Sprouting lentils at home is easy to do and they make a nutritious addition to sandwiches, salads, and wraps.
You don’t need much in the way of equipment for sprouting lentils, either. Follow these instructions & you’ll be eating sprouted lentils in a matter of days.
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You can spend minimal time in the kitchen creating sprouted, living foods with just seeds and water.
Lentils and other legumes are particularly good to start sprouting as they are economical as well as commonly found in many pantries.
What are lentils?
Lentils are a legume belonging to the pea family. They’re not commonly available in their fresh form. Instead, you’ll find them on the grocery store shelf with dried beans. You’ll find lentils in green, brown, puy (slate grey), and red.
Lentils are used in a variety of cuisines including Indian, Italian, French and more.
Sprouting lentils before cooking them or adding them to salads enhances their nutrition in several ways.
First of all, it is thought that sprouting makes seeds more digestible. All seeds contain compounds that protect them from the elements.
They want to hold onto their nutrients and energy until all of the elements of sprouting – moisture and warmth – are available to them.
That protects them in dormancy, but those enzyme inhibitors also make them harder to digest.
Secondly, protein is generally increased during sprouting while carbohydrates are generally decreased.
Micronutrients such as B vitamins are enhanced as is the bioavailability of some minerals.
While many do not recommend a diet high in raw legumes, even sprouted, sprouted lentils can be eaten raw in reasonable quantities and provide enzymes when you do so.
How to Sprout Lentils
Sprouting lentils is much like sprouting other seeds such as broccoli. Generally, with a bit of water and a brief check-in every day, you can have tiny sprouts in just days.
- First, add one cup dried lentils (any variety) and 3 cups water to a quart-sized jar fitted with a sprouting lid and canning ring. Leave this to soak for 8-12 hours.
- Drain the soaking water from the lentils by inverting the jar over the sink (or plant that needs watering). Rinse the lentils by adding approximately two cups of water to the jar, swirling, and draining again.
- Invert the jar at a 45 degree angle in a bowl. Leave it on your counter out of direct sunlight to rest for another 12 hours. Repeat rinsing and draining as stated above.
- Repeat the cycle of rinse, drain, rest for 12 hours until you see tiny tails beginning to emerge from the lentils, approximately 2-3 days. The lentils can be used at this point in soups and stews and the sprouts are completely undetectable to the pallet.
- You can continue to sprout the lentils an additional two days, approximately, for longer sprouts. If the lentils have completely filled the jar by this point, simply divide the volume of lentils between two jars and continue sprouting. These are well-suited to being used in raw salads, as a raw, crunchy topping for soups, or in a quick stir-fry, much like mung bean sprouts.
- Once sprouted to your preference, lentils should be eaten that day or stored in the refrigerator for 2-3 days before consuming. To keep a perpetual stock of sprouted lentils up, begin soaking another jar every 2-3 days.