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Quinoa Rejuvelac

Quinoa Rejuvelac


I was first introduced to the wild and weird world of rejuvelac about more than 15 years ago when, on a whim, I bought a book on doing a cleanse at a health food store and found myself immersed in reading all about a section of the human body that I had never really paid much attention to before: gut flora. Having an abundant supply of healthy bacteria doing a happy dance in our intestines – this is very scientific terminology, I know - is apparently a cornerstone of good health, not just for our digestive function but for our whole wellness. Who knew? (This lady did. Ann Wigmore is credited as the person who developed and popularized the beverage.) Keeping a steady supply of rejuvelac, a fermented beverage made from sprouted and soaked grains, was essential to the program outlined in the book.

Rejuvelac is a probiotic, which means it’s excellent for digestion, and helps to restore beneficial bacteria. With a tangy, sharp flavor, it’s not something that is immediately delicious to everyone but I can attest that you can develop a taste for it. (My husband dry heaves at just the mention of it, though.) That’s fine. More tasty bacteria for me!

These days, you will find many vegan cheese recipes that call for rejuvelac because it adds a piquancy that is reminiscent of sharp or aged dairy cheeses. You can also use rejuvelac simply for drinking and for digestive health. Most rejuvelac recipes call for soft wheat berries or barley as the soaked grain but for those of us with a gluten allergy or sensitivity, this may be problematic. I have made rejuvelac before with millet and I also wanted to experiment with quinoa. The nice thing about using this tiny grain is that the sprouts develop quicker and so you will be swimming in rejuvelac sooner. Otherwise, if you use larger grains, follow the same instructions I’ve outlined but expect to wait a bit longer for sprouts.
 


Quinoa Rejuvelac

You will need:
A large, fine-mesh strainer/sieve
Pint and a half or quart glass jar
An angled spatula
A large shallow glass casserole pan
Funnel
1 cup quinoa or grains of choice
Water



Soak your grains in a glass jar overnight with plenty of cool filtered water. Stir it around a little with a chopstick or another implement to make sure it’s not clumping and exposure to water is uniform. For larger grains like wheat berries or barley, you will want to soak for about 24 hours but 12 hours is fine for small grains like quinoa.

Drain.



Some people then place the drained grains back in the jar, secure the top with a cheesecloth or paper towel and rubber band, and turn the jar on its side. In doing a little research, I decided instead to spread the soaked grains out in a glass casserole pan so as many grains as possible would be exposed to the air and light.



You will want to return the grains to your sieve and rinse and fully drain two or three times a day. I found using a flexible angled spatula to be the best way to move the grains back and forth. I did this for two days until I had long sprouts.







Once you have nice sprouts, place the grains in a large glass (or two, as I did) and cover with four cups of cool filtered water. I found using a funnel to be helpful here. Keep in mind that the grains will probably smell a little sour: this is to be expected. Cover with something that allows the air to circulate, like cheesecloth or a sprouting jar lid. I used small sieves as those were what I had on hand. Have this set in a low-light area at room temperature.



Allow the grains to ferment in water for two-to-three days. The water will start getting cloudy and maybe a little bubbly. If foam appears on water’s surface, simply skim off and dispose of with a spoon. It will look a little like lemonade. Pour the water into glass jars with fitted lids and store in the fridge. It is ready for use, though it may like the taste best when it’s cold. It will have a fresh, lemony/sour taste and will last about a week covered in the fridge.



The sprouted grains can be soaked again for a second batch of rejuvelac. At this stage, simply cover in a glass jar again with water and soak for 24 hours. Some even make a third batch using the sprouts this way. After this, the sprouts will be “spent” and can be used for feeding birds.




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