Rejuvelac is a lightly fermented drink made from sprouted grains. Dr Ann Wigmore (1909-1994) a holistic health practitioner, nutritionist and whole food advocate came up with the name rejuvelac. She initially made this drink from sprouted wheat berries but rejuvelac may be made from any whole grain.
Benefits of Rejuvelac
- Contains gut friendly bacteria including lactobacillus acidophilus which support digestion and immunity.
- Helps to ease symptoms of acid reflux, intestinal bloating, gas and cramping
- Relieves constipation, indigestion, halitosis, and headaches caused from imbalanced digestion
- Rich in food enzymes which support digestion
- If the diet contains a lot of cooked foods then regular intake of rejuvelac will help to include vitamins and enzymes which would normally get destroyed by cooking.
- Contains the nutrients present within the sprouted grain such as the B-complex vitamins, Vitamin C and K. These nutrients are in a form the body can understand and assimilate.
- Making rejuvelac is low cost in comparison to buying fortified probiotic foods, drinks and supplements.
- May be used as a starter for making other fermented foods such as sour dough bread, pickles, yoghurt etc
- May be used as part of an enema treatment to help repopulate the colon with gut friendly bacteria
- Vegan and lactose free
Rejuvelac has a tangy, sour lemony taste and has a fermented smell which some may find unpleasant. This may be disguised by mixing it into other drinks like fresh green juices. I believe that the benefits of taking rejuvelac for promoting a healthy gut flora far outweigh this small issue.
Rejuvelac is easy to make at home. For speed, rejuvelac made from buckwheat is the easiest and least time consuming as this grain sprouts very quickly. If you do not have buckwheat then you may substitute it with any other whole grain such as: whole wheat berries, brown rice, quinoa and so on.
The key to making rejuvelac is to keep everything as clean as possible.This will reduce the chance of other micro-organisms contaminating the rejuvelac. Use purified water if possible but if you can’t then there are ways around to make rejuvelac from regular tap water.
1 cup whole organic buckwheat
2 litres purified water
- Thoroughly wash the buckwheat. I like to use a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda in a bowl of clean water to ensure that the buckwheat grains are clean and free as possible from any possible surface contaminants like dirt and fungal spores.
- In a bowl cover the washed buckwheat with clean water and leave to soak for around 1 hour. If you soak for longer than an hour
the buckwheat starts to become sticky and may not sprout.
- After soaking, drain the water off by pouring the soaked buckwheat through a clean sieve.
- Place the sieve containing the soaked buckwheat in a suitable sized bowl and cover with a clean cloth. Leave in a warm spot for 12-24 hours or until tiny tails are emerging from the buckwheat. When this happens the buckwheat has sprouted. During the sprouting process you should rinse the buckwheat with water every 24 hours.
- Clean a jug which can hold around 2 litres of water with hot soapy water and rinse clean. Rinse the jug with boiled water.
- If you have access to purified water then heat it until it is like warm but not hot. Fill the clean jug until it is three quarters full. If you do not have purified water then boil around 2 litres of regular tap water and fill the jug until it is around three quarter’s full. Cover the jug and allow the boiled water to cool down until it is luke warm. The reason for boiling the water is to make sure there are no live micro-organisms present in the water and if the water is chlorinated, the chlorine will evaporate off. Chlorine interferes with the fermentation process.
- Rinse the sprouted buckwheat and add to the jug of warm water. Cover the jug with a clean cloth and leave for 12-24 hours in a warm spot.
- Check the rejuvelac regularly. When it is ready it has a foamy bubbly surface and a slight earthy smell. To test, pour out a little rejuvelac into a clear glass. It should look cloudy and have a slight fermented smell. The taste should be lemony but not bad. If all 3 factors are present then the rejuvelac is ready and should. Use a sieve to separate the sprouted grains from the rejuvelac. Store in a clean container in the fridge. Rejuvelac should last for around a week in the fridge.
Sometimes rejuvelac can become contaminated and should not be used. If it smells overly bad and has an unpleasant taste then discard and start again.
What to do with the left over sprouted grains
You can make a second batch of rejuvelac by adding some warm clean water to the sprouted grains and leaving to ferment for around 12-24 hours. After the second batch of rejuvelac has made I usually cook the sprouted buckwheat and add them to soups, stews or in salads. Alternatively the sprouted grain may be blended into a paste and added to pancake batters.