Saturday, October 9, 2010

Sprouted Lentils

You've seen bean sprouts in your stir fry and sunflower sprouts in your salad, but most people don't realize that just about every grain, bean, and seed sprouts.

Sprouting essentially takes a dormant seed and creates a live plant. Sprouting neutralizes phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. Phytic acid binds with calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc, making it hard to impossible for you to absorb those nutrients. Enzyme inhibitors inhibit enzymes (surprise surprise) in the seed and your own digestive enzymes from doing their job.

All in all, sprouting makes grains, seeds, and legumes (beans) easier to digest and you will be able to assimilate more nutrients.

More reasons sprouting rocks here!

How To Sprout:
The method is pretty much the same for most seeds, grains, nuts, and legumes, it’s just the time that varies. 
  1. Fill a mason jar about one third full of desired seed to sprout, and then fill the mason jar with water and soak overnight.
  2. Cover the mason jar with a sprouting screen screwed into the lid. You can use any sort of material that allows water out but keeps the sprouts in (make-shift one out of a screen?).
  3. In the morning you drain the jar and rinse it right through the screen, and then you invert your jar at an angle, allowing it to drain and air to circulate within your jar.
  4. All you have to do now is rinse 2-3 times per day, and your seeds will turn into sprouts!
I take this process to a whole new level of easiness (laziness...) and I get sprouts every time so I think it's an A-OK method:

Marcy creeping on my lentil sprouts
  1. Fill a container (mason jar, tupperware container, wine glass...) about 1/3 of the way full with desired grain, legume, or seed and fill up with water.
  2. Soak overnight.
  3. In the morning, pour out water while holding the goods in the container with your hand.
  4. Pour more water in, swish around and dump water out again.
  5. Repeat step 4 2-3 times per day to keep the goods damp and prevent mold from growing.
Once sprouting process is complete (see the chart below), dump the sprouts onto a paper towel and allow them to dry before storing them in the fridge.
Nuts do not grow tails but it's important to soak (or roast) raw nuts to get rid of the enzyme inhibitors.

Soaking and Sprouting Times

Nut / SeedDry AmountSoak TimeSprout TimeSprout LengthYield
Alfalfa Seed3 Tbsp12 Hours3-5 Days1-2 Inches4 cups
Almonds3 Cups8-12 Hours1-3 Days1/8 Inch4 Cups
Amaranth1 Cup3-5 Hours2-3 Days1/4 Inch3 Cups
Barley, Hulless1 Cup6 Hours12-24 Hours1/4 Inch2 Cups
Broccoli Seed2 Tbsp8 Hours3-4 Days1-2 Inches2 Cups
Buckwheat, Hulled1 Cup6 Hours1-2 Days1/8-1/2 Inch2 Cups
Cabbage Seed1 Tbsp4-6 Hours4-5 Days1-2 Inches1 1/2 Cups
Cashews3 Cups2-3 Hours4 Cups
Clover3 Tbsp5 Hours4-6 Days1-2 Inches4 Cups
Fenugreek4 Tbsp6 Hours2-5 Days1-2 Inches3 Cups
Flax Seeds1 Cup6 Hours2 Cups
Garbanzo Beans
(Chick Pea)
1 Cup12-48 Hours2-4 Days1/2-1 Inch4 Cups
Kale Seed4 Tbsp4-6 Hours4-6 Days3/4-1 Inch3-4 Cups
Lentil3/4 Cup8 Hours2-3 Days1/2-1 Inch4 Cups
Millet1 Cup5 Hours12 Hours1/16 Inch3 Cups
Mung Beans1/3 Cup8 Hours4-5 Days1/4-3 Inches4 Cups
Mustard Seed3 Tbsp5 Hours3-5 Days1/2-1 1/2 Inches3 Cups
Oats, Hulled1 Cup8 Hours1-2 Days1/8 Inch1 Cup
Onion Seed1 Tbsp4-6 Hours4-5 Days1-2 Inches1 1/2-2 Cups
Pea1 Cup8 Hours2-3 Days1/2-1 Inch3 Cups
Pinto Bean1 Cup12 Hours3-4 Days1/2-1 Inch3-4 Cups
Pumpkin1 Cup6 Hours1-2 Days1/8 Inch2 Cups
Quinoa1 Cup3-4 Hours2-3 Days1/2 Inch3 Cups
Radish3 Tbsp6 Hours3-5 Days3/4-2 Inches4 Cups
Rye1 Cup6-8 Hours2-3 Days1/2-3/4 Inch3 Cups
Sesame Seed,
1 Cup8 Hours1 1/2 Cups
Sesame Seed,
1 Cup4-6 Hours1-2 Days1/8 Inch1 Cup
Spelt1 Cup6 Hours1-2 Days1/4 Inch3 Cups
Sunflower, Hulled1 Cup6-8 Hours1 Day1/4-1/2 Inch2 Cups
Teff1 Cup3-4 Hours1-2 Days1/8 Inch3 Cups
Walnuts3 Cups4 Hours4 Cups
Wheat1 Cup8-10 Hours2-3 Days1/4-3/4 Inch3 Cups
Wild Rice1 Cup12 Hours2-3 DaysRice Splits3 Cups

Curried Lentil Sprouts with Cilantro-Garlic Sauce
Based off of recipe by The Nourishing Gourmet. I personally don't like cilantro so I wasn't too keen on the sauce but luckily the curried lentil sprouts taste awesome on their own.

-for lentils-
3 c lentil sprouts
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1 T curry powder
0.5 t ground cloves
-for sauce-
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 inch of fresh ginger, peeled and chopped
2 T olive oil
1 small hot pepper, seeds removed
1 t salt
Juice from 1/2 of a lemon*

Mix lentil ingredients together in a bowl.
Food process sauce ingredients until smooth pesto-like consistancy.

*I omitted the lemon juice because there aren't any lemons growing in Michigan (I miss them already...)


  1. I made the cilantro sauce. Its delish. I am waiting for my baby lentils to grow. They are a bit premature today.

  2. This looks great, Sam! I've bookmarked it for future use :) Thanks for sending the link!!