Sprouted Grains – Part 2 – HOW to Sprout your Grains

November 23, 2008 · 29 comments

This is PART 2 which will cover HOW to sprout your grains.  (It’s an easy process, but if you still don’t feel like it, here’s where you can buy sprouted flour online.)

If you haven’t yet read PART 1 about WHY sprouting grains is important and when you would want to use sprouted grainflour, head back to that post.

***Be sure to see the comments below for which recipes are best to use it with and which ones I haven’t had success with…

All this is explained more in the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. I’ll give you a quick rundown here. It’s much more simple than I expected, the biggest part of it was figuring out which supplies I was going to use. The other small issue was the space it took up on the counter and sink for a day or two, but I made 2 big batches at once, most of you will probably just make one at a time so it won’t take up as much space.

  • Fill your jar about 1/3 full of grains, then add filtered water to the top and soak overnight. (In the above picture I did more like 1/2 to 2/3, but it was too much.) Mine soaked for about 17 hours – they really only needed 12 or so, but that put me at the middle of the night. NT said to use 1-quart ball jars, but I wanted to sprout more grain than that size would hold, so I used my 1-gallon glass jars. (Which are not easy to find these days, by the way, you may have to search online, maybe ebay? Comment here if you find them please!)
  • Next I drained them well. (I looove this new colander I found at a kitchen store here in town.) I did one batch like this, and kept a towel over it. (I just moved it over onto a towel on the counter if I needed both sides of the sink):
  • I did another batch like this, and drained them upside down in the sink, with cheesecloth held by a rubber band on the top:
  • NT said to rinse them 1-3 times/day, however often it takes to keep them damp. But after rinsing, they need to be draining again, so that they aren’t wet for long. (I read online somewhere that if they’re too wet, they’ll ferment and start to smell funny.)
  • By the time 12 hours went by (since draining them the first time), the sprouts were clearly visible!Can you see the little baby sprouts in this picture? If you let them go longer, the sprouts get longer. Once they’ve sprouted, I’m not sure if there is a benefit to letting them go longer, does anyone know?  UPDATE!  Here’s a great post with much more info on sprouting grains and how far you should let the sprouts grow.  1/4″ – 1/2″ is best.  :)  ***Also at that link is info on how using sprouted flour affects your recipes.

  • I then dried them on a cookie sheet in the oven at 170* for about 18 hours (170* is the lowest temp my oven will go down to, unfortunately) - I was afraid to dry them any less because I tried this once years ago and didn’t get them dry enough and my Nutrimill ended up needing a repair, but I’m going to do less next time and then set them on the counter to finish drying.  Once I let them go too long and they had a bit of a burnt smell and then my flour did too after it was ground.  UPDATE:  I now have a dehydrator that a friend gave me and I’m going to dry them in there from now on so I can keep them under 150*.
  • Then grind in your grain mill.    (More about grinding your grains.)  As I said in the other post, I keep my flour in the freezer and try not to grind too much at once because the grain before it’s ground keeps for a looooong time, but the flour itself loses it nutritive value quickly.

Let me know how it goes for you!!

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  • { 28 comments… read them below or add one }

    1 Erin November 23, 2008 at 10:45 pm

    Hey Kelly! I'm SO excited to see you blogging about Sprouting!!! ;)
    Can you tell?
    Anyhoo, when I first started getting curious I did some research & found THE world's greatest site to buy & find recipes & TONS of info on sprouting:
    http://www.sproutpeople.com
    They know everything! And they share their knowledge for FREE! I even bought some equipment & tried a few of the recipes (the chocolate dessert thingy is wonderful! can't remember what it's called, sorry! Old age perhaps?)
    I also have found (dare I admit it?!) Amazon to be a great source for finding equipment & seeds at lower costs…I have been too busy to try any of the Sample Sprout Packets I bought recently, but perhaps I'll blog my journey…?
    Keep up the great work, my dear!

    Reply

    2 Steve and Paula November 24, 2008 at 11:29 am

    Kelly,
    You can always get gallon jars from a co-op, but what we have done is buy a gallon of pickles from Costco when we need a jar.
    The pickles cost the same and sometimes less than a plain jar, so if you do not need the pickles, they can be fed to the hogs/chickens, even thrown out if that does not make you feel guilty.
    Paula

    Reply

    3 Anonymous November 24, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Thanks, Kelly. I have found one gallon glass jars at Hardware stores, Lehman’s Hardware (just a short drive for me), The Container Store and IKEA if you have one near by.
    I bought lots of bail top jars at IKEA at great prices for my dehydrated foods.

    Note on sprouting. I have read that it would be good to add a small amount of food grade hydogen peroxide solution to the initial soak with all grains/seeds. This effectively kills the mold that is so prevelant in our food supply (organic and non alike). Some believe it is just as much to blame for gluten/wheat allergies as the phytic acid. I haven’t researched this a lot myself, but a friend shared this with me recently and said the aflatoxins are a huge problem.

    Reply

    4 Kelly the Kitchen Kop November 24, 2008 at 7:13 pm

    Erin, thanks for the scoop on the great site!! Also, I never thought to check Amazon for grains/seeds/supplies – will check it out. :)

    Paula, good idea on the big pickle jars, thanks!

    Anonymous, I haven’t heard that before about the grains – interesting…I’d love to hear from others if they do this?

    Reply

    5 Janet January 3, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Kelly,
    Don’tknow how current your question is for glass jars for sprouting your grains, but I have purchased gallon jars of pickles in the grocery store to get mine.
    Also, a question: I am wanting to sprout/grind my own grains for flour. I have looked at the mills, but do you have any input on the Vita Mix with the grain attachment? We saw a demo on it at our state fair, andthe flour was amazing!
    thanks for your input.
    Janet

    Reply

    6 Kelly January 3, 2009 at 11:37 am

    Janet,

    I just did a little searching for you and found this comment at another blog that might be helpful:

    http://tammysrecipes.com/node/2677#comment-8931

    Kelly

    Reply

    7 Yvonne March 9, 2009 at 9:42 am

    So…after the sprouted grains dry out in the oven (or dehydrator), can I mill them just like regular flour in my “Whisper Mill”?

    Reply

    8 Kelly March 10, 2009 at 12:48 am

    Hi Yvonne,

    Yes! :) Just make sure they’re totally dry…

    Reply

    9 Jill June 9, 2009 at 3:36 pm

    Wow, Kelly. Thanks for the great site. I am a fellow “weirdo sprouter” too! Only problem is, many things have not been turning out for me and I can’t figure out why. I’ve followed the same directions that you’ve posted and my bread comes out heavy and doesn’t rise. I’ve tried adding gluten with no luck and my cookies are dry. Do you think adding less flour would help, or could it be possible that I am drying my berries too long? I have been drying them in a roaster (without the top on) at about 130 – 140 degrees. I make two big batches like you and it takes a couple of days for them to dry since it is a couple of inches deep. I agree so much with the principles of sprouting that I am determined to get this figured out. Any advice from others would be greatly appreciated. I don’t really have a natural talent for baking…I just know how good sprouted grains are for you. So good to meet another believer. :)

    Reply

    10 Kelly June 11, 2009 at 2:31 am

    Hi Jill!

    As I bake more with sprouted flour, I am finding that no matter what I’m using it for (cookies, bread, etc.), I always need more water. If the dough seems heavy, the finished product will be the same way. Just the other day I was making bread and it took over a half cup more water to get it to feel right. Try playing with that and see if you have better luck. (Or yes, you could just use less flour.)

    Let me know how it goes! :)

    Kelly

    Reply

    11 Gina June 25, 2009 at 2:49 pm

    Hi Kelly,

    I need to get a grain mill! I love sprouted grain flour, but it sure gets expensive. I don’t know about your area, but over here in the mid-west the Walmart was actually carrying gallon glass jugs for $5. I am stocking up:) Also, sometimes I find them at the local Goodwill. Hope that helps. Thanks for the recipes.

    Gina

    Reply

    12 Amanda July 27, 2009 at 4:27 pm

    I’ve started sprouting my grains but seem to be having trouble with breadmaking. Can you give any tips? Please feel free to email me!
    Thank you so much!

    Reply

    13 Kelly July 27, 2009 at 6:25 pm

    Hi Amanda,

    Be sure to read the above comments for help, but keep in mind, I don’t often use my sprouted flour for breadmaking, more often I use this soaked flour recipe for that: http://kellythekitchenkop.com/2008/10/some-background-on-making-homemade.html

    I mostly used my sprouted flour along with a little unbleached white flour in cookies or last-minute pancakes, etc.

    Kelly

    Reply

    14 KitchenKop November 19, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    I tried making bread today with part sprouted flour and part white flour. What a flop! It came out dry and heavy so I tried to add more water and couldn’t even get it to mix in at all!

    I’ll stick to “soaked” bread recipes, and using my sprouted flour in cookies or last minute pancakes as mentioned in the previous comment.

    I also may ask my sprouted flour sponsor (see resources page for where to buy it) and see if they know what I might be doing wrong.

    Reply

    15 elaine February 6, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    Hey Kelly~
    I’m real late to this post but had a couple of thoughts to add …
    I am also waiting (not very patiently) for the $$ to come in so we can get a dehydrator – it is #1 on my wish list. For now, I dry my sprouted grains out in my oven (also at 170*) We just discovered something that might be a help to others that have to do this … we had two batches to dry out so we put one in the oven and spread the other batch out on cookies sheets and put them on the kitchen table directly under the ceiling fan – which we turned to HI all night long. It was amazing how much drier the second batch was going into the oven. It cut the dehyrdrating time from about 12 – 15 hours down to 4 or 5. I will definitely use this technique this summer when i don’t want my oven cranking out heat for a full day!
    Also, we have discovered that sprouted/dehydrated grains require more to make the same amount. Did you get that? :) Usually, a cup of grains will yield 1-1/2 C of flour – but a cup of sprouted/dehydrated grains only yields 1 C of flour. It has made a difference in most of our recipes.
    Hope this helps!

    Reply

    16 Amy April 22, 2010 at 11:21 am

    Hi Kelly! I, too, am late coming to this post and very new to sprouting, but I have a question that I haven’t found the answer to elsewhere yet. When you say the grain keeps a long time before it’s ground, does that mean the sprouted grain? I have ground some flour and keep it in my freezer, but if I can keep the sprouted, dried grain and just grind it right before I need it, that would be even better. Also, do you then keep the sprouted and dried grain in the fridge or freezer before grinding? Obviously, I need specific direction :-).

    Reply

    17 KitchenKop April 22, 2010 at 11:33 pm

    Amy,
    I normally store my grains downstairs at room temp (for months), then either grind it to use in soaked recipes, OR sprout, grind, and then keep the flour in my freezer. So I’m not sure how long sprouted grain would keep, but I’m guessing that it would keep well especially in the freezer.
    Kelly

    Reply

    18 Channah July 26, 2010 at 10:35 pm

    Sprouted Wheat Bread with no Flour – Take Two (Don’t dry the grain)
    I haven’t followed this recipe yet, but she addresses the question about sprouted flour not working well. She says that if you let it sprout too long, it will stay gummy in the middle, and not rise. It makes sense, because what is malt and how well does it work as a substitute for flour? Her try #1 was a brick. I am trying her recipe now. I just started sprouting the grain.

    Reply

    19 Melanie August 18, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    http://www.happyherbalist.com is a great place to find gallon size glass jars!

    Reply

    20 Annie September 4, 2010 at 3:44 am

    I have also ordered glass gallon jars from U-Line (uline.com) with either plastic or metal lids. The plastic lidded jars currently cost about $15 for 4 plus about $9-10 for shipping depending on your location. The metal lidded jars cost more but I wish I had the metal lids since the plastic ones just don’t seem that tough. Yet I haven’t had a plastic lid break yet despite constant use hauling and storing raw milk from the farm. So I guess they were still worth it for the price I paid. Thanks for your site! I am looking forward to making bread again using some of your ideas. I usually make about 16 loaves at a time (or a mixture of loaves, buns, cinnamon rolls, french bread or mini-loaves) so the 6 loaf bread maker would set me back a bit on quantity. I could really use one of those big commercial mixers with a dough hook! And a 2nd oven. Hey, a girl can dream….lol!

    Reply

    21 Katie July 7, 2011 at 1:06 am

    Kelly –
    I think I am like you (according to your ‘about me’ section, in that I am trying to jump in and do EVERYTHING all at once! I tend to do that once I get passionate about something! haha
    Soooo…. I am grinding wheat (which I sprouted and dehydrated by myself) in a coffee grinder right now…. (well, I took a little break to type this!), and I am wondering… is the flour supposed to have a smell?
    I used Red Winter Wheat Berries, which I bought organic from Whole Foods. I noticed when I drained the soaking water the first time, the water was pretty…pungent. I guess not a bad smell, but definitely a smell.
    Now that I am grinding, I am noticing the flour has a smell too. It’s weird because it is a familiar smell, but I can’t quite place why the smell seems so familiar… I know, that sounds weird haha
    Anyway, is it supposed to have a smell AT ALL. I guess i just wasn’t expecting it to smell like it does… it is kind of strong.
    Just want to make sure the wheat wasn’t rotten or something! I’ve never worked with wheat before… it is usually thoroughly processed by the time I ever eat it :-)

    Reply

    22 KitchenKop July 7, 2011 at 1:30 am

    Was it really pungent or maybe a little bit of a fermented smell from the wheat that soaked in the water? ‘Pungent’ isn’t good, but a pleasantly sour or fermented smell is very good!

    Reply

    23 Katie July 7, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    Hmm I’m having trouble telling the difference between pungent and pleasantly sour haha… I don’t really know which it was. Well, I hate for all my work to be wasted, so I’m going to just go ahead and make the bread and see how it tastes. On the plus side, if the bread turns out horrible, I can blame it on rancid wheat! :-)

    Reply

    24 Elisa January 23, 2013 at 4:49 pm

    Just wanted to thank you for your blog. I just found it today, looking for info. on sprouting grains. I love your no-gadgets method..I just can’t stand when I have to dish out a ton of money and buy a bunch of new gadgets in order to live “simply”. I love how you just use what you have – the colander, and it works fine. Wonderful!

    Reply

    25 KitchenKop January 23, 2013 at 6:54 pm

    I’m glad you found your way here, Elisa! :)

    Kel

    Reply

    26 Heike February 25, 2013 at 2:06 pm

    I read the book “Nourishing Traditions” and would like to try and sprout some grains for cookies, etc. We baking bread for over 20 years now, but just learning now about soaking the dough and sprouting.
    What is not clear to me and I hope somebody can answer that, is, when I need 500 g (or 1kg – just to have a figure) of wheat for a recipe, how much would I need in sprouted wheat?
    I have to look more into your blog, looks really interesting!!

    Reply

    27 KitchenKop February 25, 2013 at 8:16 pm

    Some would use all sprouted flour but I often use half sprouted and half unbleached white.
    Kelly

    Reply

    28 Richard Lauhead August 19, 2013 at 8:30 pm

    Gallon jars are very easy to come by. Costco, Sam’s Club etc. sell hamburger slice dill pickles in gallon jars. I’ve thrown out dozens of them. Of course you have to like pickles!

    Reply

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