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:

  1. Cover your grains completely with fresh water and drain them out after at least 7 hours.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Cooking Times

Barley, pearled1 cup barley3 cups water45 to 60 minutes
Barley, hulled1 cup barley3 cups water50-75 minutes
Kasha / Buckwheat Groats1 cup groats2 cups water20 minutes
Einkorn1 cup berries2 cups water30-40 minutes
Farro / Emmer1 cup farro2 cups liquid20-45 minutes
Millet1 cup millet3 cups water20 to 25 minutes
Oats, rolled1 cup oats3 cups water10 to 15 minutes
Quinoa1 cup quinoa2 cups water20 minutes (rinse well before cooking)
Rice, white1 cup rice2 cups water15 to 20 minutes
Rice, brown1 cup rice2 ½ cups water40 to 60 minutes
Rice, wild1 cup wild rice3 ½ cups water60 minute
Rye berries1 cup rye berries3 cups water60 minutes
Spelt1 cup berries3 cups water40-60 minutes
Sorghum1 cup sorghum4 cups waterat least 45 minutes
Wheat (Hard Red Variety)1 cup wheat berries3 cups water45 minutes to 1 ½ hour
Wheat Khorsan (Kamut)1 cup berries3 cups water30-45 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.