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Sprouting Wheat: Top Emergency Food

A follower on YouTube recently asked if wheat stored in a #10 can sprout. This question motivated me to try it and see. It’s much easier than I imagined.

Canned wheat will sprout for up to 25 years, as will wheat berries stored in any sealed oxygen-free container kept in a cool, dry, dark location. Wheat in a can is seeds used to mill flour, cook whole, sprout, and grow wheatgrass—the percentage of wheat berries that sprout declines over time.

Keep reading to learn how easy it is to sprout wheat in a jar. Sprouting is an excellent feather for your survival cap. It makes nutrition more bioavailable and allows you to grow greens in the winter or for emergencies.

Sprouting Wheat From A Can: 6 Easy Steps

This is a super simple process, so don’t be intimidated. Once you eat fresh wheat sprouts on a salad, you’ll be hooked.

Step 1:

Place 1/2 cup of dried hard wheat berries in a clean 1/2 quart jar. Hard wheat sprouts better than soft wheat)

Step 2:

Use a screen lid or reuse a food jar and punch holes in the metal lid

Step 3:

Fill the jar with cool water and drain. Fill the jar a second time and let it sit for a minimum of 6 hours in a dark location. I let mine sit overnight

Step 4:

After the 6-hour soaking period, drain the water from the jar

Step 5:

Fill and drain the jars 2 to 3 times per day.

Step 6:

Once drained, turn the jar upside down and set it in a tray or bowl, and do this after every rinse.

Sprouting Tip: place a folded tea towel in the tray to keep the wheat from sitting in standing water and to help hold the jar at a good angle.

What You’ll Need:

  • Screen Lid: I make my lids with an old screen or poke holes in re-used jar lids, see the video below to learn how. You can also purchase stainless steel or plastic sprouting lids if you wish.
  • 1/2 quart Jar
  • 1/2 Cup Hard Wheat Berries
  • Tupperware tray or bowl
  • Cool Clean Water
  • Tea Towel (Optional)

Sprouting Tip: After you do this a couple of times, you’ll have a sense of how many wheat berries will fit in different container sizes, allowing you to do big batches of wheat sprouts for baking or mass consumption.

If you want to watch me sprout wheat berries from a #10, check out my YouTube Video.

How To Store Sprouted Wheat Berries?

How you store your wheat berries greatly influences how long they will last. The number one rule is don’t let them sit in water and ensure they are well-drained before putting them in the fridge.

To store sprouted wheat berries rinse in cold water and place in a cullender over the sink. Let water drain until it stops dripping. Line a bowl with a paper towel, place sprouts on top, and cover with plastic wrap. Poke holes in the plastic to eliminate condensation—place the bowl in the refrigerator.

How Long Will Stored Wheat Sprouts Last?

Wheat berries, stored properly, will stay fresh for 6 weeks in the fridge.

Personally, I wouldn’t keep sprouting them longer than a week. Sprouts taste much better when they are fresh. You are better off making small batches that you can use in 2 or 3 days. Plan, and you can always have fresh sprouts.

How Can You Tell if Wheat Sprouts Are Bad?

Once you’ve been growing wheat sprouts for a while, you’ll know immediately when they’re over the hill. If you’re just starting out,

You can tell your wheat sprouts are bad when they smell foul, caused by mold or bacteria, or if you see mold or a soupy-slimy texture. Good sprouts are crisp and fresh with a smell of earth, like fresh lettuce.  When in doubt, throw them out.

Sprouting Tip: Wheat Sprouts are best when they are fresh, so make small batches often to maintain that nutty flavor and freshness.

The biggest enemy of fresh sprouts is sitting in moisture. You want to keep them dry but not too dry. Also, don’t put sprouts in the refrigerator when they are wet. They will go bad quickly.

Will Wheat Berries Grow?

Wheat Berries Sprouted From Wheat In Long-Term Food Storage

Growing wheat berries is a simple process that gives you serious nutritional value. You can eat sprouts fresh or dry them and add them to your homemade bread; some even grow wheatgrass and juice it for a healthy snack.

Wheat berries will grow in three ways. You can sprout wheat in a jar, sprout wheatgrass or germinate berries in the soil. Wheat berries are wheat seeds with the husk removed, commonly used by bakers to make bread and preppers for long-term food storage. They can also be cooked or ground into flour. 


Rapid loss of seed viability in ex situ conserved wheat and barley at 4° C compared to -20° C storage, Oxford Academic Conservation Physiology, link

Sprouted Grains: A Comprehensive Review, U.S. National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health link

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