If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll probably remember me mentioning the kids have been enjoying some sprouted rice lately with their meals. I found a bag of already sprouted brown rice in the health food aisle of the supermarket and thought, why not? It’s been a good little filler that also encourages them to eat what’s on the plate. Somehow, adding something white makes the greens more appealing. Don’t ask me how. Must be magic.
The bag from the shops was almost $10 for only 400g. Not quite economical. So I decided to make my own after hearing you could sprout brown rice just like legumes. It takes mere minutes of effort and a 1kg cost only $3.20! The saving is worth those extra minutes, if you ask me.
You might be wondering why go to the trouble of sprouting at all, when rice tastes just fine on its own. There are a few reasons, actually. Let me give you a brief run down.
Sprouting makes things easier to digest
Legumes, grains, seeds, nuts – they’re all easier on our digestive system once the sprouting process has begun. Rice is no different. The sprouting process activates enzymes which break down the starch in the grain’s endosperm, in a way, kind of starting the digestion process for you.
It breaks down “anti-nutrients” like phytic acid
Phytic acid can be found in seeds, legumes, grains and nuts, particularly in the hull or “shell”. The annoying thing about phytic acid is that it binds to minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc, making them less bio-available. That is, it stops your body from absorbing them as it should. The gall of it.
While soaking and sprouting your grains won’t remove all of the phytic acid, it will reduce it, and less phytic acid is always a good thing.
It ups the GABA
Gamma amino butyric acid, more widely known as GABA, is a neurotransmitter used by the nervous system to send messages. One of its most popular uses is as an anti-anxiety supplement due to its ability to calm nervous activity in the body. It’s also said to be effective in controlling high blood pressure and high blood sugar levels. GABA deficiency can result in some pretty scary physical and psychological symptoms, too.
Sprouted and dehydrated brown rice
- As much brown rice as you want to make and store
- A large jar
- Muslin or cheesecloth
- A rubber band
- Clean water
Pour your rice into your jar and pour in enough water to completely cover the grains. Cover with your cloth and secure with a rubber band, then leave in a warm area of your kitchen for around 12 hours.
Leaving the cloth on, drain off the water completely, then rinse the grains well. Drain off the liquid again and leave the jar sitting in a bowl at an angle, so that any water left behind can drain off but the air can still circulate within the jar.
Rinse and drain at least a couple of times a day for 1-3 days, until the grains have begun to sprout. How long this takes will vary, so keep an eye on your grains and look for that tiny sprout each time you rinse.
Once they’ve begun to sprout, rinse and drain one last time, and then place on a baking paper lined tray and spread into an even layer. Dehydrate in your oven at 40 degrees celsius (or the lowest temperature your oven will go) for around 24 hours or until the grains are completely dry.
Once they’re completely dry, you’ll be able to store the rice in a jar in your pantry, just like store bought rice.