Rejuvelac is a fermented beverage made from whole grains. It contains probiotics and lactic acid and is the primary culturing agent for many nut cheeses. It’s the secret ingredient that gives my Healthy Vegan Fondue its familiar cheesy tang.
Rejuvelac is usually made from soft wheat berries, but can be made from quinoa, brown rice, millet or other grains as well, so it’s easy to make gluten-free. You may find it bottled in the refrigerated section at your local natural foods store, or you can make your own with this simple recipe.
Making your own is less expensive than store bought and is very simple, but the entire process from start to finish takes about a week, so if you make your own, you’ll need to plan ahead.
To make rejuvelac, you’ll begin by sprouting the grains. Start with 1 cup of soft wheat berries (or another grain), which you can find at your local natural foods store in the bulk section. I store all my grains and beans on shelves in 1-quart mason jars.
After 8 to 12 hours, drain and rinse the grains and add just enough water to keep the grains moist, but not immersed (a tablespoon or two). Set jar on counter out of direct sunlight for 1 to 3 days, rinsing grains twice a day (morning and night).
After about 2 to 3 days, you’ll see little white sprouts emerge. (Yeah!)
At this point, it’s time to culture the rejuvelac. Rinse the grains one last time, fill the jar with about 6 cups of fresh filtered water and allow to soak for 1 to 3 days. Pretty soon, the water will get white and cloudy, a little fizzy and foamy on the top. It will smell tart and fermented (like stinky cheese!). The rejuvelac is now ready! Strain into clean jars and store in the fridge for up to a week.
This is the magic elixir used in all kinds of raw nut cheeses. I hope you’ll give it a try, use it to make my Healthy Vegan Fondue and leave a comment below. I’d love to hear from you!
– Emily xo
- 1 cup soft wheat berries (or other whole grains such as quinoa, kamut berries or rye berries)
- 6 cups filtered water
- Half-gallon mason jar
- Sprouting lid (You can also use the ring of the mason jar lid and a double layer of cheesecloth or cut some plastic mesh to fit the mason jar ring, but I prefer the sprouting lid. It’s reusable, dishwasher safe and won’t rust.)
- Soak and sprout the grains: Put the grains in a glass half gallon mason jar and fill with water. Screw on sprouting lid. Allow to soak at room temperature for 8-12 hours.
- Using the sprouting lid as a strainer, drain, then add just enough water to keep the grains moist, but not so much that they are immersed in water.
- Put the jar in a warm place on the counter out of direct sunlight for 1 to 3 days and rinse the grains twice a day, each time draining well and adding just enough fresh water to moisten them. Continue this process until the grains have begun to sprout. They will be ready when the grains have little white tails emerging.
- Culture the rejuvelac: Fill the jar with 6 cups of fresh filtered water. Screw on sprouting lid. Put the jar in a warm place on the counter out of direct sunlight for 1 to 3 days. The liquid will turn cloudy white, a bit bubbly and foamy on the top. It will have tart, fermented smell. Strain the liquid into clean glass jars and discard the grains.
- Rejuvelac will keep covered in the refrigerator for about a week.
- Note: Make sure the grains used for the recipe are not pre-sprouted.
Recipe by Emily Honeycutt, 2016. © All Rights Reserved www.emilyhoneycutt.com Adapted from the book, Artisan Vegan Cheese: From Everyday to Gourmet by Miyoko Schinner; © 2012 Miyoko Schinner, Published by Book Publishing Company.