How to sprout lentils

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!

You’ll need:
Dry lentils
A jar with a sprouting lid or a colander with small holes
A towel, if you’re using the colander

To sprout:
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.

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14 responses to “How to sprout lentils

  1. Pingback: Sprouted lentil soup | I Believe In Butter

  2. LOL on the “weird hippie” comment!!!! My own mother recently accused me of being quite the “hippie” for gardening, drinking raw milk, etc. . .. .
    The only problem is . . . . .SHE is the ONE who taught me how to do these things! LOL !!!! Hahahahahaha!
    Anyway . . . . .I’ve never sprouted beans or lentils, but I may give it a go now. . . .
    I DO soak them 12-36 hours in acidicity-added water. AMAZING the amount of phytic acid “scum” that comes to the top!!! They will also cook faster . . .and softer. . . then if you don’t soak. I imagine sprouting is the same way.
    BTW. . . .my bunch just likes to put microgreens and other sprouts on salads, sandwiches or as a garnish. I also throw them in stir-fry — a staple meal w/ our fresh summer veggie bounty.

    • These will definitely work in a salad too. And how funny about your mom. I don’t get accused of it but I like to throw it out sometimes for the laugh factor.

      Now I have to find something to do with the rest of the sprouted lentils I have in my fridge. So much food so little time to eat it all!

  3. Back home in India, when I was little, I remember sprouted lentils(whole Green Mung) as a part of our diet almost everyday. My mom would mix chopped onion, thai pepper, lemon, salt and black pepper and we would love it. I hardly did this since I came to States 12 yrs ago, but now after reading al the food blogs, I will start again. Not sure if its true, but back home, they believe that sprouted lentil is very good for your skin.

    • Sofia, thank you for posting this! I’ve been trying to think up ways to use the sprouted lentils I still have in the fridge, and I am going to try this tonight.

      Very interesting comment about the skin. Perhaps it’s the B and C vitamins released by the sprouting which help.

  4. I love sprouted lentils – they’re the easiest to sprout, and they last the longest (never get slimy, like sprouted mung beans are apt to do).

    If you’ve got loads of them, I recommend trying this recipe – it’s phenomenally yummy!

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