How to cook grains for best results
Soaking your grains overnight or while you’re at work shortens their cooking time and encourages sprouting. To soak:
- Cover your grains completely with fresh water and drain them out after at least 7 hours.
- Add the amount of fresh water as indicated below to a pot and bring to a boil. Add soaked and drained grains and return the water to a simmer. Turn the heat down a little, cover and cook until tender.
- For the fluffiest grains, drain them through a sieve after cooking and spread them on a baking sheet to cool and dry before packing up and refrigerating.
Pre-soaking and Sprouting
Phytic acid is a natural substance found primarily in the bran of seeds. It stores phosphorous and also binds to minerals such as iron, magnesium calcium and zinc. These binds make it difficult for our bodies to absorb the important minerals and nutrients. When a seed begins to sprout, however, phytic acid is neutralized, and the same is true when grains are fermented. A a simple overnight soak begins the break down of complex starches, enzyme inhibitors, and other things for easier digestion.
|Barley, pearled||1 cup barley||3 cups water||45 to 60 minutes|
|Barley, hulled||1 cup barley||3 cups water||50-75 minutes|
|Kasha / Buckwheat Groats||1 cup groats||2 cups water||20 minutes|
|Einkorn||1 cup berries||2 cups water||30-40 minutes|
|Farro / Emmer||1 cup farro||2 cups liquid||20-45 minutes|
|Millet||1 cup millet||3 cups water||20 to 25 minutes|
|Oats, rolled||1 cup oats||3 cups water||10 to 15 minutes|
|Quinoa||1 cup quinoa||2 cups water||20 minutes (rinse well before cooking)|
|Rice, white||1 cup rice||2 cups water||15 to 20 minutes|
|Rice, brown||1 cup rice||2 ½ cups water||40 to 60 minutes|
|Rice, wild||1 cup wild rice||3 ½ cups water||60 minute|
|Rye berries||1 cup rye berries||3 cups water||60 minutes|
|Spelt||1 cup berries||3 cups water||40-60 minutes|
|Sorghum||1 cup sorghum||4 cups water||at least 45 minutes|
|Wheat (Hard Red Variety)||1 cup wheat berries||3 cups water||45 minutes to 1 ½ hour|
|Wheat Khorsan (Kamut)||1 cup berries||3 cups water||30-45 minutes|
Why do cooking times vary?
Pre soaking will reduce the amount of time you’ll need to cook your grains, but different grains may cook at different times than listed. Always check texture at the shortest cooking time to be sure your grains will not overcook. If your grains are cooked to your satisfaction but liquid remains, drain with a sieve and cool as indicated below.
What does Pearled mean?
All rice is brown rice and all grains have bran, but many of our dishes require the starches inside the grains to swell and, with friction, turn creamy, as in risotto or for sushi rice. Pearled grains are those whose brain has been rubbed off, either partially or entirely. The more bran remains on the grain, the longer the cooking time will be.
At The Gourmandise School, we focus on the best techniques and use local sustainable ingredients whenever possible. Our produce is sourced twice weekly from the Santa Monica Farmers Market. Our fresh seafood comes from Santa Monica Seafood. We use sustainable poultry such as Mary’s Free Range Chicken, and get our beef from Whole Foods or other sustainable providers.