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Germinating wheat

You don't necessarily have to buy a kit or special equipment to germinate wheat, according to David and Laurie Green, authors of "Eat That Wheat." You'll need a clean wide-mouth glass canning jar, a strainer for rinsing the grain, cheesecloth and a rubber band.

1. Pour 1/3 cup of wheat grains onto a plate or cutting board. Quickly sort and discard any broken, misshapen or discolored pieces, along with any dirt or debris.

2. Place the remaining grains in the jar and rinse thoroughly through a strainer. Then fill the jar half-way with water. Sit the jar upright on the counter and let soak 8-12 hours.

3. Pour the water out of the jar through a strainer. Rinse the grains and pour the water completely out of the jar, using a strainer to catch the grains. Cover the jar with the cheese cloth and secure it with a rubber band.

4. Tip the jar to the side and rotate it a few times so some of the moistened grains cling to the sides of the jar, and then lay it on its side in a dark cupboard. Repeat the process of rinsing, draining and rotating once in the morning and once at night.

5. After two to three days the wheat will be germinated. Most of the shoots should be about the length of the grain itself. To store, do a final rinse and thoroughly drain. Remove the cheese cloth and replace it with plastic wrap. Place the jar in the refrigerator. It can be used up to five days. If you have stored it in the refrigerator and it becomes dry or inedible, simply discard it.

To eat it: Try it raw as a snack; add 1 tablespoon of it to flavored yogurt, or over your favorite hot or cold breakfast cereal, tuck it into sandwich fillings, toss it in salads, or grind it in a meat grinder or chop it with a knife, and add to recipes. You can add 1/4 cup to your usual bread-machine recipes.