Why on earth would anyone want to sprout their grains? Aren’t we all busy enough without adding another task to our day? Just buy some flour and bake with it already! These are some things you might have thought when you read the title of this post. I used to think the same thing until I took a second look into the importance of sprouting grains. Grains, as well as beans, other seeds, and nuts contain an anti-nutrient called phytic acid. An anti-nutrient is a natural substance that inhibits the body’s ability to absorb minerals. It’s the plant’s way of protecting itself from having its seeds eaten! Traditional cultures realized this and soaked, sprouted, and even fermented their grains before consuming. This process releases the anti-nutrient making the grain more digestible and increases its nutritional value. .
I buy my grains from a bulk buying club which saves me money. I always buy organic grains so that they are sure to be pesticide free and non-GMO. You can sprout wheat berries, spelt berries, rice, oats, etc. Any grain can be sprouted before cooking. For this tutorial I sprouted white wheat berries which is what is used to get pastry flour.
To sprout grains, you will need:
Grain of choice
Wide-mouth jar, quart size or larger
Sprouting lid (recommended), cheesecloth, or mesh with rubber band
Dehydrator with trays
Grain Mill, Vitamix, or Blendtec for grinding flour
Gather your equipment and fill jars about 2/3 of the way with grain. Fill jar with filtered water, attach sprouting lid and drain water. Refill with water and replace sprouting lid. Leave on the counter for 12-24 hours to soak. After 12-24 hours, drain water, fill again and rinse. Replace lid and leave the grains without water for another 12 hours (Rinsing once or twice again) or until you see little sprouts coming out of the ends. Once the grains germinate they are ready. If you are sprouting rice, you can go ahead and cook it at this point. If you are sprouting grains for flour, you have a few more steps.
For flour, take the sprouted grain and rinse once more in the jar with the sprouting lid. Drain all the water and place on a dehydrator tray. (You can do this on a cookie sheet in the oven on warm or no higher than 145 degrees.)
Set dehydrator to 145 degrees and let grain dry for at least 12 hours. Depending on humidity it may take longer. To test it, take a couple out and chew them. If they are as hard as they were before soaking, they are ready.
From here the grain is ready to be ground into flour. I have a Norpro grain grinder but I don’t like it. It doesn’t get the grain fine enough for flour. I have been using my Blendtec and it grinds it into a fine flour in a few seconds. I grind flour once per week for that week’s worth of baking. It’s best to use sprouted flour fresh. You can always store the dried, sprouted grain in jars until ready to use.
This process is simple and your actual hands-on prep time is very minimal. The grains take time to sprout and dehydrate by themselves but the outcome is worth the wait! Your gut will thank you and so will your taste buds!
Have fun and get sprouting!