I am thankful to Tara Spenser for sending me this great article as a guest post. We know sprouting is healthy and increases the protein content in a grain but her article takes it to a next new level. Thanks for providing us with such useful information Tara. I am also grateful for meeting such wonderful people like you through my blog.
Sprouting Grains for a Whole Grain Diet
Think sprouting grains is for hippies? Think again.
We’re advised to eat lots of fiber-rich whole grains today, but eating whole grains without soaking or sprouting them can hurt our health by blocking necessary mineral absorption. Our ancestors sprouted their grains by soaking them overnight, leavening them, or leaving harvested grains in tied sheaves until it was time to thresh them (which allowed many of the grains to sprout). In our fast-paced society built on convenience, we’ve fallen out of practice.
The Whole Grains Council (a nonprofit consumer advocacy group) reports on the many the health benefits of sprouted whole grains.
• Soaking and sprouting neutralizes phytic acid, which is responsible for blocking absorption of many necessary minerals (like iron, calcium, zinc, and more) by combining with them in the intestinal tract.
• The sprouting process increases the amount and bio-availability of vitamins (especially vitamin C) and minerals.
• Sprouted brown rice helps fight diabetes and promotes cardiovascular health.
• Sprouted buckwheat protects against fatty liver disease.
• Sprouted brown rice helps decrease depression and fatigue, especially in nursing mothers.
• Sprouted barley is associated with decreased blood pressure.
Sprouting is relatively easy and low-maintenance way of ensuring that your body is getting the most of the other foods you eat. Here’s how to do it.
• Sprouting kit (or)
• Mason jars and sprouting lids (or)
• Steel strainer
• Glass or steel bowl
• Apple cider vinegar
• Grains like brown rice, wheat berries, quinoa, barley, millet, rye, or spelt.
1. Before going to bed, fill your sprouting container a third of the way full and fill the rest with water; leave out overnight. If buying a kit is too much investment at this time, just soak a few cups of grains in a bowl of water overnight. Add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to ensure the phytic acid is neutralized.
2. Use soaked grains the next morning as desired. To sprout them, however, and thereby increase their nutrition density, continue.
3. Drain the jar or bowl the next morning and rinse gently so all the grains have been cleaned with fresh water.
4. If using a mason jar, drain and place a bowl that will hold your sprouting jar upside down at a slant. The water will drain but air will circulate. If using the strainer method, drain the grains into the strainer. With both methods, rinse at least twice a day.
5. Repeat until little sprouts protrude from the grains. Quinoa is the quickest and will sprout overnight. Wheat berries, millet, and brown rice can take 2 – 4 days.
6. You can scoop soaked or sprouted rice directly into a rice cooker without dehydrating.
7. To turn your grain into flour, dehydrate sprouted grains using a food dehydrator or spreading evenly over a baking sheet and bake on 150 F for several hours. (Wheat berries take about 7 hours.)
8. Use a grain mill or even an electric coffee grinder for the smoothest flour.
9. Sprouted but not dehydrated grain will keep covered in the refrigerator, but beware of mold after the first few days.
Tara Spenser is currently the resident writer for workingcapital.org, where she researches the most affordable cash advances for business and business capital. In her spare time, she enjoys blogging, swimming and being a mom.