Jul 11, 2008

Sprout About It!

Like with the parathas, I was hesitant about sprouting. Of course, now that I've done both, I laugh at my hesitation. Sprouting is easy! And, like with parathas, the results are fabulous. Sprouts are a healthy and tasty addition to any numbers of recipes. The list is endless from breads to salads to patties to soups to you name it.

The equipment is minimal and you probably already have everything sitting in your cupboards. The process is simple and, with the exception of a twice-a-day rinse, the beans/legumes/seeds pretty much sprout themselves.

My set up was simple. A quart-sized mason jar, a rubber band, a piece of cheese cloth, a colander and a plate.

I chose lentils as my first sprouting experience but I could have chosen beans, seeds, grains, etc. I love lentils and they are very versatile. I really had no final recipe in mind, I just wanted to try sprouting something. I started small, 1/2 cup of dried brown lentils. This would yield about 3 cups of sprouts.

To start, soak the 1/2 cup of lentils in 2 cups of water overnight. Just let them sit. I covered the jar to keep out dust. The next day I drained, rinsed, and drained the lentils, covered the jar with my cheesecloth and fastened the cloth with the rubber band. Two layers of cheesecloth was plenty. I then tipped the jar on angle inside the colander and set the colander on a plate. You can use whatever set-up you like. I set this whole operation way back on the kitchen counter under the cupboards. It's dark back (they don't like light) in there and it was out of the way.

Twice a day I removed the cheesecloth, rinsed the lentils, replaced the cheesecloth and drained out as much water as I could before placing the jar back in the colander. And I should note again that the jar is placed on an angle, not just completely upside down in the colander. You don't want the lentils all bunched up on themselves. Let them line the side of the jar, give them a little space. Sometimes I would give the jar a tumble if I happened to be walking by the jar.

In a couple of days the lentils will sprout. In 3-4 days you will have obvious sproutage. You can eat the lentils the moment they sprout but I wanted at least a half inch of sprout to crunch on. You can also let them grow really long if you like.

The sprouts in the photo above were tender yet crunchy. They have an obvious sprout taste and crunchiness but a really delicate and subtle lentil taste too. Keep this in mind when using them as the centerpiece in a recipe. For example, I used these to made a lentil sprout salad (recipe to follow in a couple of days) and I used far smaller quantities of additional ingredients than I would have used in a cooked/un-sprouted lentil salad. You can easily overpower the sprouts so add minimally and taste as you go.

Go sprout something!


Sandra Gordon said...

Great information! Thanks for posting. I've been wanting to try sprouting some seeds and legumes and I'm glad I found your post. I can't wait to give it a try.

vb said...

Yes, try it! It's easy and you will love the results.

LocalSpice said...

I just sprouted green lentils for my first time too! Super easy! I was always so intimidated by the whole process but it is amazingly simple!!

vb said...

LocalSpice, thanks for visiting and confirming how easy it is to sprout.


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