Today I did something I’ve thought about doing for a long time but never did – I sprouted wheat grains! Are you wondering why in the world I would want to do that?
Grains have phytic acid in them, and this blocks the nutrients present in the grains from being fully utilized. So while you might feel really healthy when your diet is filled with whole grains, not nearly as many of the nutrients are absorbed by your body as you might expect. There are a couple of ways to remedy this. The suggestion I’ve seen most often recommended for improving the quality of flour is to soak the flour in an acidic medium before baking with it. But this didn’t appeal to me since it would change the quality of the bread.
Then I remembered reading somewhere about someone who soaked and sprouted her wheat, then dehydrated it, and then ground it. That option would give me a good quality flour and the flour would maintain it’s usual consistency for baking. So I decided to try that.
The sprouting went much more quickly than I expected. I needed to sprout a large amount of wheat, so I couldn’t use the usual quart jar that I use for sprouting salad sprouts. I filled up a large pot a little more than halfway with grain, then filled it up close to the top with water. In the morning, the pot was almost full since the water was mostly absorbed. I poured out the remaining water and rinsed the wheat with fresh water before draining it again. I was concerned about how effectively it would sprout due to the large amount that I was working with, but it really worked out fine. I stirred it around when I swished water in, so that whatever was in the middle or top would switch places. I did this a total of three times.
The wheat sprouted after a day and a half, much faster than I was expecting. I didn’t even notice the tiny sprouts at first; my kids had to bring it to my attention. Then I put all of the sprouted wheat into a big turkey roaster to dehydrate on a low temp in the oven, and periodically stirred it.
On one of the early stirrings, dd decided to taste one of the grains, and thought it was so good that she asked if she could eat some. At first I thought she was joking, but then I realized it would potentially make a nice dish, so I agreed that we could cook a few cupfuls up. I served it with butter and honey, and everyone gobbled it all up for lunch, and requested more. I agreed again, but told them we would need to start more wheat sprouting so we would have the flour to bake with when we needed – that was the point of doing all this! Today we started another large amount of wheat soaking, maybe about 15 cups or so (two potfuls this time).
It’s amazing how easy this was – I initially envisioned it would be very time consuming (which is why I was reluctant to try it for so long), but the hands on time for it was maybe ten minutes total. Most of the time involved was waiting. I think the hardest part is just thinking and planning a couple of days ahead so that the grains are ready for grinding when you want to make bread.