If you have never heard of rejuvelac before then you are in the same place as me a few months ago.  If you gave me the word not only would I not know how to spell it, but my best guess as to the definition of such a word would have been perhaps something used in a Spa?  I came across rejuvelac a few times as I was learning about sprouting, micro greens and raw foods. I was happy to find out that this weird liquid is actually a healthy fermented drink used to aid in digestion (considered a probiotic).  It is quite easy to make and it is also a key ingredient in many vegan cheese recipes.

    I get satisfaction out of sprouting and growing my own food, so being able to make my own probiotic drink sounded like something I wanted to try.  The taste of rejuvelac leaves something to be desired, but like a few healthy foods that I've tried, you develop a taste for it (take Kale for example).  Rejuvelac now regularly takes up space in my refrigerator alongside the fresh juice and chilled water.  I put it in my children's juice and I will drink a small glass almost every day.  Definitely a really cool thing to learn to make.  Rejuvealc today...perhaps wine or beer tomorrow!  

Rejuvelac (Made from Rye)

makes 3-4 cups

1 cup of Rye Grains (I buy mine from Sprout People HERE)
cold water
a glass jar large enough to hold 1-2 quarts of water (I use a carafe)


Sprouting the Rye:
Rinse your rye grains and put them in a glass jar.  Cover the grains with 4 cups of cold water and set the jar in a warm spot out of direct sunlight for about 8-12 hours or overnight.  Drain off all the water (I place cheesecloth over the top of the jar to keep the grains in the jar and allow the water to drain out).  Place the grains that have been completely drained back in the warm spot.  Every 8-12 hours (or once in the morning and once at night) rinse and drain the grains.  In 2-3 days of rinsing the grains should sprout little tails (roots) as seen above.

Making the Rejuvelac: Once your grains have tails fill your jar with 3-4 cups of water and set the jar aside in the same dark spot out of direct sunlight for 2 days.  After two days the water should look cloudy and even bubbly.  This is the finished rejuvelac, so the last step is to drain the rejuvelac from the rye grains into a container that you can keep in the refrigerator (rejuvelac is great cold).  You can discard the rye grains by putting them in your compost or even scatter them outside in the yard for the birds and squirrels.  (I've also been exploring some recipes for raw crackers with the leftover grains)
 
This same process can be done with other grains as well, but I agree with the Sprout People that Rye makes the best tasting rejuvelac.


Aged Chevre with Horseradish (Raw and Vegan)

Adapted from a recipe by Miyoko Schinner in VegNews Magazine (September/October 2012)

makes 1 roll, about 7 inches in length

2 cups of raw cashews, soaked in water 8 hours or overnight
1/4 cup of rejuvelac (recipe above)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
3 teaspoons prepared horseradish + extra for rolling (extra is optional)


Drain the water from the raw cashews that have been soaking in water.  In a high speed blender or food processor combine the cashews, rejuvelac and salt.  Process until the mixture is smooth.  Transfer the mixture to a bowl, cover it and let it sit for 2 days, allowing the cheese to get thicker. 

After two days add the nutritional yeast, lemon juice and prepared horseradish to the cheese and mix until combined.  On a flat surface, lay out a sheet of wax paper.  Place the cheese mixture into the center of the wax paper and form it into a roll (about 7 inches long) by applying light pressure and rolling the wax paper back and forth (this may take some practice).  On another piece of wax paper spread out some prepared horseradish and transfer the rolled cheese on top of it.  Gently roll the cheese allowing the horseradish to cover the roll on all sides.  Roll the cheese up in the wax paper, tie the ends and set the cheese on a plate in a cool place for 2 to 4 days to let it firm up some more.  After a few days you can transfer your cheese to the refrigerator where it can age for up to 8 weeks.   


I sliced my horseradish chevre and served it with some roasted beets and sauteed beet greens.

Roasted Beets, Vegan Chèvre and Sautéed Beet Greens
 


Comments

02/25/2013 6:14pm

Wow, I've never heard of rejuvelac before, but it looks very interesting. The process reminds me of making a ferment to prepare kvass afterwards, but in the brewing process it does become slightly alcoholic drink.

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02/25/2013 6:49pm

That is really cool, and I have never heard of kvass before. It's amazing how many different types of fermented drinks there are.

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02/27/2013 12:58am

So I've been hearing more and more about this funky drink recently and am still a little scared to try it. I'm also all about growing sprouts and fermentation experiments, but something about the two together makes me nervous. Anyway, thanks for sharing your method/recipe. I think I might be one step closer to actually giving it a go :)

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02/27/2013 2:13am

I thought it was a little strange at first too, because I'm actually not really that into fermented foods but this one I like. And it doesn't require a lot of weird ingredients to make like some of the different drinks I've heard of. You should definitely give it a try.

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Elisa
03/04/2013 3:07pm

Thanks for posting this! Just bought some rye to sprout. :)
How long does it last in the fridge?

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03/04/2013 4:00pm

Hi Elisa, If you store it at room temperature it will last only a few days before getting overly sour and acidic tasting. If you keep it in the refrigerator it will last for months (I have read). The longest I have kept a batch in the refrigerator was about 1 month, and I didn't notice a change in taste. I make small batches so they normally don't last too long. Happy Sprouting :)

-Sandra

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Jessica Caneal
03/09/2013 12:57pm

I am really excited to try this some some fresh horseradish from the garden! I really think it will be delicious. I was wondering 2 things: can you freeze the cheese for any length of time or will that affect the texture/taste? Also, have you made this cheese and combined it with any other flavors? Do you have any suggestions if I wanted to make a variation?

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03/09/2013 9:07pm

Hi Jessica, fresh horseradish is actually what I used in this recipe too, if you want you can increase the amount that is used because I found it actually to be a bit mild.

I have never tried to freeze the cheese. Just storing it in the refrigerator should be good enough...it can last a very very long time.

I haven't tried any other flavor combos, but the original recipe did call for a dried herb mixture...the herbs were incorporated into the cheese and then rolled on the outside just like I did the horseradish. Let me know if you come up with any other variations, because I would love to try them!

-Sandra

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Joanne
07/02/2013 6:06am

In Miyko' s book she says most of the cheeses can be frozen (I believe up to 4 months.) I'm excited to try a fermented cheese. I'm making rejuvelac from quinoa and it sprouted very quickly, like some of the grains (which are actually seeds) by the next day. I'm giving it 3 days although it already tastes kind of tart. So anxious to see how the cheese turns out.

Lisa
03/28/2013 10:03am

Hi! I've just discovered your site and this recipe looks delicious...I definitely want to try fermenting the rye berries (I just bought a fresh bag to use for bread)and this cheese recipe knocked my socks off! :-) I am curious as to whether a sweet/salty combo like mixing in chopped dried apricots and rolling the log in ground pistachios would be a good flavor combo? Or is the flavor of the cheese better suited to a savory/spicy combo as in fresh herbs, cracked pepper etc? Thank you!

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03/28/2013 10:46am

Hi Lisa, your idea for a sweet/salty cheese sounds amazing. I think it would definitely be worth giving a try. The cheese is very plain on its own because it is made with cashews that's why you can really add any flavors that you like. Please let us know if you find any other combinations that work well.

Thanks for the comment! -Sandra

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03/29/2013 4:57am

I have a jar of rye grains attempting to become rejuvalac on my counter right now and think I've done the process wrong. I soaked the rye over night, drained it and then added more water and let it sit for 24 hours before draining and adding water again. No tails have sprouted yet but I think instead of allowing the rye to sit in water, I was only supposed to rinse it and then allow it to sit without soaking it in water until the tails sprouted?

I feel like a dweeb because this is my second attempt at rejuvalac and I may have been drowning my grain the whole time. Let me know your thoughts and thanks for an excellent post! I'm definitely going to try your chevre as soon as I figure out this rejuvalac thing ;)

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03/29/2013 1:54pm

Hi Julia,

haha!!! I think you have probably been drowning your rye! You're right, because you only need to soak it overnight and then you rinse them twice a day. In-between the rinsing they should not be sitting in water. You only want them to soak in water AFTER they have sprouted.

If you still have difficulty getting them to sprout, you might want to consider getting grains from a different source.

Definitely let me know if I can help anymore!!!

-Sandra

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03/29/2013 2:23pm

By golly, I've always been terrible at following instructions, lol! I'm going to try to salvage this batch and see if my little rye grains are still alive. Can't wait to get this thing right!! :) Have a great weekend and thanks so much for getting back to me.

05/25/2013 9:31pm

I am on my way to my third batch of "cheddar" and am loving every bit of it. I use the rye berries for making my rejuvelac and am following Miyoko Schinner's, Artisan vegan cheese. I first got intrigued when browsing VegNews last fall so I figured this was a new challenge for me. For the sharp cheddar after letting all the ingredients rest for several days, you whisk some rejuvelac and agar together, cooking until thickened and then add the cheese mixture. In the book, The author uses carrageenan powder OR agar powder and xanthan gum for thickening. So, any suggestions before I make my 5th batch of cheddar?
This is such fun trying different nut butters, vegan cheeses, etc. and there are only two of us.
Happy eating.
betsy shipley

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05/25/2013 11:43pm

Wow sounds like you are probably an expert at make Vegan Cheddar at this point. I also made the chevre after reading about it in VegNews Magazine. I haven't tried the cheddar yet myself but it is on my list of things to try....it sounds like you could be giving me some suggestions!!!

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05/25/2013 11:55pm

The only expert is Mikoyo and she's not in my neighborhood. I will carefully take notes with the next batch and let you know how it turns out.
betsy

07/02/2013 8:27pm

Just made another batch of cheddar in June and all went well. The only problem I have is when I mix the rejuvelac with the nut. yeast, miso, nuts, etc. It tends to get stuck on the sides and bottom of my vitamix and since I am such a penny pincher I try and get everything out esp. under the blades. My husband and I are both happy with the cheese esp. since he is a lover of camerbert.
happy cheese making.
betsy shipley

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07/29/2013 10:11pm

I am made Almond Milk a couple of days ago, and have about a cup of damp almond meal - would it be suitable to use as a nut base fro a vegan chevre?

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07/30/2013 12:19am

Don't know about the damp almond meal. If I had the meal, I would toast it in a cast iron pan and sprinkle it on salads or incorporate it into some vegan cookie batter.
Or you could use it as a nut base for vegan chevre. My suggestion is to write Miyoko Schinner who will gladly answer your question.

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07/30/2013 12:24am

Great advice Betsy!!! I love the idea to toast the meal and use it in salad or cookies. I'm with everyone else who has a problem with wasting all that almond meal after making milk. I normally make cookies with mine or incorporate it into a smoothie.

Thanks :)

07/30/2013 12:21am

It could be worth a try Janine. The reason why cashews are traditionally used is because they don't have a very strong flavor. I haven't ever tried to use almonds to make vegan cheese before but it sounds like it might be interesting. Please let us know if you give it a try.

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J
09/06/2013 10:15pm

Thanks. Yours is the clearest recipe I've found. I did read elsewhere that you can reuse the sprouted grains one more time to make another batch of Rejuvelac. Also you can cook the sprouted grains when you're done, to make hot cereal.

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09/06/2013 11:24pm

I have also read the same thing about a second batch. I tried it once but the rejuvelac was a little more sour the second time around. I haven't heard of using the grains for hot cereal...but that sounds great. I have just discovered that you can also dry the grains and then grind them into flour. I think I want to try and the cereal that next time I make a batch. Thanks for the comment!!!

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09/06/2013 11:06pm

I have been making very complete notes on my vegan cheese making and am now on the 6th batch. My next experiment is making non dairy yogurt. The problem is that I have to buy 32 oz. of soy yogurt for my starter unless someone else has a better idea. Am open to any and all. betsy shipley=tempeh pioneer

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Cat
11/16/2013 1:31pm

hi Betsy,
I have made multiple batches of yoghurt with coconut milk and I use vegan probiotic powder, about a teaspoon for every can of milk and let it ferment for 24-48 hrs in a warm, dark place. I believe that you should be able to use the rejuvelac though, as I have used probiotic powder to culture cashew cream to make cheese so they seem to serve the same purpose.
I buy non-dairy probioticapsules and open them, to get the powder. The more cultures it has, the better.

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11/16/2013 6:22pm

Thanks, do you have a recipe for quantities of non dairy milk and culture? Thanks betsy

11/16/2013 12:07pm

Would this work using a gluten-free grain like rice or millet? Thanks!

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11/28/2013 4:12pm

Now making my 7th batch. The one problem I have when I use the rejuvelac, nut. yeast, cashews, miso using the VitaMix I takes quite sometime for everything to turn into a nice smooth puree. I have heard that the Breville food processor works better than the VitaMix. Any thoughts?

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Shaina
04/14/2014 4:29pm

Question: I followed an identical recipe for cashew cheese - after mixing rejuvelac and cashews, I "covered" the cheese with relatively air-tight lid. After two days the mixture smelled overwhelmingly like vodka. I am currently repeating experiment by covering with cheese cloth. I can still smell the alcohol, but not nearly as strong on day 2 - I'm hoping its supposed to be evaporating off. Do you have any insight into this issue? was the air-tight lid the problem or is something else going on here....the raw cashews were frozen before soaking but nothing else is different from recipe. My homemade rejuvelac does NOT smell like alcohol.

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Darcie
07/19/2014 2:38pm

Excited to try this cheese! Btw I use my extra almond pulp from almond milk to make an easy almond cream cheese I found on youtube few months agi and it is AMAZING and easy..just pulse a little olive oil and garlic n sea salt in a food processor then add your pulp, a teeny bit more olive oil and nutrtional yeast then process untill very creamy..makes an excellent and deliciius cheese spread I even add chives and herbs to mine oftenit has become a very treasured staple in our home

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