Tips For Soaking and Sprouting

Tips For Soaking and Sprouting Legumes, Beans, Seeds, and Nuts

To sprout seeds, nuts, grains, or legumes, just add water to cover over night. After 4-6 hours, or overnight, pour off the water and make sure to rinse with fresh water daily. Once you see the sprout developing, they are ready to eat.

You can eat sprouts raw or add them to a stir fry, sprinkle them on top of eggs, or one of my favorites is into my own fermented vegetables which you can learn how to do here: About Fermentation

This versatile veggie prep not only bulks up your food stores, and increases food volume by 3 x, but opens nutrition and converts anti-nutrients into enzymes. The soaking and sprouting process decreases antinutrients like phytates and protease inhibitors which block the ability for the vitamins and minerals to absorb into the body. I suspect that a lot of food allergies can be linked to the fact that we took foods from these traditions, and discarded their traditional ways of preparing the foods. Anti-nutrients are extremely irritating, inflammatory, and allergenic, and after years of eating them, we have reactions to them. Yet, its likely that all we had to do was soak and sprout the foods.

Nutritionally, sprouting increases levels of vitamin C, B vitamins, and increases protein absorption directly into the system. This helps ensure that your body doesn’t have to work so hard to absorb the nutrition from the food you’re eating.

You will also find that pre-soaking any of these plant seeds helps to speed up how fast they cook, which is essential knowledge especially if you plan to cook on a fire, and even if you’re trying to spare on using fracked natural gas to cook your food. All of this great increase in health and vitality, thanks to the powerful metabolic effects of the sprouting process.

Mung Beans: (seen above) are the easiest and it’s good to start with them to get a feel for the cycle. Just soak them overnight, rinse with clean water once a day and they are ready to cook over night, or eat raw in 1-2 days. The same is true for most lentils.


Chickpeas: Are a harder example, and require 3-4 rinses a day because they get slimy and can go bad if not taken care of. It will take 4 days or more for them to sprout and not be hard and therefore super gassy if eaten that way. They are much trickier and require much more diligence.

Rice: All rice should be rinsed thoroughly if not then also soaked overnight. In this case it’s not going to show a visual sprout unless you work on rinsing it for 3-6 days. The point of rinsing rice is to reduce the level of starch, and you can see it come off as you soak it. 

Quinoa: Quinoa contains saponin which actually stops cells from being able to absorb oxygen, which is essential for metabolism.

Almonds: Soaking almonds overnight and peeling the skins helps to covert the unavailable protein into usable amino acids, removing the skins reduces the tannin which also blocks protein absorption, and makes them way more digestible.

In the Ayurvedic tradition it is said that eating 10 soaked and peeled almonds for breakfast sets the protein levels of the body and modern science seems to affirm this.

Soaking and sprouting almonds is also said to relieve their pitta (fire) aggravating properties.

Sprout Mixes: There are also lots of sprout mixes to experiment with which are often called “sandwich mixes” or “salad mixes” try to see what you like, and get optimal nutrition from the foods you eat.

Despite all the fancy sprouting tools available on the market, I exclusively use ball jars and bowls and have soaked all the above succesfully.




Check out lots more herbalism and foraging videos, articles, and upcoming classes as well as herbal goods:

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Plant Love,


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This Weekend! Winter Foraging and Tracking Classes in NJ

Hey Friends of the Forest,

Join Me this weekend for 2 winter classes which will increase your survival skills, herbal wisdom, and nature awareness.

Saturday, Feb 18th, at 2 pm: Join me for an NJ winter wild walk to learn about edible and medicinal plants, even through the snows and cold weather. In this class you will get tips and insights on how to identify certain plants, when and how to collect them, and how to prepare them.

Check out the FB event here: Winter Foraging Class

Sunday, Feb 19th, at 2 pm: Join me for an exploration into the art of tracking.

In this class, I will be teaching methods to practice paying deep attention to the signs and tracks that continually surround you and the questioning practices to help learn and go deeper into the meaning of the maps of tracks.

Check out the FB event here: Winter Tracking Class

For each class there is a $25 suggested donation, If you plan to come to both classes take $10 dollars off the total amount.

RSVP required for meeting location:

Dress Properly: wool socks, insulated pants, pants on top, long sleeve shirt, sweater, jacket, gloves, hat.



Check out a favorite winter foraging food here: Gathering Winter Rose Hips

And lots of other foraging articles at: Foraging Articles

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Dandelions Gluten-Free Bread Recipe

Dandelions Gluten-Free Oat Bread Recipe:


Oat Sourdough Starter:

I have had many attempts succeeding in sourdough starter from oat flour, when many say it cannot be done.

I used a few tbsp of flour in a ball jar, some warm water, and added a tablespoon or 2 of maple syrup and stirred it. I repeated stirring for three days and I knew it was active when it was bubbling. I then replaced the need for commercial yeast by stirring it into the full batch of my bread flour, added the rest of my bread recipes, stirred, and let it sit for another night.

In the morning it rose and I baked it into bread succesfully.


Ingredients Needed for Bread:

2 1/2 cups hot water

1 cup rolled oats

1 package dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp or 1/4 oz) or the above sourdough

3/4 cup maple syrup

2 tsp salt

1 tbsp oil

5 cups flour, approximately (I use up to 7-8 cups total)


Oat Bread Recipe:

Gluten free bread can be fresh, delicious, and preservative free. Heres my favorite recipe for making bread that leaves me well satiated with bread goodness, without the allergic reactions!

1. Put 1 cup of oats into a bowl. Pour 2.5 cups boiling water over the oats and set aside to soak for an hour.

2. Sprinkle 2 1/4 tsp yeast over the cooled oatmeal and stir to mix. Add 3/4 c maple syrup, 2 tsp salt, 1 tbsp oil, and 3 cups of the flour. Blend all of the ingredients.  It will have the consistency of a heavy batter.


3. Cover the bowl with towel and set aside to rise over night.


4. Knead bread and add more flour, 1/2 cup at a time, until the dough is the correct consistency.


5. Grease baking pan and bake at 415 for 50 minutes, leave it in the pan with a towel over it for a few hours to continue to cook. Then enjoy with your favorite butter or spread.






Check out lots more articles, videos,

and upcoming classes on foraging, herbalism, and healing at:

Foraging Articles

Foraging Videos


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Dan De lion live on Ancestral Health Radio!

Hey friends, my podcast interview in Ancestral Health Radio is now live! Huge thanks to James for his great work on this informative podcast…

Check out the Episode at: 

Herbalism and Gut Health 

A Few Topics Discussed:

~Some problems with modern sanitation practices.

~The group of herbs Dan recommends we all grow to help combat common infections.

~Dan’s favorite fermented creations that you and I can make in the comfort of our own homes.

~Alchemy and Herbalism Practices.

Plant blessings,


Also, help support the building of the Roving Foraging and Herbalism School! Check out lots more at:

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Join Us Live! This Saturday: “The Yoga of Herbalism”

Hey friends of the forest,

Join us in person at the Garden of Healing in New Brunswick, NJ this Saturday at 6:30 pm! Click below to check out the event on facebook:

The Yoga of Herbalism – Exploring Herbal Remedies for the Cold and Flu Season:

Online Viewer: Or sign up to view the class online through paypal. After we receive your payment we will email you simple instructions on how to join us live through a smartphone or any computer.


Price: $30 – Join Dan for a discussion on ayurvedic herbal principles and herbal approaches to apply for the cold and flu season for the whole family. In this class, each student will become empowered to explore the many, many applications and preparations for working with making and administering remedies for the whole family. Demystify aspects of the ancient lineage of herbal medicine and bring your questions!

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Chaga Tea and the Ethics of Wildcrafting

Heres a look at one of my favorite medicinal mushrooms, Chaga, or Innonotus obliqqus. Of the several species in the Innotus genus, this is the one in which most is known about. 

Chaga comes predominantly off of yellow, and white birch (Betula spp) which are a source of aspirin like compounds. It is said that chaga helps to concentrate that complex chemistry into its own fruiting body.

Among many traditions, predominantly Russian, Asian, and within other eastern European tradition, Chaga tea is a world renown health beverage and is touted as one of the worlds foremost cancer healing substances. There is now much research to back some of these claims up.

Even among our modern culture, Chaga has and still remains very popular and within globalizing our “medicines” there are always some concerns about harvesting chaga in a regenerative way.

 One of the major concerns of extraction of this mushroom, as well as largely concerning the consumption of any/all raw mushrooms is a substance called chitin. Chitin is a carbohydrate chemical consisting of nitrogen containing polysaccharides. Polysaccharides are one of the most magical medicinal aspects of the medicinal mushrooms which oxygenate the blood and are shown clinically to destroy cancer cells. Chitin is a cellulose structure in polypore mushrooms like Chaga. Basically the more one grinds it the more the chemistry of Chaga can be released, and assimilated into the body. These are composed of different chains of polysaccharide to cellulose. Otherwise they are bound in the chitin structure which is also found as part of the shells of all arthropods, namely insects, Arachnids, and shellfish. 

Common examples of this hard cellular structure are the carapace of ants, as well as the shell of shrimp. Horse shoe crabs, molting animals. In other words, it’s a really hard, and indigestible substance. Similar to this is keratin, which is what our our hair and fingernails are made of. 

Chaga Tea: To make yourself chaga tea, it is recommended, on average to make 1 tsp Chaga powder in 1 c water, to simmer for at least 10-20 minutes. Other methods include longer decoctions that can even be made in a crock pot over night, or tincture, or double extraction. You can use a mortar and pestle to break the chaga down to smaller pieces, then use a coffee grinder to powder, it works great.

Chaga can be drank every day but caution to the awareness that we need to think holistically about sustainable harvesting, and what exactly that entails. Clearly, its likely that there is not enough chaga on this planet for our craze of such a medicine, and it is very difficult to understand the reproduction of chaga in ecosystems, let alone how long it takes for those ecosystems to climax to the point of harboring chaga.  It seems that the only true way to continue this medicine for generations to come is to protect old growth forest and to harvest responsibly. Responsibly may mean that, if you find one chaga, first look around, ask yourself are there others? If you find several, it is recommended to take no more than 30% of what you find. 

You can also check out my video below on identifying chaga highlighting identification aspects, ethical harvesting considerations, and aspects of its ecological signature, as well as medicinal and survival aspects of this wonderful mushroom.

For Further Studies and Research on the Medicinal Properties of Chaga:

Paul Stamets book Mycomedicinals

As an antioxidant :

Immunomodulating properties:

Anticancer actions of Chaga:

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“Yoga of Herbalism” Upcoming Class in New Brunswick, Jan 21

Join us Jan, 21 at the Garden of Healing in New Brunswick for a class entitled, “The Yoga of Herbalism: Exploring Herbal Remedies for Cold and Flu Season”

Price: $30 – Join Dan for a discussion on Ayurvedic herbal principles and herbal approaches to apply for the cold and flu season for the whole family. In this class, each student will become empowered to explore the many, many applications and preparations for working with making and administering remedies for the whole family. Demystify aspects of the ancient lineage of herbal medicine and bring your questions!

Check out the event on facebook here

About: Dan De Lion is an earth herbalist, forager, musician, and teacher. He teaches through Return to Nature, providing classes, lectures, and seminars on wild food foraging, mushroom identification, herbal medicine making, as well as primitive and survival skills with a focus on wild foods and forest medicines.

He also incorporates the philosophies of yoga, alchemy, meditation, and mysticism into his classes, lectures, and seminars and brings a deep-rooted indigenous medicine perspective of practicing intuition with plants, in a systematic and earth-based way

Check out more at

Check out Dans article on working with herbs for Colds and Flu

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“Foragers Broadcast” Episode 28 – Available NOW!

Hey friends of the forest,

Heres a new episode from my ongoing Foragers Broadcast series..

This one is entitled, “Plant Talk, Fairy Speak, and the Biological Influence of Plants.”


Check out all the episodes on my youtube channel: Returntonatureskills

Heres a look at the topics from this episode:

“All Plants Talk, Some Scream!”

In this episode of Foragers Broadcast, Dan briefly touches on the historical perspective of the concept of “purgatory” and the fairy realm.

He answers question on the preparation and use of Chaga, and discusses “Fairy Dynamics” and the plant-world connection.

He offers the possibility of a new paradigm and how it could manifest itself.

Dan introduces the cosmic “Mom&Dad” metaphor, and the externalization of the personal progress we truly seek. He touches on the collective Power of the People, and how all the spiritual masters of the past were influenced by nature as their “temple”.

A brief discussion breaks out on Amanita Muscaria use, and determining the proper set and setting, as well as the biological importance of the continuation of plant ingestion in growing synapses!

If you appreciate these talks, please help support by checking out the gofundme van plan project at:

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Herbal CSA Winter Herbal Package – On Sale Now!

Greetings Plant Friends from the elven herbal kitchen!

In celebration of the Winter season, Return to Nature is offering a limited-edition Winter Magic Herbal Goods Package and we still have a few left!

Each package is carefully and lovingly handmade to order with prayer and the healing power of plant magic!

The price is $57.00 (Includes $7 USPS priority mail shipping) and includes:
~ 4 oz. Raw Organic Dark Chocolate
~4 oz. Organic Elderberry Elixir
~9 oz. Winter Magic Tea Blend: Lovingly crafted for wintertime plant healing with Lemongrass, Rosehips, Elderberries, Cardamom, Ginger & Hibiscus.
~2 oz. Heal All Organic Herb Infused Salve

Limited packages are available…Don’t miss out on the magic!

For questions, suggestions or feedback, email us at

Love and Plant Blessings,

Dan de Lion & Lauren

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The Yoga of Plants Part 2 – “Plant Ritual and Mantra in Ayurveda” Webinar Intro:

The Yoga of Plants Part 2 – “Plant Ritual and Mantra in Ayurveda” Webinar Intro:

Join Dan online for an informative talk about the ritual and practice with herbs, both in ancient and modern times.

Here is a listen to the intro to the full 2 hour webinar (available below) that I taught which is available for purchase in full below.


In this class, Dan discusses aspects of making preparations of herbs and wild plants, shamanic and alchemical practice and tradition with plants, theories on the ancient vedic rite of soma, and mantra chanting as powerful incantation to build rituals relevant to healing in the modern world.

For the full class, there is a $15 suggested donation.

If you would like to hear more of the class, we have the full class available by suggested donation, the full class can be seen at:

The Yoga of Plants Part 2

Check out more at:

The Yoga of Plants Part 1

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