I’m not one to take pills and supplements, I’d rather get the nutrients from my food. Recently I was asked about Rejuvelac, which I’d not heard of. It sounded interesting so I looked it up and was absolutely excited about this home made fermented product that is a natural probiotic. This recipe takes about 1 week to prepare, but will keep for up to 6-weeks when refrigerated in a tightly sealed glass. Despite its lengthy process, it’s wonderful to make, especially with children, as each day they can watch the seeds grow and come to life. A great way to celebrate the coming of spring.

Eastern View: Rejuvelac is a slightly lemony beverage rich in enzymes and agni (digestive fire).  Wheat berries are heavy to digest and exhibit stickiness.  They have a sweet taste which means they are grounding for Vatas and Pittas. They have a cold potency, hence acts as a body coolant. Wheat berries  nourish the body and provide energy. They also strengthen the body and helps Vatas to gain healthy weight.

Wheat berries contain insoluble fiber in the form of bran and hence it is heavy to digest. When whole wheat is consumed, the insoluble fibers in bran help in formation of bulk of fecal matter. Increased stool bulk helps to relieve constipation – a common Vata problem as we change seasons.

Wheat berries are known as an aphrodisiac, great for that variable sex drive Vatas have. Studies show that wheat germ is a sexual energy booster as it’s rich in L-arginine which is an amino acid that acts as a vasodilator.

Wheat germ is also known as “Athletes Viagra”.  It increases oxygen delivery to body tissues and helps in erectile dysfunction. Wheat germ also contains Vitamin E. Vitamin E boosts blood circulation, strengthens sexual organs and increases sperm count.

Western View: Wheat berries are not berries, but are wheat seeds. Since they are unprocessed, they retain nutrients and fiber that refined wheat products do not have. Any time you can replace a refined wheat product with wheat berries, do so.

Wheat berries expand when you cook them and are quite filling; making them a good choice if you are watching the number of calories you consume. Each 1/4-cup of wheat berries also contains over 5 grams of hunger-busting fiber — a healthy way to fill up your stomach.

Most of the calories in wheat berries are from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates have developed a bad rap, but you’ll find that the carbohydrates in wheat berries are completely unrefined. While refined carbohydrates can cause problems with blood sugar, unrefined carbohydrates, such as those found in wheat berries, can help to prevent blood sugar problems because of the fiber they contain.

A 1/4-cup serving of wheat berries provides 4.5 grams protein while providing less than 1 gram of fat. While not a high-protein food, wheat berries combine well with other sources of protein, such as beans, for a protein-rich meal.

Wheat berries are a good source of magnesium, with 53 milligrams per 1/4-cup serving. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, a diet rich in magnesium can help to lower blood pressure and may prevent the development of type 2 diabetes. They also serve up 164 milligrams of potassium, an array of B vitamins and vitamin E. Most of the vitamins and minerals in wheat berries are derived from the bran, which is completely intact in this unprocessed grain.

Rejuvelac: A Fermented Tea

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup rye berries
  • 1/2 cup hard wheat berries
  • 1/2 cup soft wheat berries
  • 3 medium beets

Equipment

  • 6 ½ quart glass jars with wide mouths and tightly fitting lids
  • Elastic bands that will stretch around the jar mouths
  • Mesh cloth to cover the jars
  • Dish rack

Instructions:

Day 1 (morning): In a large bowl, combine the rye berries and wheat berries and mix well. Add equal amounts of the berry mixture amongst the 6 jars. Fill each jar with water and submerge the berries. Attach the mesh screens to the  mouth of each jar with the band. Let the jars sit in light for 8-16 hours.

Day 1 (evening): With screens still attached, drain off all the water from the jars and rinse the seeds with cold water by filling the jars and pouring out via the mesh at least 3 times. Place the jars on a rack with mouth down at a 45 degree angle so that water can drip out.

Day 2 (morning): Repeat process from the previous evening

Day 2 (evening): Repeat the same process

Days 3-5: Repeat the same process morning and evening till berries have sprouted.

Day 5 (morning): Once the sprouted seeds have long tails, remove them from the jars and place in a large bowl and cover with water. With your hands (cleaned), gently untangle the sprouts and discard the seeds that have not sprouted.  Rinse three times. Return the sprouts to the jars and fill them evenly so that they are a third full.

Clean and peel the beets, cut them into quarters, and place 2 pieces in each jar. Fill the jars with lukewarm water, Secure the mesh screens over the jars with the bands. Place jars in indirect sun and let sprouts ferment for 48 hours.

Day  7: After 48 hours of fermentation, the sprouts will be ready. There will be a grey foam on the surface. Scrape off the foam (you can use this as a skin moisturizer). The Rejuvelac will be ready when it is slightly lemony, if its not lemony enough – let it sit for another 12 hours. Drain through chessecloth into clean jars.

Drink up to 1 glass of Rejuvelac daily.

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