up in the air over this – I soak sometimes. Sometimes I don’t. I am going to try sprouting grains.

    • Beth Anne Beckenhauer says:

      I know this is old, but I just saw it. When you soak beans overnight do you change the water? Changing the water and rinsing away whatever soaks out seems to make a big difference to us. I even soak and rinse lentils now. When I don’t (or soak and forget to rinse) my husband says, “Next time could you do whatever you did different before?”

      That said, I thought that some people are able to digest beans well anyway and others can’t so maybe soaking makes a bigger difference for some people.

      • Yes, I drain my water…doesn’t seem to matter – but I love beans enough that I don’t care. LOL 😉

        • Beth Anne Beckenhauer says:

          In a long soak I try to change the water 3 or 4 times (every few hours) – not sure if that was clear in my first post.

  106. Stephanie Gerlach Allen says:

    if you are doing something (soaking grains, having a Starbucks coffee every day…) and you had to give it up,it would cause you distress then it is wrong. It would be taking your attention away from God. I discussed this in a Bible study about a year ago. There a far to many things in this would to stress about. If it works for you great if it doesn’t then let it go. As a Mom you have to do what is best for your family within your means. Great post! I really enjoy your blogs and your honesty! btw, I don’t soak and I don’t think I want to, it doesn’t sound very good and to much work. I cleaned the toxins from my house years ago and we are working on the whole foods thing as much as possible. I have thought about starting a blogg, but I’m not one to fallow the masses. I like to dance to my own beat! lol Thank you again. God bless

  107. I love your honesty, Stacy. When it comes to food, just eat what God made. =) Right now, I cook with Rice Milk, Almond Milk, and soy-free butter spread because my husband has sensitivities to milk products and I don’t add beans or extra fiber to stuff either for my husband. We’re hoping that he can “reset” his system to we can go back to eating more “natural” than we are now. But, I’ve definitely been making more things from “scratch” because of his issues. That’s a good thing, right? =) We all have different situations that we have to deal with and, thank the Lord, we have so many resources available to us!

  108. Judedudemama says:

    I’m so with you on this. If you can’t have peace about the healthy food you are preparing for your family, you’ve got to question it! The enemy wants to distract and stress us out. He wants us to be fearful of our every move. We can’t be the wives and mothers God created us to be when we are wallowing in worry and guilty. So not from God!

  109. I’m not sure when this article was posted but I really appreciated it!!! I have been battling this issue off and on. When I started on the real food journey I tried soaking. I was willing to jump in head first. But it seemed like so much work. Then I went to a bread making class by Sue Becker…and then another one by her daughter. I was sold in making our own bread products for sure!! Loving it! I asked Sue about soaking and she just smiled and pointed me to her article. I think she gets that question a lot. I was relieved and felt she was someone I could really trust. I still battled off and on though. Your post just sealed the deal for me though. Thank you!! I didn’t want to live with that guilt anymore.

  110. Thank you! It is such a slow process making all these changes and trying to think differently about food! It seems like there is always something popping up that we should be doing differently and it makes me question myself once again. In this case, it is soaking grains lately. I appreciate your honesty. :)

  111. I too have struggled with this issue. I don’t feel like eating bread is wrong and all the anti-wheat campaigns out there can be confusing, b/c I look to scripture and it clearly talks about eating wheat. My other favorite passage is in Genesis where Abraham feeds the 3 visiting angels fermented milk (but that is for the anti dairy folk out there) :) I do think there was some “soaking” by way of sourdough, since they had no factories back then to make perfect quick rise yeast. Obviously there was unleavened bread, so I’m NOT saying that sourdough is the “Biblical Way” :) I just believe God made a natural way for us to make bread and wheat is not bad.
    I always say eat real food (and wheat is real food) and prepare it in a way that makes you feel best. For our family my husband does get stomach trouble is our wheat isn’t sprouted, soaked, or soured. So for us we usually need to prepare it that way first, but I don’t think everyone needs to if they feel fine.

  112. Thank you for this article! I have not tried soaking grains. Mostly that has been due to time constraints. I work full-time and have two children. I was feeling great to accomplish feeding my family whole foods but always a little guilty skipping over the soaking part. Thanks for relieving some of the guilt.

  113. Yes! Every single book just refers to the same source that you are talking about here. I felt very cheated when I bought a book about pre-conception and it turned out to just repeat what this source says.

  114. Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post! It almost made me cry. I started my whole foods journey about a month ago and one of the most confusing things I’ve run into yet is information on grains. It has been difficult to make a personal decision about it because of the conflicting information and I too spent hours and HOURS researching. It is SO nice to know that I’m not the only one who has gone through this, and it is particularly encouraging to me that God has given you the answer you needed. Maybe I should have just asked him in the first place, instead of the internet!

  115. Sorry….I apparently didnt read down far enough to see that you used Sue Becker as a source!!! lol. Thanks for the link on her thoughts on Phytic Acid. I was looking for that exact topic from her.

  116. I have been milling grains for 20 years (and for 4 yrs I stopped when going through divorce, I noticed the difference in how I felt – ick). When I first began 20 yrs ago, after the first 2 months of eating home milled wheat grain, my family’s and my health improved 180 degrees (after we detoxed). I was raised on making home made everything so I didn’t expect that improvement. Wow! Literally, we almost never got sick. My husband at the time would get sick, but he was an over-eater going out and junking it behind my back. He would go into secondary illness and had allergies. Meanwhile, me and my children may get a 4 hour bout of something, if that, and be over it. I never soaked my flours and have never felt any ill-effects from it, like I would legumes or raw nuts. Nor can I justify the work that would go into making a loaf a day by soaking or how to mill it – before or after? Ugh. Too many people make wheat evil (and now it’s grains of every kind!) without living a balanced, healthy way and seeing for themselves. I call wheat the “food of the gods”. When I inspect the diets of people who have “wheat intolerance”, I noticed they were only eating processed white wheat flour, processed foods, and excess of other ungodly foods. So wheat became the devil as sanctioned by doctors – who know virtually nothing about real nutrition and foods. Thank you for sharing your article. You just can’t say to people who are new to nutrition, “I don’t soak my grains” and have them not take offense because it contradicts what our “knowledgeable” health community knows, who are also new to nutrition and somehow think they go it bagged. Whatever. I’m listening to my body. It knows what works for me. I’m glad you spoke up and offered links to Sue Becker’s information. Good research!

  117. Austin Jay Metcalf says:

    Just buy some phytase powder and throw it in the mixing bowel. Everything about “unlocking the hidden potential of food” and “protecting your family from hidden food dangers” boils down to one simple thing PHYTIC ACID God made it and he also made the perfect solution to deal with it: phytase. Just go on Amazon and look for digestive enzyme tablets with phytase. If it doesn’t mention it in the description then look elsewhere. I’ve even pulled one of these capusules apart and dumped it in the mixing bowel when making bread and it didn’t even interfere with the yeast, and my Dad and sister both comented on how good that bread was.

  118. So I am curious what you think on soaking nuts? I am just researching and do not currently soak anything. I have seven kids so not soaking is much easier for me. Curious if you have researched soaking nuts. Anyway, no judgement from me one way or the other.:)

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