(Before I get into my post, just a quick little reminder that we will be having the Nourishing Sweets and Treats Carnival on the 16th, Hope you can make it!)
Once upon a time, I sprouted grain frequently and always had some dehydrated grain for milling into flour. I have since fallen from my sprouting good habits, but am determined to renew that habit.
(If truth be known, I am really into sprouting grains right now because I want to make some cookies with sprouted flour. Cookies are a great motivator. But since sprouting this batch of wheat berries, I remembered how very easy it is to do, and I really am going to make it more of a routine. *wink*)
Sprouting not only neutralizes phytic acid, which blocks the absorption of many important minerals (read more about it here), but it increases the vitamin content. Many people prefer sprouted grain because they consider it more alkalizing to the body. I mentioned in my post 12 Tips for Squeezing the Most Nutrient Rich Food From Your Dollar, in tip number nine, that sprouting grain gives you more nutrition for just a little bit of time, not more money. I am all for increasing nutrition without increasing my monthly budget.
You can lightly steam sprouted grain, add it to breads, or casseroles. Or, you can dry it in your dehydrator or oven, and grind it up to use in recipes that would be otherwise be hard to soak, such as cookie recipes. There are so many advantages and uses for sprouted grains, it’s a shame not to take advantage of them!
Half Gallon Mason Jar
Sprouting Screens such a this one (A little screen that you screw on with the outer band of the usual jar lid. You can also sometimes find plastic ones at health food stores. I have also used a bit of cheesecloth, but it only works okay. )
Grains for Sprouting, such as, Wheat, Spelt, Millet, Rye
2-The next morning drain your jar (the screen will catch all of the grain for you), and rinse the grain by pouring water in the jar through the screen, and gently rolling the water around to rinse all of the grains. Drain again, and place in a bowl or other dish that will hold your jar at a slant downwards (so that the grains will continue to drain and the air is able to circulate.
A bowl works fine.
3-Rinse at least twice a day, three times is better, until you see little sprouts coming out of the grain. 2-4 days. I have often been surprised at how quickly my wheat will sprout.
Dehydrating Your Grain (to make into flour)
You can you use a food dehydrator (which I have done). Just make sure you have inserts that make it possible to put in such a small item, like grains. (I have used American Harvest’s beef jerky inserts, and their fruit leather inserts, with good success).
Or you can use your oven. Spread your grain out on baking sheets, making sure not to make too thick of a layer, so they dry evenly.
Sally Fallon recommends that 150 degrees be the highest temperature you use. Unfortunately, my oven only goes down to 170 degrees. I have been able to make it work however (I will periodically open the oven up, to let out some of the heat). My wheat berries took 7 hours to dry, but it could take a bit longer. You could also do it overnight. Just make sure that the grains are nice and dry if you plan on grinding them.
Grinding Your Sprouted and Dehydrated Grain
The easiest option is, of course, to use a grain mill/grinder. Just grind it like you would un-sprouted grain.
But if you don’t own a grinder you could also use an electric coffee grinder. I have one friend who uses her larger electric coffee grinder to grind all of her flour. It takes a bit more time, but it does work. You could also use a powerful blender (a vita-mixer works great).
Keeping Your Sprouted Grain
Your sprouted, but not dehydrated grain, can be kept for several days covered in the refrigerator.
Your sprouted and dehydrated grain can be kept for extended periods of time in the refrigerator.
It’s best to grind your berries right before using in a recipe, but if you have extra flour leftover, place in a sealed container in the refrigerator as well.
For more Info:
Sprout People sell seeds for sprouting, and have info on the time it takes to sprout different seeds and grains and carry many useful sprouting tools.
Kelly also did a recent post on sprouting grains.
For those who don’t want to sprout their own, you can also buy sprouted flour, as a kind reader pointed out to me. (Thanks Mary!) Here’s the link, Creating Heaven. They also have a lot of information on why sprouting grain is so good for you.
This post is part of Works for me Wednesday.