Why did I even want to do something like make rejuvelac? I wanted to make my own vegan ‘cheese’ – and was totally hung up, procrastinating because I could not decide on what ‘starter’ to use. When I came across this make-it-yourself starter (although lengthy time wise) it clicked.
Homestead Anywhere is the website with the instructions that I used to learn how to make rejuvelac. As their post explains rejuvelac is a very healthy fermented beverage. It can also be used as a ‘starter’ in making other fermented foods such as cheese and/or bread.
I chose to use quinoa because a) I already had some, b) it is gluten free, and c) it can sprout very quickly compared to other choices.
Observe the picture on the Homestead Anywhere website and notice the color of the rejuvelac in the jar. That is what it is supposed to look like. Keep it refrigerated and screened (cheesecloth or other porous material) so that it can breathe. As long as it is cloudy and there is no scum on top it is still good to use. Mine took 2-3 days to sprout and I had rejuvelac for several weeks. Quinoa sprouts have tiny little ‘tails’, you may need to look very closely and squint like I did to see them.
This picture was taken during the next step; processing the cheese. My rejuvelac is the cloudy liquid in the jar on the right. Note the adjacent cheesecloth/jar lid assembly for storing it in the refrigerator.
Smell the rejuvelac – learn this distinctive slightly sweet/yeasty odor. This tells you that your rejuvelac is alive and well. Sometimes there will be tiny little bubbles although these tended to fade after a few days. It was still fermenting soy and coconut milk two weeks later even when it had no bubbles and the odor had faded. After that I started a new batch.
I used the leftover sprouted-and-dried, quinoa for making my savory hemp bread with herbs, substituting it for the hemp seeds by weight. Spread the seeds out on a clean dish towel (cotton/linen flat weave, no terry cloth fuzz needed) to dry it. Shuffle the seeds occasionally so they dry evenly. Drying time will vary depending on your room temperature and humidity. It took several days but I was not thinking about it because I did not know yet what I was going to do with it. But after all the angst of this new process I was NOT tossing sprouted quinoa out to compost!
Just remember, humanity has been fermenting various foods for thousands of years. Today it works the same way as it did back then. We are not likely to be the ones to invent an entirely workable new process by accident!
My first attempt at using rejuvelac to ferment the nut milks was so rewarding that I immediately called my neighbors, Barb and Dona, to sample it with me. When you have been eating gluten free and mostly dairy free for several years you are wise to depend on good friends who will really let you know if you are on track or have veered off into the woods with an experiment. Thank you Barb and Dona!
Next up will be the recipe for that yummy ‘cheese’ spread.