Sprouts? Isn’t that some weird hippie thing?
Hardly. Sprouting of beans, seeds, and grains was a common practice in a wide range of cultures throughout the world. Why sprout? It makes the food item much more nutritious. The process of sprouting increases the amount of vitamin C available, as well as vitamins B2, B5, and B6*. The process of sprouting also eliminates phytic acid, which prevents the absorption of nutrients when ingested. This is great when seeds are blowing around on the wind and looking for a home, but not helpful when someone wants to consume the item for food.
Sprouting does require planning, since it takes a few days for the sprout to form. If you don’t have time to sprout your lentils (or beans or seeds), you can also soak them to break down the phytic acid.
Just about anyone on any type of diet can utilize this technique. If you’re on a primal or paleo diet, or just cannot easily digest legumes, then this would probably not help you. Otherwise, this is a great frugal way to get nutrients in your diet. Dry legumes are much cheaper than any canned sort and you don’t have to worry about what other stuff is going into the mix. Plus, a lot of metal cans contain the hormone disruptor Bisphenol A.
Do note that sprouted legumes are bigger than dried, so if you are using a specific recipe which does not call for soaking or sprouting in advance, you don’t need quite the same amount of dried legumes. Cut down and experiment.
What can you do with the sprouts? Anything you might do with the legumes otherwise. Include them in soups, salads, make legume burgers, the sky is the limit!
A jar with a sprouting lid or a colander with small holes
A towel, if you’re using the colander
1. Put the desired amount of lentils in the jar or colander.
2. Rinse with water and allow it to drain. Keep covered if you’re using the colander method.
3. Continue to rinse 1-2 times per day.
4. Keep watch over the legumes. When sprouts begin to pop out, they’re done!
Have you sprouted? Do you want to try now? What do you regularly make with your sprouts?
*Source: Nourishing Traditions, p.112.
I’m sharing this post at Weekend Gourmet, Monday Mania, Traditional Tuesdays, Real Food Wednesday, Frugal days, Sustainable ways, Simple Lives Thursday, Pennywise Platter, Fresh Bites Friday, Fight Back Friday, and Sunday School.