Monday, May 20, 2019

Growing Lentil Sprouts in My Kitchen


This is my batch of lentil sprouts. They took 5 days to reach this stage. I began with 2 tablespoons of dried lentils (bought in the bulk bins at WinCo) and now, I have about 2 cups of sprouted lentils.

Lentil sprouts are good in stir-fries, salads, and sandwiches. Their flavor is much like alfalfa sprouts, and their texture is crunchy and mildly starchy when raw.

I sprouted mine in a pint-sized canning jar that I covered with a square of cheesecloth and propped at an angle in a cereal bowl with the open end down. I kept the jar in a dark corner on the kitchen counter.

So simple -- this is how I made mine:

I rinsed the lentils in the canning jar, then drained them. I filled the jar with water, covered with the cloth (secured with a rubber band), and allowed to soak overnight. The next morning, I drained the lentils, poured fresh water into the jar, and drained once more. Propped in the cereal bowl, the lentils were able to shed any excess water (which could cause them to rot). I rinsed and drained them in the jar twice a day. After 5 days, I rinsed them one final time, drained well in a sieve, and placed them on a paper towel to dry for 20-40 minutes. They're now wrapped in the same paper towel inside of a plastic bag. Stored this way, lentil sprouts will keep in the fridge for 5 days or so. Some sites say that sprouts can keep for weeks in the fridge, but I'll just count on a week at most. Since it's so easy to sprout more, there's no need to make a huge batch.

I just had a small pile of sprouts with ranch dressing. Very tasty! As we near the end of the month, and I find myself looking for something new to eat from our supplies, lentil sprouts will add that fresh bit of something to meals around here.

13 comments:

  1. Whoa, your sprouts look absolutely delicious. Lentil sprouts are out favorite addition to fresh salads. It adds so much flavor to a simple salad. And so economical. Plus, we get to eat it freshly harvested, instead of days old, like the sprouts in soggy bags at the supermarket. The only other sprouts we have tried are mung bean sprouts. They seem more difficult to master than lentils. Perhaps the larger the bean size, the more prone to contamination issues.

    Have a nice day!!
    YHF

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    1. That's interesting about your problems with the mung beans, YHF. I'd like to try mung beans but I haven't seen in them bulk bins in my area yet. I'll keep looking. I wonder if mung beans are picky about temperature. the way some garden seeds will just rot below a certain temp. Thanks again for suggesting the lentil sprouts! I can't believe how easy this first batch was. Let's hope the next batch goes just as well.

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  2. Lili and YHF --

    Do lentil sprouts taste like lentils?

    Sara

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    1. Hi Sara,
      No I don't think so. It has an unexpecred, distinct, sharp flavor. Cooked lentils seem very bland by comparison. I heard that the flavor changes according to the sprouting stage when harvested, whether it is 3 to 5 days or longer up to 3 weeks for example. By that time, the sprouts are tall and very green.

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    2. Thank you. I have heard that lentil sprouts are very nutritious, and I ADORE all sorts of odd types of sprouts. However, I can't seem to bring myself to eat lentils. I've made them three different times, according to three very different recipes recommended by lentil lovers; but I ended up throwing away all three meals after one bite. I'm not as frugal as Lili (who IS?), but I try never to waste anything, and I just could not choke any of those meals down.

      I'm not sure I'm brave enough to buy more lentils to try sprouting them. Sara

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    3. I know what you mean, Sara, because I'm not a fan of cooked lentils. Before sprouting, we hardly ever bought it, even though they make quick bean dishes. I bought several bags of lentils at clearance price from Walmart, so that was the reason we started sprouting lentils again. I dont know if I am willing to pay upwards of $2/lb.

      I'm going to try soybeans next. I love commercially sold soy sprouts, but we don't have much success sprouting larger sized beans.

      YHF

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    4. Hi Sara,
      I don't think they taste anything like lentils. To me, they taste like a cross between alfalfa sprouts and raw snow peas, with a mild starch texture, like not-quite-cooked potatoes. If you happen to be someplace that sells in bulk bins, you might want to buy just a tiny amount of lentils and sprout 1 or 2 tablespoons like I did. then you'd know if you enjoyed them or not, without a major investment of time/money. Good luck if you try this!

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    5. Thanks, YHF and Lili for the additional information. :) I try to be open-minded about nutritious food, but I honestly can't choke down cooked lentils. I really just can't. The description of the sprouts' taste sounds promising, however; and thankfully my budget is not so tight I can't experiment. Besides, I can probably pass along any leftover lentils to family members, if necessary. I won't invest big, as you suggested; but might give this a try, at least, since lentils have impressive nutrition, and most foods are more nutritious when sprouted.

      If I get around to it, I'll let you know the verdict. :)
      Sara

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  3. What a great idea to add something a little different to your menu with limited funds. I've never been a big sprout fan, but I should ask the others if they're interested. It sounds fun to grow them.

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    1. Hi live and learn,
      Thinking all the way to next winter, I think sprouting lentils will be helpful for my situation when my garden produce is not available, as well as these periodic low times, when I'm in-between garden veggies for harvesting. It is a fun activity, too, watching them grow each day.

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  4. I love adding these to a sandwich! Any type of mayo-based salad sandwich, especially tuna salad. And my favorite restaurant makes an absolutely fabulous Mediterranean-tasting breakfast sandwich with a turkey sausage patty, a fried egg, some tzatziki sauce (not too different than your ranch!), some crispy onion bits (like you'd find on a top of a green bean casserole), and fermented lentils!

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    1. Hi Allie,
      I love alfalfa sprouts on egg salad, so I think these will be good in that application. Oh yum, that breakfast sandwich sounds delicious!

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