There are lots of differing reasons for soaking and rinsing grains. Some are nutritional based and some are purely for better flavor and cooking methods. Let's talk about a few.
Quinoa is a seed categorized as a pseudocereal or pseudograin. It does not grow on grass like oats, rice, and wheat. Quinoa is oval and flat in shape and consists of an outer coating called saponin. Saponin can make the quinoa taste bitter. Simply by rinsing 1 - 2 minutes before cooking this bitter taste can be completely eliminated leaving you with a delicious slightly nutty flavor that can be served sweet or savory. It is quick to cook and stores well in the refrigerator for easy meal prep.
Steel cut oats are a different form of rolled oats or quick oats. All oat grains start out as whole oat groats. We associate each of their names by the way they are processed. Rolled oats are softened by steam and then flattened by rollers to form flakes. Steel cut oats, also known as Irish Oats, are cut into small pieces using steel blades. Instant oats are steamed, flatten and cut into smaller pieces for quick cooking. Any type of oats contain something called phytic acid. This is good because phytic acid binds to toxins and impurities and removes them from your system, but phytic acid also has a tendency to bind to other minerals that our bodies need. Soaking grains in a slightly acidic environment can eliminate this problem. Adding a table spoon or two of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar can start the break down of phytic acid. Soaking is also a huge benefit in digestibility and absorption of whole grains. Another added bonus is that cooking time can be cut in half when using soaked whole grains like steel cut oats. Happy soaking!
Be happy and healthy!
The Grain Market