Guest Post – Rejuvelac, the easy-to-make probiotic

This guest post is by Auburn in Southern New Hampshire.

Thanks to Wardeh I learned about the benefits of water kefir. I tried to find water kefir grains locally but couldn’t so I wound up ordering fresh grains online from the kefirlady with great results – the grains are growing fast, healthy and produce a nice soda-like drink but I’ll have to wait a few more weeks for the grains to yield a half a gallon per brew.

Two weeks ago, a nice lady from New Mexico introduced me to rejuvelac. She has a history of malabsorption leading to underweight, and went through an anti-candida treatment about a year ago. After adopting a traditional diet and adding daily raw live non-dairy fermented probiotic drinks like kombucha and rejuvelac, her digestion has improved markedly.

I don’t keep my house warm enough during the winter to brew kombucha successfully. It does well in the summer but it just takes forever the rest of the year so water kefir and rejuvelac are the easiest fermented drinks for me to make.

So what’s rejuvelac? It’s a very healthy drink you can make from grains. Rye and wheat berries, and quinoa produce the best results.

From Wiki: Rejuvelac contains eight of the B vitamins, vitamins E and K, and a variety of proteins, dextrines, carbohydrates, phosphates and amylases. It is rich in enzymes that assist in digestion.

I’ve been making it as per these basic instructions I found online:

- Soak a 1/2 cup of rye berries for 8 hours in filtered water in a glass jar.

- Drain, rinse, drain again and let the berries sprout.

- Then rinse again and fill the jar with two quarts of filtered water.

- Cap securely with a piece of cheesecloth and leave on the counter, away from direct sunlight, for a day or two.

- Strain (I suppose fruit juice could be added for flavour at this point, haven’t tried that) and refrigerate.

I find the resulting drink quite nice. It looks like lemonade and tastes kind of plain, can’t describe it – it’s an OK taste, though.

However, soaking with water doesn’t address the phytic acid problem so now I’m adding whey to the first step and letting the rye berries soak for a full day, after that I rinse them and let them sprout.

The rye berries can be reused a couple of times.

All sites I checked say to discard the “spent” berries or feed them to chickens. I don’t have chickens and hate to throw food away so I just cooked the berries in a little water until tender, about 5 minutes, I think. Added butter, some raisins, a bit of raw cream, pecans, walnuts, banana slices, and raw honey off the heat.

The hubby and I liked the new breakfast concoction a lot.

15 Responses to Guest Post – Rejuvelac, the easy-to-make probiotic

  1. Rejuvelac is next on my list to try! You made it look so easy and sound so delicious! I love it that you ate the grains at the end, too. :)

  2. Hi Wardeh,

    Thanks! It really is very easy to make but it does not taste “delicious” in my opinion. It has a very plain taste, can’t describe it. I added some vanilla extract to the last one I made but I think I like it better plain.

    The rye berries did taste nice but that’s probably because of all the other lovely ingredients I put in the mix :D .

  3. That plain taste sounds good to me, after trying beet kvass recently. :) I can’t wait to try it, and hopefully will fit it in soon.

  4. I’ve been enjoying rejuvelac for years. I usually only do one soaking and then dehydrate to grains and mill into flour.

    Getting the healthy drink and sprouted flour make this not only healthy but very affordable.

    I thought the soaking/sprouting action nullified the phytic acids? Am I wrong here? If so, I’ll start adding whey and gadd an extra half day of soaking.

  5. Hi Jed,

    To be honest, I am quite confused about the phytic acid issue. Need to do some more research but, for now, I’m adding the whey just in case.

    Just recently, a friend from France shared a bit of info that made things even more confusing.

    He said that phytic acid is quite beneficial, because it is a selective chelator that does not bind to potassium, magnesium, sodium or other minerals that are necessary for proper heart rhythm.

    He also said that “when the source of phytic acid is from seeds, it is already bound to minerals but, once in the body, it gives up those minerals to bind to heavy metals because it has a greater affinity for them.”

    I trust him because he’s very well read and knows a lot about nutrition but I also trust Dr. Mary Enig.

    Gotta do some more reading about this…

  6. Wardeh has some great info on her site about how beneficial the sprouting is, essentially that it converts the grain from grain to veg. I remember being satisfied that at that point you no longer need the whey to eliminate the phytic acid but maybe Wardeh will chime in here or we can find it on her site.

    I do recall reading somewhere that some phytic acid is important for just the reasons your friend in France said but too much is a bad thing. I don’t soak my grains for cookies or muffins, nor do I soak the few nuts we eat so I feel like we are getting a balance already, probably on the side of too much phytic acid.

    I recall reading that early Jews would eat a mixture of leavened bread and unleavened breads as their traditional diet which essentially gave them a mix of some grains with phytic acid and some without. I can’t recall if that was from Sally Fallon or if I read it on Sue Gregg’s website though.

    Maybe some starting points for you.

  7. The sprouting process reduces the phytic acid (however, not all is neutralized). If one was not sprouting, then one would need whey or another acid during s “soaking” to neutralize the phytic acid. So, IMO, whey is not necessary during the soaking stage, but it doesn’t hurt either.

    Regarding the benefits of phytic acid – yes, it can be beneficial for toxic metal poisoning and help rid the body of mercury, etc – this is something from which most of us don’t suffer. ;)

    All seeds contain it, and unless we take more care to soak, sprout or ferment, we’re probably getting more than we need. However, only fermentation reduces the phytic acid completely. A healthy gut and Vitamin D are involved in neutralizing the rest of phytic acid that gets to the gut.

  8. Wardeh – I knew you would know. Thanks!

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  10. Great post, thanks! I’ve to confess that I haven’t ventured into making my own fermented foods. The best I’ve done so far is to write about traditional Asian probiotic foods that I really love and hope more people will love them too. If you’re interested to find out what are they, check out this page on probiotic foods on my blog. Thanks!

  11. In this recipe you mention quinoa – can you use that to sprout instead of the rye? We are gluten and dairy free but I am thinking this would be good for all of us especially my two children with reflux.

    Thanks!

  12. Hi Anna Katherine, I’m not sure if Auburn is having computer troubles again maybe since I haven’t heard from her in awhile. I’m not sure if quinoa would work. Have you ever heard of the Nourishing Traditions cookbook?

    You should check that one out since it has many traditional food preparations like this. Now that we suddenly eat non-soaked grains (compared to the way we ate for millenia) everyone seems to be having difficulty with auto-immune disorders, including reflux or celiacs, gluten intolerance, allergies, etc.

    I try to follow traditional food preparations now, soaking my flour for pancakes & bread the night before, making long simmered bone broth for the minerals, eating only whole foods and healthy fats, only organic, grass fed, etc.

    Just the changes in grains alone have made a huge difference in our energy levels and health.

    I wish I had the answer regarding the quinoa but you could always try it and see if it works?

  13. Can a person on the GAPS diet drink this?

  14. Hi Candy,

    I’ve not read much about GAPS but I think Kimi at the Nourishing Gourmet blog has researched and followed it. You could go check out her blog maybe?

  15. In the winter when I brew kombucha and it’s cold inside I set it on a heating mat intended for starting seeds.

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