Wheat Berry Sprouts: a healthy indoor treat

Wendy S. Delmater
By Wendy S. Delmater on Thu, Dec 6, 2012 - 7:08pm

Why sprout?

Sprouting grains (and beans) makes them better for you. It increases vitamin C, folic acid, niacin and riboflavin by as many as one hundred times the amount you get with unsprouted wheat. Sprouted grain breads may also be higher in protein than just plain grain breads.

Eating raw sprouts adds extra enzymes to your grains. People like me who have a sensitivity to wheat (no, I'm not talking about gluten intolerance or celiac disease – just a sensitivity) may be helped by the presence of these enzymes. They may find that their bodies are more able to break down wheat in this form with thanks to the natural enzymes activated through the sprouting process.

Enzymes introduced during the sprouting process also break down something called phytic acid. This allows your body to absorb the zinc, calcium, copper, iron and magnesium found in grains. Good deal, huh? And it might be especially important if you can't run ot the corner market to buy vitamin and mineral supplements in a world where budgets and supplies are tight.

Bonus! For those wanting to keep their sugar levels on an even keel, sprouted grain breads have a lower glycemic index than whole wheat breads. Note, however, that you must refrigerate breads baked with sprouted grains after baking.

For more reasons to sprout, keep reading – starting with this article. And then watch this video.

Here are what sprouted wheat berries look like:

How to Sprout Wheatberries:

  1. Add 1/4 cup of wheat berries to a quart canning jar--or any similar-sized glass jar--and fill it with lukewarm water. (Our water is heavily chlorinated, so I let it sit for a day to get rid of the taste.)
  2. Place a double-thickness of cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar, and secure with a canning jar ring or a rubber band.
  3. Drain the water out through the cheesecloth. Remove cheesecloth; fill jar with water again, and cover again with cheesecloth. Then let the wheatberries soak for 2 hours.
  4. Drain, rinse again and drain.
  5. Place the jar full of damp wheat berries on its side and set it in a dark place. Make sure they have air circulating to avoid mold.
  6. Rinse and drain the wheat berries twice a day for 2-4 days, until 2 cups of 1/8-inch-long sprouts are formed. The "legs" (roots) that form at first are NOT the sprouts; wait for them.
  7. Place the sprouts in a colander, rinse with cold water, drain and serve. You can store them in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
  8. u can then dehydrate your sprouted grain and mill it for use in baking. Use it like regular flour.

Cooking with Wheat Berry and other sprouts:

Try the recipes at The Sprouted Kitchen. Here's one I like: wheat berry salad.


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