My gardening bug bit me already this year. But since it’s still a little early to REALLY get started I decided to have a go at sprouting. We have heard that sprouts are really good for you and a GREAT food storage item (so watch for some future posts about the benefits/usages/etc.) but for now check out what I’ve learned so far.
A few weeks ago, I was talking to my mom (affectionately known as GrandmaLori around here) about sprouting as I can remember doing alfalfa sprouts with her when I was little. She just happened to have an old sprouting container that she inherited from her grandmother that she doesn’t ever use and she let me “borrow” it for my adventures.
This sprouting container is pretty neat but the holes are too big to do tiny seeds like alfalfa, so I decided to start with lentils which I have on hand from my long term food storage legumes supply.
First I rinsed the lentils and picked out any gross looking pieces, discolored ones, or things that did NOT look like lentils (see picture). Then I soaked the lentils overnight as that is what my sprouting book recommended. There are a few types of items you would NOT need to soak so just make sure you follow the directions for whatever you are sprouting.
In the morning, I poured my soaked lentils into the sprouting container and rinsed them off again. I set them on the counter beside my stove as it seemed to be one of the warmer spots in my kitchen but out of direct sunlight. I also set a paper towel over the container because it seemed weird to just leave them sitting out with no covering. That evening I rinsed the lentils again. Each time I rinsed I made sure to really let all the excess water drain out before setting it back in the little tray.
When I took the paper towel off on day three I had a pleasant surprise. SPROUTS!!! I was so excited. All I did on day 3 was rinse and repeat the instructions from day 2.
Each day from 4-7 I rinsed the lentils at morning and at night and took a photo of the progress if I remembered to. It’s really so easy, just takes about 30 seconds each time and they just grow on their own!
After rinsing on the morning of day 8, I lifted off the paper towel and let the sprouts sit in the sunlight all day. They turned a very nice green and grew even longer!
I think I let my sprouts get a little bit too long but I was really busy the last few days of my experiment and didn’t pay very close attention to them. So on the final day I pulled them all out of the sprouting container and put them into a large canning jar and stuck them in the fridge.
And now for my confession. I tasted the lentil sprouts and they tasted like fresh peas. I don’t really like fresh peas all that much so I’m afraid I don’t really want to eat these just plain. I’ll have to try making a yummy salad and sprinkling a few on top. Or I might try them in a meatloaf to use as filler. I have to say my first experiment was a success in that they GREW, but kind of a failure in that I didn’t really grow something that my family will use on a regular basis. Back to the drawing board 😉
Since Julie didn’t “inherit” a sprouter she recently bought this Sprout Master Sprouter at Kitchen Kneads. She hasn’t tried it out yet but it looks like it would work about the same as mine.
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-Jodi Weiss Schroeder