Recently I've been trying to work on new ways to make healthier food for our family. Since I got a grain mill I started grinding my own wheat berries to be able to preserve the nutrients in freshly ground wheat.
Through further research I'd been reading about phytic acid in unsprouted grains and how to remove them with sprouting the grains. There is alot of debate and detail on this topic and I'd encourage you to do your own research. From reading I've discovered that sprouting grains makes them easier to digest. Sprouting the grains creates more vitamins and removing the phytic acid helps take out the inhibitor in the grains that helps you digest them better. The sweet thing is that you can sprout your grains and still make them into flour and use them as you normally would use wheat flour, no difference except better nutrients and vitamins!
Sprouting and drying the grains is time consuming but takes very little actual hands on work. Depending on your grain used it should take about 2 days or 48 hours to fully sprout, dry, and mill your grains.
Start by measuring 5 cups of wheat berries (or another whole grain) into a gallon glass jar. You don't really want to fill up more than 1/3 of the jar because the grains will expand. Then rinse the grains once and drain, then fill the jar up with water. Let this sit and soak for at least 8 to 12 hours. Make sure you cover the top of the jar with some kind of screen. I used cheesecloth secured with a rubber band.
After you have let the grains soak, drain the water.
Then rinse the grains and pour out any excess water.
Tip the jar up and let any excess water drip out. You will want to rinse and drain the grains about once every 2 to 3 hours until they sprout.
I used soft white wheat for this sprouting and it took them about 12 hours to sprout after I started the rinsing/draining process. Once they have short little tails, they are done!
Much more than we started out with! I gave them one final rinse before I started the drying process.
Pour the grains into your dehydrator trays. You may need to get extra screens so the grains don't fall through depending on which dehydrator you have. Mine came with screens and the grains didn't fall through so I was good to go!
Set your dehydrator at 145F. It will take between 12 and 24 hours to dry the grains depending on what kind they are and how humid your home is. You can also do this in your oven if the temp goes below 150F. Anything higher than that will destroy the good enzymes that you just helped create!
The grains after they were done drying. These only took about 12 hours, I used soft white wheat berries. Make sure it's very very dry before you start the next part, you don't want to clog up your machine. If you'd rather not make flour you can actually just keep the grains in this stage and add to salads, granola, ect.
Set up your grain mill. As I've mentioned before, I just love my WonderMill! One thing I always double check is that the canister is good and attached to the mill, otherwise you might just make a mess. (Not that I'm speaking from experience or anything....)
Add the grains to the grain mill. I did this on the bread setting.
Unless you plan on using it right away, store your freshly milled flour in the freezer so it preserves the nutrients. Just as a note, freshly milled sprouted flour smells more earthy than regularly milled flour. This is because instead of milling a seed you are milling a plant.
Like I said above this is more time consuming than just milling flour but you will have to decide for you and your family if the benefits out-weight the time spent.
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