Lentil Sprouts: Grow Sprouts Grow!

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There’s nothing new about sprouts. I can remember making them in the 70s with my grandmother. We actually got this little kit at the museum of natural history gift shop that had special strainer-type lids that screwed on to a mason jar. We put the seeds into the jar, gave them some water, and then put them in a dark cabinet to grow… and voilà, sprouts!

Sprouts are really easy to grow in your own kitchen, and you probably have a bag of lentils in your pantry, so go ahead and get sprouting! All you need is seeds to sprout (try lentils for an easy one), a strainer, and some kind of container to soak and grow the sprouts in. I used a quart mason jar. I grabbed a piece of cheesecloth (left over from an unfortunate almond milk experiment… don’t try to make your own nut milk bag. You’ve been warned and I’m sure you are now laughing at me, so stop that). Place the cheesecloth over the mouth of the jar and fasten with a sealing ring (without the metal center piece). Now you can strain through the cheesecloth all in one step without opening the jar. Kind of like what my grandmother and I used in the 70s, but no plastic parts to buy. Put about 1/2 cup of lentils in your jar and cover with water to soak for 12 hours. Drain and rinse well. Now let them sit, rinsing and draining well every 12 hours. In a couple of days you’ll have sprouts. I let mine get big enough that you just start to see signs of leaves, but it’s up to you how long you let them grow.

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Here’s a shot of them being rinsed and drained, not quite big enough (IMHO) to eat yet. This is before I had the cheesecloth epiphany, and I was growing them in a dish and draining them in a strainer. But you know better now.

Again, you’re welcome.

So what do you do with your little sprouts? Well, you could transplant them to the backyard and grow a crop of lentil plants. But I don’t recommend that when you can buy a pound of lentils for around a buck. Once your lentils have reached the size you like, put a regular cap on your jar and throw them in the fridge with your salad fixings. They add a great crunch and freshness to any tossed salad. They are also yummy on a sandwich. I bet they’d be great on top of nachos, too. I will have to make a note to try that!

What else can you sprout? Well, just about any seed or nut can be either soaked or soaked and sprouted. The sprout gurus say that sprouting and soaking release enzymes which make nuts/seeds more easily digested and make more phytonutrients available. But don’t listen to me, go google it, cause I can’t remember all the details. Some nuts don’t actually “sprout”, they just soak. Beans and seeds generally sprout though.

Have you ever made sprouts? What will you add sprouts too?

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