Sprouting grains and seeds is easy and fun. The health benefits are well worth the extra work. You can sprout wheat berries, barley, buckwheat, alfalfa, sesame seeds, and flax seeds, to name a few. When the seed or grain sprouts, nutrients are released during the growing process that are not present in the seed or grain by itself. By sprouting, dehydrating, then grinding your grains, you are creating flour that is many times more nutrient rich than any flour you can purchase in the store. I love watching my food grow, it’s inspiring!
Step 1: Soaking
The first step is to soak the seeds or grains. Place the seeds or grains in a large pot overnight (the size of the pot depends on how much flour or sprouts you will need, keep in mind that soaking causes the grains to expand as they absorb the water).
Step 2: Rinsing
After the overnight soak, you will want to pour your grains into a colander, about half full, and rinse. When I rinse them I like to get my hands in there to mix it up to make sure that all the grains are well rinsed. Do this 2-3 times a day until the sprouts form, you want the sprout to be about 1/4 inch in length. Each seed and grain has a different germination phase. Wheat berries take around 48 hours while quinoa sprouts in as little as 12 hours.
Step 3: Dehydrating
Depending on what you are planning to use the sprouts for, you may or may not choose to dehydrate your seeds or grains. I use my sprouted wheat to make bread flour and buckwheat to make Buckwheatie Bars. Dehydrating is simple. Just give the sprouts one last rinse and place them on the dehydrating trays. It usually only takes around 4-6 hours to dry. Use your dehydrated sprouts quickly, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator up to a month or so.
This is a recipe I got from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook. This cookbook is an amazing resource for traditional food preparations, I’ve gained a wealth of information on how the foods we eat break down in our system to provide us with the nutrients we need to be healthy. I love this simple recipe because while almonds are a very nutritious snack they are even better for you when prepared this way. When nuts are soaked overnight in a salt water brine then dried in a warm oven or dehydrator, they are easier to digest, and their nutrients more readily available. When the temperature is kept low for drying the nuts, the enzymes that are activated through the soaking stay in tact providing more nutrients than if they were roasted in a hot oven.
My whole family loves it when we make these, they are a yummy treat. The kids love helping me make them as well! As you can see from the photo, my little girl Guenna is being quite the little helper, moving the Crispy Almonds from the dehydrator tray to the airtight container. Check out the recipe after the break.
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