I love sprouting. Lentil sprouts are my favorite. It’s so easy and fun to do with the kiddos. You don’t need any fancy equipment, just a jar and some cheesecloth. Pretty much anyone can do it! It’s also a great way to save money on produce.
Making these lentil sprouts is super easy. All you do is soak your seeds overnight, then place them in a jar sealed with cheesecloth and a rubberband. Rinse the seedlings with water 2-3 times each day, making sure there’s no water left in the jar after rinsing, then store in a dark place. I turn my jar upside down in a bowl on the kitchen counter to let the water drain out. After 3-4 days, the seeds will have grown into sprouts right before your eyes! Once they’re ready, just pop them in the fridge. For more detailed instructions, click here.
What’s fun is that you can’t get bored because you can sprout seeds, grains, and legumes. Yes, you can even sprout quinoa!
Here’s a quick list of what you can sprout:
Seeds: alfalfa, sunflower seeds, fenugreek, celery, leek and also Brassica sprouts like broccoli, cabbage, mustard and radish
Grains: wheat, rye, hulless barley, triticale, oats, spelt, kamut, quinoa, sesame, millet and amaranth
Legumes: lentils, chick peas and mung beans, peas, adzukis, and mung beans
So you see, the choices are endless! You might be asking yourself, why bother sprouting? I get it. You don’t know why sprouts are so darn good for you. Well, I’m gonna tell you. Sprouts are nutrition superstars, loaded with antioxidants, chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals and amino acids. Broccoli sprouts are especially nutritious. They’ve been shown to contain 50 times as much of the antioxidant sulfurophane as mature broccoli. They are also much easier to digest than their mature counterparts! But don’t take my word for it, click here for more sprout nutrition facts!
I did some sprouting this week with my favorite…lentils. This salad is inspired by my neighbor, who recently ventured into sprouting. I was at her house for a birthday party last weekend and she served this refreshing mung bean sprout salad.
This is my lentil sprout take on her salad.
Ingredients are simple: lentil sprouts, cucumber, endive, orange pepper, scallions, and celery
I put my lentil sprouts in a bowl, then quickly realized that this bowl was too small. Can you believe all of those sprouts came out of that jar? About 1/4 cup of lentils made a whole salad! After chopping up the veggies and dousing them with freshly squeezed lemon, I sprinkled on some Chat Masala, courtesy of my neighbor. Chat Masala is an Indian spice blend of salt, dry mango, cumin, musk lemon, pepper, pomegranate seeds, coriander, mint leaves, dry ginger, nutmeg, chili powder, caraway, Bishop’s weeds, cloves and asafoetida. Yes, it’s quite amazing, right?
I hope you experiment with sprouting this summer…especially with your kids. Show them how easy it is to sprout and let them experience eating food that they helped grow. You can buy everything you need from sproutpeople.org, including a sprouting jar!
Chopped Sprout Salad with Mandarin Oranges
- 1 jar sprouted seeds of your choice
- 1/2 English cucumber diced
- 1 Belgian endive chopped
- 1 orange bell pepper chopped
- 1 scallion chopped
- 2 stalks celery chopped
- 1 can mandarin oranges drained
- juice from half a lemon
- Celtic sea salt to taste
- 2 tsp Chat Masala substitute this for a mix of cumin, chili pepper, coriander, and nutmeg
- Combine the vegetables, oranges, and sprouts together in a bowl. Drizzle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and a sprinkle salt. Add chat masala or other spices, mix to combine. Taste and re-season as needed.