Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 15 minutes | Total Time: 3 hours | Difficulty: Easy
Hello my lovelies! This isn’t quite a recipe but it’s an excellent DIY and it leads into a recipe later this week. It’s dead easy to do and adds a tonne of nutrition to your bread (or salads or risotto or porridge). I hope you give it a try – it’s faster than you think and super healthy.
When seeds (and grains) start to sprout all the nutrition packed in there to help feed a baby plant is made more available and is much more digestible. If you eat the sprouts before the plant can grow then it’s more goodness for you!
First up you need to start with fresh whole grains that haven’t been damaged through processing. Whole wheat, spelt and rye are ideal. Pearl barley has been processed to remove the outer hull and some of the bran so the germ (the little bit that makes a plant sprout) is often damaged so it won’t sprout. Get your grains from somewhere reliable and check the best before dates. Old grains are much less likely to sprout consistently. I get mine from Wholegrain Organics.
When you have your grains you need to soak them. I find 4-6 hours is a good amount. Sometime before dinner I put some grains in a bowl and cover them generously with cold water. I do up to a cup of grains at a time since that is what will fit in my sprouter and what I can get through in a couple of days.
Just before bed I drain the grains and lay them out in the sprouter. I have one of these nifty ones from Bunnings. If you’re in NZ I highly recommend them. They’re also at a lot of garden centres as well. I know they’re made of plastic but mine gets a lot of use and it does a better job than most other options. Otherwise spread the grains out in a single layer in a shallow dish so they can stay moist but not wet.
In the morning they will have already started to sprout. You will see the tiny points of the sprout coming out of one end of the grains. I like to leave them until the sprout is about 2 mm long – up to another 12 hours or so. In warmer weather they will sprout faster. By the time you’re about to mix your pre-ferment for a loaf they’ll be ready. Give them a rinse with cool water, drain and transfer to a sealed container in the fridge.
Now you have sprouted grains. You can use them in breads like we’re going to later in the week. Or you can build a salad around them adding whatever you please. I’ve also added a small handful to my porridge in the morning before cooking. They’ll keep in the fridge for a couple of days so try them a few different ways and see what you like. Even if they get away on you like the ones below they’re still good and delicious!