Why I Don’t Soak Grains

Why I Don’t Soak Grains

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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 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 so nice – it’s almost like people-bashing.

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.

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.

*This post is linked at Pennywise Platter on The Nourishing Gourmet, at Homestead Barn Hop at Homestead Revival, at Healthy 2Day Wednesday on Quick Easy Cheap and Healthy, at Frugal Days Sustainable Ways at Frugally Sustainable, at Fat Tuesday on Real Food Forager, at Make Your Own Monday at Nourishing Treasures, and at Full Plate Thursday on Miz Helen’s Country Kitchen.

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.

  • http://blessingsonpaper.com Christi

    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

    • Stacy

      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. :-)

  • Heather McCool

    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 :)

    • Stacy

      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!!!!

    • http://smallthingsbynona.blogspot.com.au/ smallthingsbynona

      “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.

      • Stacy

        “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! :-)

  • Jennifer

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

    • Stacy

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

  • Dani

    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!

    • Stacy

      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

  • M. Lillian

    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.

    • Stacy

      Sounds like you have your priorities right in line. :-)

  • Amanda

    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!

    • Stacy

      Amanda, thank you. Don’t know what I’d do without ya. :-)

  • Heather

    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)

    • Stacy

      I’m SO glad you like it!! We love it!

  • Amy Carter

    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!

    • Stacy

      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!

  • http://www.mizhelenscountrycottage.blogspot.com/ Miz Helen

    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

  • gina

    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!

    • Stacy

      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.

  • http://www.milesawayfarm.wordpress.com Jennifer

    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!

    • Stacy

      Jennifer, wow. Thank you. :-) I’m very honored that you would say such a thing.

  • http://joyfilledmama.blogspot.com Bryn

    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!!!

    • Stacy

      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! :-)

  • Betsy

    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?

    • Stacy

      “Why fix what ain’t broken?” LOL That gave me a laugh. Thanks! :-)

  • Susan

    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!

    • Stacy

      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! :-)

  • http://arealfoodlover.com Heather H

    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 http://www.phyticacid.org? I’m very curious to hear what she has to say about the issue.

    • Stacy

      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!

    • http://eowyns-heir.blogspot.com Christina

      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!

      • Stacy

        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. ;-)

      • Stacy

        Great comment by the way. :-)

  • http://simplypractical.blogspot.com Bama Girl

    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!

    • Stacy

      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. :-)

  • http://onjustacoupleacres.blogspot.com Quinn

    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! :D

    • Stacy

      And thanks for having the guts to stand with me by leaving a comment! :-)

  • http://www.nourishingtreasures.com Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures

    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! :)

  • http://www.nourishingtreasures.com Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures

    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!

    • Stacy

      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. :-)

      • http://www.nourishingtreasures.com Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures

        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 :)

        • Stacy

          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.

  • http://www.nourishingtreasures.com Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures

    Actually, it’s that “5 Mins a Day” book with a sourdough twist. I got it from GNOWFGLINS Sourdough ebook here: http://tiny.cc/9447cw (and ecourse). Also called The Bucket Method :) Perfect for busy moms!

    • http://www.nourishingtreasures.com Lea H @ Nourishing Treasures

      Meant to say “5 mins a day” METHOD with a sourdough twist.

    • Stacy

      I have Wardeh’s book…it’s excellent! I had forgotten about that part. I was referring to the book that several of my friends use – Healthy Bread in 5 Minutes a Day. :-)

  • Denise

    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 . . .


    • Stacy

      :-) Thank you! That’s a big compliment…I’m more interesting than laundry. LOL ;-)

  • Rachel

    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?

    • Stacy

      :-) Sisters in Christ….and that’s pretty awesome, huh?

  • http://teachmetowalk.blogspot.com Andrea

    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. :)

    • Stacy

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

  • Debbie

    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!

    • Stacy

      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!

  • Denise

    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: http://www.einkorn.com It’s a fascinating site!

    Best, Denise

    • Stacy

      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 wait..it’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

        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!


        • Stacy

          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!

  • Denise
    • Stacy

      Thanks for adding it!

  • Denise

    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!


    • Stacy

      YES! :-) And when we get weary, we have to remember that…thanks for reminding me yet again. :-)

  • http://www.schneiderpeeps.com Angi @ schneiderpeeps

    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!!

    • Stacy

      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! :-)

  • Denise
    • Stacy

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

  • http://www.home-and-school-solutions.com Connie

    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!

    • Stacy

      Yes, there is a method of soaking the flour that is different than soaking the berries and then dehydrating them. See post here – http://www.stacymakescents.com/soaking-grains
      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 – http://www.stacymakescents.com/honey-oat-bread
      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. :-)