To sprout grains at home, purchase whole grains, such as barley, spelt, buckwheat, rye, corn, and the unprocessed wheat kernels known as wheat berries. Polished grains, including pearl barley, will likely not germinate. This method can also be used to sprout legumes such as lentils and chickpeas.

Sprouts, whether barely emerged from the grain or more fully formed, can be sprinkled atop salads, added to sandwiches, used in veggie burgers, or ground into flour for homemade bread.

1. Rinse the grains thoroughly in a fine-mesh sieve under cool running water; discard any broken or cracked grains and chaff.

2. Transfer grains to a bowl, and add an ample amount of lukewarm water, using a proportion of 1 part grains to 4 parts water (the grains will absorb quite a lot of liquid). Let grains soak for at least 8 hours or up to overnight.

3. Strain the soaked grains in fine-mesh sieve, and rinse them thoroughly to remove the sticky film, known as mucilage, that will have appeared; any residue could cause the grains to spoil.

4. Set the sieve over a bowl, cover it with a damp kitchen towel, and then wait.

5. Rinse the grains thoroughly twice a day, or as needed to ensure they remain moist. Germination will occur anytime between 24 hours and 4 days.

6. When the sprouts have reached the desired length, rinse them again, draining thoroughly. Wrap sprouts loosely in a damp paper towel, place in a resealable plastic bag, and refrigerate immediately. Most sprouts last for 7 to 10 days.

7. If the sprouts begin to dry out, rinse them again, and store as directed in step 6.


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