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HOW TO Activate and Cook Legumes for Improved Digestion

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Legumes have been a staple food in different cultures for thousands of years, however, they are again becoming a more prominent ingredient in many recipes these days.

This superfood is a beneficial source of dietary protein, in addition to being an abundant source of dietary fibre, complex carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins. This makes legumes a valuable source of nutrition to include in your diet. The regular consumption of these can aid in dramatically reducing the prevalence of many common chronic diseases, like obesity and high blood pressure.

We all know some of the long-held ideas that legumes cause bloating and gas as they contain various anti-nutritional factors including phytic acid when in their dry form. They are a nutritious food and when prepared in the correct way they are well digested by most of us.  The ultimate preparation for legumes is knowing how to activate them.

Activating legumes is a lot simpler than what you might think. So what does activation process actually involve?

The activation of these superfoods enhances their nutrient value. The process involves the start of germination which will eventually end in sprouting. Activating legumes lets your body more readily absorb superfoods nutrients and makes them easily digestible. 

Activating involves soaking legumes before cooking, leaching anti-nutrients, and phytic acid. The incorporate of an acid medium into the soaking process is essential. As this triggers the process that allows phytase to be released, thus enhancing the removal of phytic acid.

Simple Steps to Activating your Legumes:

TIP- PLAN AHEAD: If you that you are going to include legumes in a dish,  leave yourself enough time (24 hours) to activate them beforehand. TIP: Plan your meal the night before and get things started after tonight’s dinner. 

  1. Place dried legumes in a large glass or ceramic bowl.
  2. Pour in hot (not boiling) filtered water into the bowl and ensure that there is enough water in the bowl to cover the legumes entirely. As they will soak up the water and expand.
  3. Add an acid media, such as (lemon juice or apple cider vinegar) to the ratio of 1 tsp of acid media to 1 cup of hot filtered water.
  4. Allow the legumes to soak for 12-24 hrs, rinse and change the soaking water at least once during soaking duration (every 8-12 hours).
  5. Once soaking has finished, pour through a sieve and rinse them thoroughly and cook, dehydrate or sprout them and enjoy.


Are Activated Nuts Better For You? retrieved 28/07/2018

How to Soak Grains for Optimal Nutrition, retrieved 10/07/2018

Legumes, retrieved 09/07/2018

Abd El-Hady, E.A; Habiba, R.A, LWT – Food Science and Technology, 2003, Vol.36(3), pp.285-293

Rehinan, Zia-Ur; Rashid, M.; Shah, W.H., Food Chemistry, April 2004, Vol.85(2), pp.245-249

Huma, Nuzhat; Anjum, Muhammad; Sehar, Samreen; Issa Khan, Muhammad; Hussain, Shahzad, Nutrition & Food Science, 31 October 2008, Vol.38(6), pp.570-577

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