Oryana Natural Foods Market
Oryana Natural Foods Market
260 East Tenth Street | Traverse City, MI 49684 | (231) 947-0191

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Monday - Saturday 7:30am-9:00pm | Sunday 9:00am-7:00pm

How to Sprout Grains Nuts and Seeds

How to Sprout Grains, Nuts, and Seeds

Our ancestors ate grains that were partially germinated in a roundabout way.  Wheat and other grains that stood exposed to the elements in sheaves and stacks in the fields often began to sprout before it was placed in protected storage. But nowadays, our modern farming techniques prevent grains from germinating before getting to our kitchens.  Sprouting increases vitamin content and neutralizes phytic acid, a substance found in the bran of grains that blocks absorption of minerals in our bodies. Sprouting also neutralizes enzyme inhibitors which are in all seeds, inhibitors that negatively impact our own digestive enzymes.

Sprouted grains can be used in salads, breakfast cereals, ground for breads and baked goods and added to casseroles. Generally, it’s best to lightly steam sprouted grains rather than eating them raw.

The only equipment you need to sprout grains and seeds are wide-mouth quart mason jars and some type of mesh material, such as a round of screen or tulle material and rubber band, or plastic or metal mesh covers made especially for sprouting. You could also use cheesecloth.

Sprouting grains and seeds is easy. The length of time to germination varies depending on the size of the seed.

Here is the basic method:

Fill a mason jar 1/3 full with the grain or seed of your choice. Fill with non-chlorinated water to the top of the jar and screw on or secure the mesh cover. Soak overnight and pour off water. Rinse well (keeping the mesh top on the jar.) Rinse every 4 hours or at least twice a day. The sprouts will be ready in three to seven days for most seeds. Rinse well one more time, drain well, and store in the refrigerator. Replace the mesh lid with a solid lid before storing. Use within a few days for maximum freshness.

Note: Alfalfa is a popular seed to sprout but according to Nourishing Traditions author Sally Fallon-Morrell, alfalfa sprouts inhibit the immune system and can contribute to arthritis and lupus due to an amino acid, canavanine, that is toxic when consumed in quantity.

Sprouting Wheat, Rye, and Barley

Sprouts will be tiny and white, reaching a maximum length of ¼ inch, in 3 or 4 days. You can use sprouted wheat to make tabouleh.


Use untoasted whole seeds. The sprouts are ready as soon as the tiny tail has emerged, in 2 days. Buckwheat releases a gelatinous substance that needs to be rinsed away thoroughly in order to avoid mold.

Beans such as mung and aduki

Fill the jar only ¼ full with beans. Rinse as often as you think about it. The sprouts should be ready in 4 days. Aduki will have a 1 inch tail, mung will grow 2 inches.

Beans such as kidney, lima, and black beans

Sprouted beans will take about 3 days. These need to be cooked and they will not take as long to cook.


Sprouts appear after 2-3 days and will be ¼ inch long. Should be cooked before eating.


Sprouts are ready in 3 days. It will just look like a tiny white protrusion.

Sunflower Seeds

Sprouts are ready in only 24 hours. Wonderful eaten raw in salads.

Sesame Seeds

Ready in 2-3 days. Note: they can be bitter if sprouted too long.

Pumpkin seeds

Use hulled seeds. Takes about 3 days.

Tiny seeds (chia, radish, poppy)

Ready in 3 – 4 days when they are at least 1 inch long.



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Breads at Oryana

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Bay Bread
Old Mission Multigrain
Stone House Bread
Pleasanton Bakery
9 Bean Rows
Third Coast Bakery

Oryana's Own:
Quick Breads
Wheat Sandwich Bread
WF Sandwich Bread
WF Vegan Flaxseed Bread