Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Not-so-much Sprouted Wheat

I’ve been a bad, bad gardener.  I didn’t start any lettuce or spinach.  The only real greens I’ve been harvesting have been the wild ones.  But I can make sprouts!  I’ve sprouted mung and alfalfa sprouts before with no problem and they are a semi-regular part of our diet.
I’ve only sprouted wheat once before and I was pleasantly surprised at how sweet it tasted.  I put it on a salad, in a loaf of bread, even in my granola cereal for breakfast.  I’ve also read somewhere that you can sprout the wheat then dry it and grind it to make a sugar substitute for baking or to make, wait for it….Sprouted Wheat Bread.  I always thought that you just put the fresh sprouts in the bread dough (that’s what I did in my loaf) but apparently you dry & grind it and then use it in the bread recipe.
Anyways.  The main reason I wanted to try sprouting wheat again was to use it as a sugar substitute in some of my baking recipes (which I suppose would technically include, you guessed it…..Sprouted Wheat Bread).  And to have some more on my granola.
It kind’a made sense that it could be used as a sweetener in baking because the fresh sprouts were really very sweet.
So I soaked some hard red wheat berries along with some mung beans and alfalfa seeds.  I let them sit in the water for 24 hours, then drained them, rinsed & drained again for three days.  The alfalfa started to sprout in just two days, the mung beans a day later.  But nothing with the wheat.  After the fourth day or rinsing the wheat berries, the water started to get cloudy. And still no sprouts.  What could I have done wrong?  Soak, drain, rinse, drain & repeat.  Hard to screw that up.
Alfalfa sprouts, no-so-much wheat sprouts, mung bean sprouts.

Then I remembered that I used one of the older bags of wheat from 2003 for this batch.  Not that eight years is old in wheat-storage-years.  We had sealed several pounds of that wheat stored in mylar bags with a desiccant and an oxygen absorber in each bag before vacuum sealing them.  I suppose taking the moisture and oxygen out of the bags caused the wheat to lose its sprouting ability…..kind’a makes sense as it is a living thing, albeit in hibernation.  The rest of the wheat from that bag had been ground up and used for bread and biscuits, long since eaten.
So my second attempt at sprouting wheat was a failure, but one I was glad to make as now I know that if we want a constant supply of wheat sprouts we’re going to have to buy new wheat every year.


  1. Who new wheat was so sweet, I sure didn't. I wish we had a longer growing season here so I could try something other than potatoes.

  2. Too bad about your wheat! Your other sprouts look fantastic, though. The bean sprouts look extra good to me. Those would be great in a salad. :)

    I hope it works better for you if you try with fresher wheat berries.