Sprouted grains are better for you than unsprouted grains (i.e. most of the grains sold today). They are easier to digest, contain more protein and nutrients, and reduce harmful substances.
For a more in-depth look at these germinated seeds, read why sprouted grains are a healthy choice.
You can buy sprouted-grain products, but grains are easy and inexpensive to sprout yourself.
A quick overview of sprouted grains
Grains sprout quickly. They take as little as a day and usually no more than two to three days to produce a finished sprout. Large grains, such as wheat and barley, grown over several days will produce grass. The sprouting process will make the grains more sweet — something kids especially love. And sprouted grains can be used in many ways, including in breads, cereals, casseroles, salads, sandwiches and more. It can also be placed in a dehydrator (at 105 degrees) or oven until dry and ground up to be used in recipes, such as cookies.
Sprouting your own grains
To get sprouting, all you need is a few supplies and some time.
Step. 1: Gather your supplies. Buy raw, whole grains (organic are best) and store them in closed containers away from cold and heat. For soaking and sprouting, you’ll need a mason jars, sprouting bags or sacks inside a glass, ceramic or stainless bowl or a trays with a drainage system, and you’ll need screen lids (mesh screens) or cloth with an elastic band. You’ll also need purified or filtered water. It’s also a good idea to sterilize your jars if you use them by boiling them in hot water for 10 minutes.
Step 2: Measure out grains and remove any stones, sticks, and broken seeds. It works best to lay them out on a flat surface.
Step 3: Rinse the grain seeds. For small seeds, you can skip this step if you wish.
Step 4: Soak the seeds in water for appropriate time (see chart below). Fill the jar about 1/3 full of grains and then add water to the top.
Step 5: Drain the water from the jar, bowl or tray, rinse the soaked seeds and then put them in a dark place for the appropriate time (see chart below). Make sure to cover the seeds. Jars should be placed at an angle so that air can flow and water can drain.
Step 6: Rinse seeds every 12 hours. Seeds need to stay damp. If you’re using a jar, prop the jar up at a 45-degree angle for water to drain. After rinsing, replace the grains back in the dark place.
Step 7: When sprouts begin to develop, put the jar in the sunlight. This allows chlorophyll to develop. Chlorophyll is good for detoxification, fights infection and more.
Step 8: When ready, rinse seeds and store them in the refrigerator, in a sprouting environment or in other suitable container until ready to cook with or eat. Make sure to rinse seeds thoroughly to get rid of all phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Dry sprouted grains for eight to 12 hours before refrigerating.
Grain soaking and sprouting times
- Most but not all of your seeds will sprout.
- Use grains as soon as possible because freshness is what makes them tasty and healthy. Use them within two to three days.
- If not used within 12 hours, seeds should be rinsed every 24 hours in the fridge.
- Keeping the sprouted grains raw will leave the most nutrients intact. Here’s a delicious recipe for raw, sprouted hummus.
- If you’re sprouting grains for bread, you’ll want the actual sprout to be about one millimeter long.
- Quinoa is the quickest to sprout.
- After your grains are sprouted, you can use them to make rejuvelac as a health tonic, digestive aid and energy boost.
- Soaking water can be used to water plants.
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