To get the most out of a plant-based diet, certain food prep should be under taken: soaking and sprouting. These processes help unlock the nutrients found within nuts, grains and legumes.
To soak nuts, place them in a bowl and fill with water until the nuts are submerged. Leave overnight. Drain and rinse the nuts then place on a baking tray in a preheated 195°F oven. Leave oven on for one hour. Turn off the heat and leave the nuts in there to continue drying out. If you have a food dehydrator, you could probably use that instead.
Soaking tips: Most nuts can be left anywhere from a few hours to eight hours. Cashews get slimey when left longer than a few hours. Heating allows the nuts to dry out so that they don’t go moldy. Using a low temperature helps prevent the essential oils contained within from going rancid.
To sprout grains and legumes, place them in a bowl of water so that they are submerged. Leave overnight. Drain, rinse then place them back in the bowl. Fill with just enough water to moisten. Leave on countertop out of direct sunlight for a few days. Twice a day, during this time, rinse and refill bowl with enough water to moisten the contents. Eventually the grains/legumes will open up enough to let a little ‘tail’ protrude through. This means the grains/legumes have sprouted.
Sprouting tips: Some items sprout quicker than others e.g. lentils and quinoa. Once sprouted the grains and legumes still need to be cooked. As it can be a lengthy process, try sprouting in bulk and storing the excess cooked grains/legumes in the freezer to be used later.