Awhile back I made some homemade rejuvelac. This isn’t an entirely new concept for me; we make it all the time at the raw restaurant where I (sometimes) work. What is rejuvelac? you might be asking. It is a health tonic and fabulous fermented vegan dairy addition made from soaking sprouted grains in water. Traditionally, it’s made from wheat berries, but you can use any sproutable grain, so to keep it gluten-free, I use quinoa. Another advantage to using quinoa is that it sprouts really fast! It depends a bit on the temperature of your home, but mine always sprouts within about 24 hours.
As a beverage, I don’t much care for rejuvelac; many people describe it as “lemony” which I can kind of see, but mostly it tastes a bit sour in a way that’s not terribly pleasant to my palate. Being a probiotic, it is meant to help aid digestion though, so it might be worth a try if you need some help in that department and are sick of kombucha or kefir.
The real reason I love rejuvelac is raw vegan cheese and dairy products! It adds a special depth and tang to your cheeses and sour creams and yogurts and cheesecakes that you can’t get from lemon or apple cider vinegar alone. It also helps the fermentation process along if you’re letting some nut or seed cheese sit out for a day to get nice and complex.
Most recipes for rejuvelac are the same, but also make a rather large amount. Since I don’t drink it and I’m not making large-scale quantities of cheeses or sauces, I’m giving you a “half-sized” recipe. It still yields about a quart if you do two soakings, so feel free to scale it down even more if you like, or just skip the second soak.
makes about 1 quart
1/2 cup quinoa (or other sproutable grain)
filtered or spring water
Rinse quinoa well under water, and place in a quart-sized jar. Cover with water and stir to make sure all the quinoa is getting wet. Cover with a mesh screen or clean cloth and soak for 2-4 hours.
Drain the water off, rinse the sprouts with fresh water, and drain again. Prop the jar on its side with a rolled up towel (or something similar) on top of a surface you don’t mind getting wet (I used a cutting board), to let excess water continue to drain. Place your jar in a cool place out of direct sunlight. Rinse and drain the quinoa every 8-12 hours until the little “tails” begin to sprout off the quinoa. This will usually occur after 2-3 rinse cycles.
Add 2 cups of water to the sprouted quinoa and let them soak for 24 hours. You may see little effervescent bubbles coming up the sides of the glass – this is good! Drain the water off into another jar or container and store in the fridge. You can stop here or do a second soak to make the most of your grains, repeating the 24 hour soak in 2 cups of fresh water. Drain this water and add it to the first batch, discarding or composting the quinoa. This is your rejuvelac! Store it in the fridge for up to two weeks.
So now you’ve got some rejuvelac…what to do with it? I made some tangy lime cashew sour cream because I was heading to a vegan taco party later that week. You can also make this with lemon and skip the zest for a slightly more traditional sour cream.
Lime Sour Cream
makes about 1 cup
2/3 cup cashews, soaked for 4-6 hours
1/2 cup rejuvelac
juice and zest of 1 lime
1/4 tsp salt
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
Drain the soak water from the cashews. Place all ingredients in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until smooth, then store in the fridge to chill and set up. If you like a thinner or more pourable sour cream, add more water or rejuvelac to thin; this mixture will thicken in the fridge.
With my next batch of rejuvelac, I’ll post some more recipes for cheeses and cheesecake and the like. Stay tuned!