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Soak ’em and Sprout ’em


Sometimes you just want the freedom to grind some flour, mix up some muffins and cook them right away rather than wait for 24 hours as the dough ferments. No worries you can have your cake and eat it too! The answer is Soaked, Sprouted, Fermented, Dehydrated flour. Yes it does take time and work, but it's time and work you can invest long before you actually use the grain.

Soaking and sprouting grains neutralizes their enzyme inhibitors. Sprouting grains has the added benefit of supercharging the nutrients available from the grain. Neither process is hard, they just take time and a little bit of forethought.

Rinse grains before soaking and then let them sit in water (ideally filtered un-chlorinated water) for a specified time. Drain and rinse the grains several times, and then hang them in a sprouting bag or put them in a mason jar with cheesecloth on the top and let them drain at a 45 degree angle. Rinse several times a day to keep them moist until the sprouts reach the recommended length. In our Soaking and Sprouting Guide we've consolidated a bunch of information from the Ann Wigmore Natural Health Institute in Puerto Rico, and Cure Tooth Decay by Ramiel Nagel on how to treat different kinds of seeds.

To ferment seeds after soaking, simply cover them with water and let them sit at room temperature. Once bubbles start rising to the surface, they are fermenting. Generally a day or two of fermenting is all we do before we dehydrate our seeds. Soaked and sprouted grains can be ground as they are for soups and unleavened breads, partially dehydrated and rolled for granola, or dehydrated and ground for use in baked goods and pastas. Store unused dehydrated grains or grain flour in the refrigerator or freezer to best maintain its nutrient content.

A couple of important notes about using SSFD grain flour:

  • It is acidic so it will begin to activate chemical leaveners, like baking soda, immediately.

  • It is naturally sweeter, so you will be able to decrease the amount of sugar in your recipes.

  • It is more moist. Compensate by using less liquid in your recipe. You'll have to experiment to find the right balance.

  • Don't oversprout your grain! Oversprouted grain flour functions as a very simple sugar in your digestive system and will give you royal stomach aches! Plus it makes mushy muffins, so just don't do it.

It should also be noted that eating the sprouts themselves straight or in salads is a fantastic way to get a lot of really important nutrients, in many cases eating the sprouts of a plant will provide more nutrients that waiting and eating the mature plant. Not bad for a pretty minimal investment in the time and effort department. Happy sprouting!

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