Hello, in Indian cooking, we use various kinds of split lentils a lot. Most often, without the skin of the lentil. So, it can never be sprouted. Now, I had read a long time ago that soaking destroys the gas-forming chemicals in the lentils. So I have been trying to soak the lentils before use. But if it could never come alive, would soaking still be useful?
I'm not sure what you mean about coming alive. I never soak lentils or black eyed peas. I don't find that they cause much gas and they cook so quickly. I also think you lose some of their creaminess but tossing the soaking liquid. I do cold soak most other beans overnight and change the soaking liquid. I also hot soak chickpeas because I find they take forever to cook otherwise.
Coming alive = growing. Split lentils will not grow. Whole legumes will. Soaking results in chemical changes that occur because the seed is sprouting.
I have read that split legumes and red lentils (are they split?) do not benefit from soaking, and I think, that lentils are fairly low in whatever kind of acid soaking is altering. I still soak mine, I guess out of habit. Soaking certainly has an effect even if the thing can't grow, it is still absorbing water, and things are dissolving into the water, etc.
I also wonder why it is said that split legumes do not benefit from soaking, but that rolled grains do -- rolled oats certainly will not grow.
Sorry I don't have more solid information for you.
I think you are talking about two separate processes that affect grains: soaking vs. sprouting. Along with fermenting, all three processes help to neutralize anti-nutrients in grains and legumes. Soaking usually has to be with something acidic such as dairy, whey, vinegar water etc. It makes sense that something split can't sprout - but could still benefit from being soaked - just different ways of getting the same result. Apparently by the time the grain/legume has sprouted it has undergone it's own naturally progressing chemical change that neutralizes stuff. Fermentation, such as sourdough, is also effective.