Rice is something of an enigma of grains. It’s both low in phytates and phytase (the enzyme that helps break down the phytates). That means that it doesn’t “have” to be soaked, which is why many people choose it when they need something fast. It’s still better to soak it, though. The method is somewhat strange, but, if you keep up with it, eventually over 95% of the phytates will be reduced.
Yes, eventually. It’s a multi-step method.
Luckily, this is not too difficult. It just requires time.
How to Soak Rice
- Brown rice
- Filtered water
- Raw vinegar OR “old rice water”
This is a two-step process, really. The first time you do it, you will use vinegar (I choose red wine, but you could choose apple cider, or really any type of acid). The second time, you will use the “old rice water” which I will explain below.
First, take brown rice and pour it into a glass bowl.
Then, add water and 1 tsp. acid per cup of rice. Set it in a warm place (warmth is necessary to reduce phytates).
Let this sit at least 7 hours; overnight is better. Now, here comes the trick! Pour about 1/2 c. of this soaking liquid into a small glass dish and save it until the next time you soak your rice.
Pour the rest of the liquid out and rinse the rice; cook as usual.
The next time that you soak rice, instead of adding vinegar, you will add this 1/2 c. of soaking liquid that you saved. Continue to save liquid after each time you soak it, and use that liquid (plus additional water) to soak your new batch of rice.
Research has shown that this method, after 4 “cycles,” will reduce almost all of the phytates. Pretty neat, huh?