Barley grass is a healthy addition to your freshly-made juices and you can add the nutrient-rich green to your salads. Sprouted barley is also great for making whole-grain breads. You don't have to purchase sprouted barley in the store because you can germinate the seeds at home in just a few days to harvest after about a week or plant in your garden.
Sprouting the Barley
Purchase whole barley seeds to sprout. Hulled seeds can become damaged during the hull-removal process and may not germinate as well. Soak the seeds in a jar or bucket with enough water to completely submerge them. Allow the seeds to soak for 12 hours. Rinse the seeds under cool, running water in a mesh strainer. Spread the moist seeds into 1/2-inch layers in sprouting trays. Sprouting trays are shallow, rectangular in shape and have holes in the bottom to allow for proper drainage during the sprouting process. You can also use a jar with holes punched in the lid to allow for proper drainage and ventilation. Wash and drain the seeds with fresh water every eight to 12 hours for three days until they sprout.
Tips on Sprouting
After their initial soak, keep the barley seeds moist but not wet to prevent mold. Barley seeds don't require sunlight during the sprouting process, just a cool, dry location indoors to protect them from outdoor pests. Use sprouted seeds immediately, plant them in soil or keep them moist in a growing medium like coconut coir or vermiculite.
Susan Paretts has contributed to a variety of publications about nutrition including Livestrong, Food & Nutrition, Healthfully, Real Simple, Our Everyday Life and the Houston Chronicle, among others. Her expertise is in healthy eating, vegan choices and organic foods.