Soaking grains: all ancient cultures soaked and/or fermented grains in order to neutralize enzyme inhibitors and the effects of phytic acid, which binds to calcium, phosphorus, iron and zinc and prevents their absorption in the intestines. Soak grains 6-12 hours, or overnight, which pre-digests gluten and indigestible proteins rendering the grain more digestible. Even one hour of soaking will help to soften grains. Change water before cooking.
Cooking pots: slow cooking requires a heavier type of pot. Enamel on iron is one of the best for long cooking grains. Pressure cooker shortens cooking time, plus concentrates the nutrients. A rice cooker makes cooking grains easy, and a crock-pot is great for cooking soft, soup-like grains overnight.
Flame deflector: an inexpensive kitchen tool used for long simmering of grains and beans to evenly distribute heat and energy. Place deflector under a heavy cooking pot once the water comes to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer.
Water: use filtered, spring or distilled water to avoid fluoride, chlorine, pesticide or pharmaceutical drug contamination.
Sea Salt: not much is needed, 1/8-1/2 teaspoon per cup of grain. For grains such as wheat or spelt berries, kamut, or barley add salt only at the final 30 minutes of cooking to ensure a tender conclusion.
Cooking Grains On a Stove Top
1. Wash grains in a strainer and place in a heavy pot.
2. Cover with pure water and allow to soak 6-12 hours.
3. Change the water. 1 cup of most grains requires 2 cups of water (and serves 2). To measure, place the tip of your index finger on top of the grain and pour the water up to the first knuckle.
4. Add the sea salt and slowly bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
5. Place the flame deflector under the pot, cover and reduce heat to low.
6. When water has been absorbed turn off the heat and place a clean towel under the lid and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes. This creates light, fluffier grains.
7. Remove lid and using a wooden rice paddle or wooden spoon, stir the grain beginning from the outer edge and spiraling towards the center of the pot. This helps distribute the energy of the grains.
A Few Extra Tips