Sprouting wheat berries make a great addition to salads, sandwiches and a wide variety of other vegetarian and vegan dishes. Wheat berries are surprisingly easy to sprout at home, giving a constant supply of tasty and nutritious sprouts.
While the sprouts of many legumes and seeds are available from health food stores and green grocers, there is nothing quite like growing sprouts at home. The benefits to growing your own sprouts are many. This includes cost, as growing your own sprouts is typically cheaper than buying ready grown and prepared sprouts.
Another benefit of growing your own sprouts is that you have complete control over how they are grown and when they are harvested. This is particularly useful when sprouting wheat berries because you can use your favorite wheat type such as red wheat berries, opt for organic versions and decide when to harvest them. Some people enjoy wheat berries when they are only slightly sprouted, while others like to grow the spouts until the sprouts turn into wheatgrass. Wheatgrass is ideal for juicing.
Sprouting Wheat Berries at Home
Sprouting wheat berries at home is surprisingly straightforward and very little equipment is required. While it is possible to buy special sprouting machines and kits, many people find that they have all the supplies required without needing to purchase anything new. The following supplies are required to sprout wheat berries at home:
- Large glass jar (a glass canning jar would work well)
- Cheese cloth or other fabric
- Rubber band
For the successful sprouting of wheat berries it is essential that the equipment is clean and sterilized. This will ensure that molds and other contaminants do not start to grow on the wheat.
The wheat berries must be soaked before they are ready for sprouting. This re-energizes the wheat berries. Wheat holds a lot of water, therefore the wheat berries will require soaking for twenty four hours. Rinse the water every 8 hours. The berries are now ready to start sprouting.
- Place the soaked wheat berries into the glass jar, put the cheese cloth over the top and fasten in place with the rubber band
- Place the jar in a dark place such as an airing cupboard
- Rinse the berries once a day until sprouts of about 1 inch have been formed
- Place the jar in a sunny place for a day
- Rinse the sprouts well before using in your favorite dish
Using Wheat Berry Sprouts
There are many ways of using wheat berry sprouts. In addition to using them in salads or as an accompaniment to other dishes, wheat berry sprouts can be used in bread. Wheat berry sprouts add an interesting texture to bread. The sprouting process starts to break down the carbohydrate of the wheat which makes it easier to digest. This is beneficial for people who have difficulty in digesting wheat products. There are some interesting recipes for wheat berry sprouts. These include:
- The Fresh Loaf - a recipe for sour dough bread that uses sprouted wheat berries
- Recipezaar - a sprouted wheat berry bread recipe for two loaves
- Group Recipes - banana bread recipe that contains sprouted wheat berries
Using Left Over Wheat Berry Sprouts
Once wheat berries have been sprouted they are best eaten straight away. If you have some left over, however, they will keep for a few days in the refrigerator. After a while sprouted berries start to ferment. Left over spouted wheat berries can be used in several ways. They can be ground up and used in vegetarian and vegan burger or savory loaf recipes. The ground sprouts can also be added to soups.
Sprouted wheat berries are surprisingly easy to grow and are a versatile and tasty ingredient. Learning how to sprout your own wheat berries will ensure that you have a never ending supply of this nutritious treat.