Soaking releases the growth inhibitors inherent in seeds that keep them from sprouting. Quinoa is exceptional in that it starts to sprout in as little as 6 hours. Dried beans require longer soaking times (12 to 14 hours) and are always best set to soak the night before, rinsed in the morning and then soaked again until cooked later in the day.
Soaking grains, nuts, beans and other seeds is simple. Rinse in a fine-mesh strainer, look for any foreign matter. (It is rare but sometimes small pebbles are found in dried beans and grains.) Place the required quantity for your recipe (or other seed, grain or nuts) in glass or stainless steel and cover with twice as much warm or room temperature purified water; for example for one cup of quinoa add two cups of water. The grain or seeds will swell during soaking, thus requiring less cooking water. Once the grain has soaked for at least 8 hours, rinse well with pure water. Add enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to simmer, cover and let simmer until tender. Usually about 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand, without removing the lid for another 5 minutes. Fluff with a fork and serve.
*Lima beans generally take 30 to 40 minutes to cook and once cooked are ready to eat or blend with vegetables for a hearty main dish.