Monday, October 8, 2012

Rejuvelac - DIY Pantry

Timetraveling was one of those magical things that I always wanted to do as a kid (and wrinkling my nose like Tabitha from Bewitched to make things go poof!) Timetraveling would have come in handy so I could meet all of my western frontier heroes, be a pioneer woman like Laura Ingalls Wilder and live with the Indians - I was so born out of my time! Notice a theme here? Making everything from scratch because back then there were no grocery stores with packaged goods, only bulk supplies!

And what does all of this oversharing of my childhood dreams have to do with the strange looking liquids in the jars above? That is homemade rejuvelac, a very old-fashioned health drink that I discovered in Wild Fermentation. Rejuvelac is a liquid probiotic drink derived from soaking grains, sprouting them and then drinking the liquid flavored by the sprouted grains. Very little effort (but some time investment) to produce a super healthy probiotic drink that keeps your internal system working like clockwork but more importantly is great for fermenting nut cheese!

Traditionally, rejuvelac is made with wheat or rye berries, but just for kicks (and for those of you who are gluten free) I made a batch with white quinoa too (not pictured). I preferred the rye version for its more sour flavor (like good sour dough) since the quinoa had a distinctively sweeter taste. While I have only used it in fermenting cashew cheese, I am curious to experiment with it to see if I can use it in baking or making nut yogurt, ala Tongue Ticklers' post on curdling cashew milk with the stems of fresh green chilies!

If you want to use another grain, it's the same proportions as listed below. And in case you haven't discovered Sandor Katz aka Sandorkraut do check him out. Making fermented food is the chemistry homework you wished you'd gotten in high school!

(makes 2 cups)

2 cups rye berries
4 cups water
1 quart mason jar

Place rye berries in jar and add 4 cups water and cover with cheesecloth or clean cloth and secure with a rubber band and allow to soak in dark, cool place like your cupboard for 24 hours. Drain off liquid after 24 hours and rinse well. Drain and recover and secure with rubberband and place back in cool, dark place for 12 hours. Repeat three more times as berries begin to sprout. After rinsing and draining four times and berries have little tails, fill with water and recover and allow to soak for 24 hours. Pour off resulting rejuvelac and refrigerate covered. It will taste slightly sour and fizzy and is a good drink for improving your digestion as well as being a liquid probiotic. Keeps for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


Recipes currently inspiring me:

Eggplant Bounty Pie at Stacey Snacks
Asian Pear and Lemon Cucumber Salad with Rosemary Molasses Tempeh at Keeping it Kind
Baked Orzo with Eggplant and Mozzarella at Smitten Kitchen

1 comment:

Veganosaurus said...

Rejuvelac YUM! I've only ever made it with wheat berries (and yes, it can be used as a culture starter for nut or soy yogurts) but your quinoa version sounds so interesting! I must try it soon. Thanks for sharing. :)