by Cat, April 2008; July 2011 (photo from Wikimedia Commons)
See also: Kvass
“This tonic was popularized by Ann Wigmore [founder of the Hippocrates Health Institute], the first of American practical nutritionists to recognize the importance of enzymes and lacto-fermented food in the diet. Rejuvelac should be yellowish, cloudy and tart, without being too sour, and slightly carbonated.” (1) It furnishes vitamins, minerals, enzymes, proteins and healthful micro-organisms. (2)
This article presents two slightly different methods for making this incredible beverage.
Rejuvelac, Version 1
This is adapted from Walter Last’s Healing Foods (3)
This works for sprouted rice, millet, rye and other grains. If you use wheat, you’ll get the best results with soft wheat as opposed to hard wheat (soft wheat is most often used to make pastry flour). It is not suitable for sensitive and yeast-allergic individuals.
Wash a cupful of whole grain (organic); pour into a glass or porcelain jar and cover with 2 cups of warm water. Keep in a warm place. Pour off the ferment liquid the next day, or when it tastes slightly sour, and store in refrigerator if not using immediately. Use only if it has a pleasant taste and no bad smell.
After the ferment liquid is poured off, the grains may be cooked or sprouted. Note that some grains may not sprout because the germ was removed when the hull was removed; for example, barley.
Rejuvelac, Version 2
This version is adapted from Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, PhD., with notes from Jeanette Cheney (2) added. Jeanette is the owner of the Wellness Education Center in Kalispell Montana. She presented her recipe at a gathering for Essential Stuff Project (ESP) in July 2011. See Gathering Summary: Lacto-Fermentation, with Don Bates & Jeanette Cheney, August 17, 2011 for more.
Ingredients & Equipment
- 2 cups Organic soft spring wheat berries
- 2-quart wide-mouthed glass jars
- Filtered water
- Cheesecloth, muslin or sprouting screen
- Rinse wheat berries in water to remove dust and debris.
- Sprout: Soak grain in filtered water overnight at room temperature for 8-10 hours, covered with muslin, cheesecloth or a sprouting screen; drain through the cover, rinse and drain again. Place jar at an angle to drain; cover jar with cloth (because seeds will only sprout in the dark (2)). Allow the wheat to sprout for 1-3 days or until the roots are 1⁄4 inch long. Rinse 2-3 times per day.
- Should smell good (bad smell indicates presence of bad bacteria). (2)
- Make Rejuvelac: Rinse sprouts thoroughly, and fill the jar (of sprouts) with pure water. Soak (ferment) 48 hours (2 days).
- Enjoy: Decant the liquid rejuvelac (reserve the sprouts) into a glass container. for storage in the fridge, up to 1 week. When serving, spoon-off any white foam that may form on the top.
- Reuse: These same wheat berries can be used a second and third time, by filling the jar of berries with water and soaking for another 24 hours.
- Then blend or grind the spent sprouts to a paste and dehydrated into crackers or Essene bread. Or scatter them into trays as the first step in growing Wheat Grass. (2)
Note: All bacteria and yeasts have an optimum incubation temperature and pH. Refrigeration as well as high temperatures may encourage the growth of bad organisms. In hot weather, a little lemon juice in the water at the start of fermentation may be beneficial. (2)
- Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon with Mary G. Enig, PhD.
- Jeanette Cheney, Wellness Education Center, Kalispell Montana
- Walter Last’s Healing Foods: health-science-spirit.com/HF2-5.html