Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Adventures in Sprouting....the small stuff.

One of my goals this year was to learn to sprout a little more. If you google on the internet, "how to sprout", you will get a bucket full of ideas and methods. For me, I need something simple. I don't want new gadgets to buy. I want to use what I have and I want it to work the first time. Well, I got lucky. This time. Not so much with the new dinner dish I made the other night but it worked with my sprouts. 

I have already conquered the basic grains for my bread and baking like spelt, kamut, wheat and barley. Those are easy because they are big. You can see my demo here. I was now going to try the small stuff like millet, quinoa and buckwheat. They wouldn't work in my colander method because they are too small. I needed something without the holes for them to fall through. Here is what I did and what worked.

In this jar I sprouted some buckwheat. I took one of my half gallon jars I use for my kefir and made a make shift mesh lid. The store I went to charged around $15 bucks for a mesh lid. Ridiculous. I went to the store and bought one of those fine mesh lids to go over a fry pan for about $4 and cut out some circles. I could get several out of the lid. I am sure I could find something even cheaper if I wanted to drive around more. The metal mesh lid fit right into the band. I screwed it onto the mason jar. 

With smaller grains, you don't soak overnight. Just and hour or two. After you soak, you want to drain and rinse a few more times. Some of the smaller grains, like quinoa and buckwheat get a little slimy so you want to rinse them until the slime is gone. 

After you rinse, you tip the jar and let all the water drain. It is best to have it tipped at an angle to let it continually dry but I just drained it well and set it on its side. I would tip it upside down now and then to make sure all the water was gone.

You want to make sure that you don't use too much grains/seeds. I did a little much the first go round but found it worked fine about 1/3 - 1/2 full. You need room for the air to circulate and they will grow when they are soaked. 

Every grain takes a different time to sprout so it will vary. Usually it is about 1-3 days and depends on how much you want it to sprout. If you want green sprouts, it will take longer. You want to rinse it a couple times a day and drain it again. I roll mine around a few times so that the grains get air and rotate  a bit. I didn't let mine get to the green stage because I was going to dry them for flour. All the grains I did were done in 1-2 days tops. I did them just until the white sprout appeared and was about 1/8 inch long. 

The quinoa and millet were even smaller so after I let them soak and put them in the jar for 1/2 the day, I decided to spread them out a bit so they could get a little more air. Think I put a little too much in the jar. 

I took a pizza pan, the ones with the holes on the bottom and lined it with a cheese cloth. I put the moist grains on the towel and then covered them with another cheese cloth that was a little damp, barely. (You could use any thin towel). I set the pan on top of a colander for height and air exposure. I kept it slightly moist for the next day or two and they sprouted perfectly. You don't want them soggy, just not dried out. 

I did my millet the same way but when it was sprouted, I used it in smoothies and recipes. Millet is the only alkaline grain so it is perfect this time a year for an acidic, sick body. Since germs are everywhere right now, I figured we could use a boost. Millet is very mild so it is well hidden. The sprouting made it soft so you didn't have such a crunch effect going. 

All in all, sprouting has been easy as can be. It is funny how it takes you so long to want to try something out then you realize how simple it really is.

Sprouting is so very important for our grains. It unlocks the true potential of our food. It gives it a sort of super power that is kept hidden until the enzymes are released through sprouting. In turn, it will give us super powers.  Who doesn't want super powers? Me. I could really use some. I am a bit sleepy. 16 preschoolers will be here in the morning for some valentine fun. We are making sugar cookies, millet style. Don't tell them. 

Speaking of preschoolers, I have 4 slots opened for my 3 year old preschool next year beginning in August. AM and PM classes. I also have a few slots for my June only class on Tuesdays. Email me for details. 


Health Seeker's Kitchen said...

Great post! Thank you for the reminder that I need to get my sprouting trays out. It is a great organic indoor garden:)

Sarah @ Mum In Bloom said...

Ok I haven't tried this yet but it's on my list to try. I have 2 kits so I just need to go for it. Thank you for the detailed instructions :)

Kara said...

Very nice technique. What timing! I am teaching a sprouting class on Wednesday at 7:30. Spread the word.

learning pizza maker said...

Great post! I never sprouted, but would be interested in trying. Do you sprout to make pizzas? I have been on an adventure of making different kinds of pizzas and would be interested in trying your methods for pizza.


Shari Goodman said...

I use half sprouted flour in my pizza dough and the other half white flour. I don't like all sprouted flour pizza dough, it is too heavy. I have checked out your blog and love your pizza adventures!

learning pizza maker said...


Thanks for telling me you used half sprouted flour and half white flour to make pizza dough. Sometime in the near future I am going to try your idea. I really like your blog also!