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Soak before you cook: Prep your legumes the right way!

Oct 09, 2021 17:13 IST | By Editorji News Desk

Legumes such as beans, lentils and green peas are a healthy addition to any diet. Most people have a habit of washing the legumes before cooking but very few are habitual of soaking them. Pulses like rajma and chole require overnight soaking in order to be cooked quickly. But do you know that soaking has a number of benefits apart from decreasing cooking time?

Also watch: Powerful Pulses: great for your kitchen pantry & the environment

According to the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, soaking legumes for several hours is a must before cooking. Here's why. 

Improves absorption of nutrients

Soaking lentils increases the mineral absorption rate of the body. An enzyme called phytase is activated when you soak the dal for some time. Phytase helps in breaking down phytic acid and helps in binding calcium, iron and zinc. This makes the absorption process much easier.

Improves digestion

Beans and some lentils are difficult to digest. Soaking activates a compound called amylase that breaks down complex starch in lentils and makes them easier to digest.

Removes gas-causing compounds

The soaking process also removes gas-causing compounds from the lentils. Most legumes contain complex oligosaccharides, which is a type of complex sugar responsible for bloating and gas. Post-soaking this complex sugar content is significantly reduced which further saves you from stomach troubles.

Also watch: Green peas: what makes it a diabetes-friendly winter superfood

Ideal soaking time for various legumes:

  • Whole dals like moong, masoor, urad dal should be soaked for 8 to 12 hours.
  • Overnight soaking is the best option for heavy legumes like rajma, chana or chole.

Soak before you cook: Prep your legumes the right way!

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