Sunday, February 22, 2009

Rejuvelac Smoothie for Healthy Digestion

This week I successfully brewed my own rejuvelac! I have been using it as the liquid base in my daily green smoothie and would like you to consider trying it as well. You might be thinking, "Rejuva-what?" Keep reading, and I will explain.

A brief introduction to rejuvelac:

What is it?
Rejuvelac is a fermented beverage used to replenish intestinal microflora and help rebuild digestion.

How is it made?
Rejuvelac is made by fermenting sprouted grain in water over a 2-3 day period.

What does it taste like?
Rejuvelac is slightly fizzy with a hint of lemon flavor. Most people do not like it at first but get used to it. It is not something I would sip out on my deck on a sunny afternoon, but that is why I put it in my smoothies! Nutrition without repulsion!

Below, I describe how to make my rejuvelac.

1.  Start by sprouting 1 cup of wheat berries (or other grain such as rye or millet) in a 1 quart mason jar.

Sprouting Procedures:
  • Rinse the wheat berries once. If you have a sprouting screen to put over the mouth of your mason jar, this will make the process much easier, but a screen is not necessary.
  • Put the grain into your mason jar, fill with pure water, and let it soak for 8 hours or overnight.
  • Next, drain the grain, rinse once, and drain sufficiently. If you have the sprouting screen, leave the jar tipped into a bowl at a downward slant to allow air to circulate and the grain to continue to drain. If you do not have the screen, drain well and leave the jar open and tipped sideways on your counter.
  • Let the grain sit for another 8-12 hours and rinse again.
  • You will rinse it 2 or 3 times a day until the sprouts are tiny and just emerging from the seed. This will take 1-2 days.
  • Put the sprouts in your blender with some water to cover and blend on high for 5 seconds.
  • At this point, you are ready to begin fermenting!

2.  Put the ground-up grain back in your mason jar and fill the jar up with pure water.
3.  Add a dash of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar or fresh lemon juice to make the solution slightly acid and help the fermentation process along.
4.  Add about 10 slices of fresh ginger root for an interesting flavor.
5.  Cover the top of your jar with a cheese cloth or other cloth that will allow air to come through. Secure the cloth with a rubber band.
6.  Let your sprouted grains soak for 72 hours, no more. Warm temperatures will speed the fermentation process. It that case, it will be done earlier. A white film on top is good. If the film turns colors, throw the grain away and start over. Give the jar a gentle spin 2-3 times a day. Expect some bubbling to show at the top.
7.  After you have let the solution ferment, strain out the grain fragments and store the liquid in a clean, sealable jar. There you have your rejuvelac!
8.  Give it a taste. It won't taste spectacular, but it should be slightly fizzy and lemony.
9.  Make a green smoothie with a banana, lime, greens, and frozen pineapple.
10.  Discard the used grain.

Now, I want to tell you a little more about the benefits of rejuvelac to convince you that this process is worth the effort.

In our guts exist colonies of bacteria which exist symbiotically with us. These probiotic microorganisms are naturally occurring and serve many important purposes such as the following:
  • Protecting against foreign bacteria, yeasts, fungi, and infections
  • Producing and absorbing vitamins, enzymes, and oxygen
  • Improving skin health
  • Correcting digestive dysfunction
Antibiotics are the opposite of these probiotics and will seriously compromise your digestive health. If you have ever taken antibiotics, it is necessary to rebuild that healthy ecosystem.

Stress is another killer of healthy gut bacteria. Stress can alter the pH of the system and endanger the delicate balance of microflora.

Microflora is also affected by the food we eat. It lives primarily on bits of undigested plant food. An unhealthy diet may allow less desirable microflora to overgrow and other helpful microflora to die leading to an imbalance. This means we should continuously include in our diets plenty of raw plant food that is high in fiber. Keep in mind that many processed and packaged foods contain anti-biotic substances such as preservatives, pesticides, fungicides, sterilizing agents, etc. that can damage your microflora. Even the chemical additives in your tap water such as fluoride and chlorine can throw off the delicate balance of your digestive ecosystem.

To keep your digestive microflora healthy and plentiful consider the following:
  1. Begin consuming more raw, fermented foods such as vinegar, miso, kombucha, and rejuvelac. In addition to my rejuvelac smoothie every morning, I drink 2 tablespoons of raw, apple cider vinegar. I drink it down like a shot. If this is too scary for you, don't hesitate to sweeten it with a bit of raw agave or raw honey. Apple cider vinegar is alkalizing as well as a digestive tonic.
  2. Eat plenty of raw, organic produce that will provide indigestible starches and cellulose on which the microflora thrives.
  3. Take a high quality probiotic supplement. If I ever suffer indigestion after consuming a heavy meal, I take 2-3 probiotic supplement capsules, and the stomach ache is gone in less than 30 minutes. Probiotics that have worked for me are Natural Choice Pro-5 Probiotic Blend, Dr. Mercola's Complete Probiotics, and NSI Probiotic 10-20. Read a great article on probiotics here.



Homeopath said...

Interesting blog......

Anonymous said...

hi lemonletter, this is dani ;-)
giacomo and i used to make rejuvelac, but we made it without blending the grains and it was never fizzy or lemony, just kinda slimy. ew.
your way sounds infinitely better. i will try it! WooHoo!

Kevin said...

If you put things in a blender that operates at a high speed you burn of the living enzymes. This has been studied and to my research seems true. Why blend?

Lemon Letter said...

Hi Kevin, thanks for your question. Blending the grain briefly seems to produce a more consistent result -- fewer bad batches. Also, I think only 10 seconds of high speed blending would not generate enough heat to kill enzymes; however, extensive blending certainly would. If you would like to be absolutely conservative in this regard, then skip the blending; you can still make great rejuvelac.

vitamingee said...

Thank you for your post- very informative. I just made some and I'm blogging about it. I wanted to know the benefits which you explained thoroughly!

Allison said...

I have just brewed my own Rejuvalac and yes it does have a 'lemony' flavour what I did was to put in a prebiotic (Inner Health Plus) contents of a capsule which has enabled the Rejuvalac to be nice and fresh I am now in the process of brewing my second batch from the first lot of wheat berries

Allison said...

I have just brewed my own Rejuvalac and yes it does have a 'lemony' flavour what I did was to put in a prebiotic (Inner Health Plus) contents of a capsule which has enabled the Rejuvalac to be nice and fresh I am now in the process of brewing my second batch from the first lot of wheat berries

leslie said...

Feel free to feed the birds the resulting wheat berries. They will thank you.