Sprouts are a great healthy addition to any diet – I really like them in salads but the options are limitless. Sometimes I even eat them by themselves! I used to think sprouting was time-consuming and just for raw foodists, but it is actually pretty simple to do.
There are a variety of methods out there and you can buy fancy sprouting equipment, but my method simply requires a jar, some cheesecloth, an elastic band, and some sort of plastic tub-like container (Gladware, an old Earth Balance margarine tub, whatever).
I find lentils one of the easiest and most forgiving things to sprout, and that’s what I’m using for this tutorial. Feel free to sub in other things though.
Step one: Put some lentils into your jars. Don’t fill it! They will expand when soaked. Fill the jar with water and put the lid on. We want to let it soak for 12-24 hours in a dark place (such as a cupboard).
Step 2: When you are done soaking, remove the lid and put a piece of cheesecloth around the opening of the jar. Secure with an elastic band. This is going to act like a screen. After soaking, your lentils should have expanded by quite a bit.
Step 3: Drain the water out of the jar. Fill the jar with fresh water, swish around, and then drain again. Repeat a few more times. You want to rinse the lentils pretty good. When you are done rinsing, drain all of the water one last time and then turn the jar upside down and place in a plastic container on an angle. The goal here is make sure your lentils can drain (see picture below). Put your sprouting set-up back in a dark place.
Step 4: Repeat this rinsing procedure 1-2 times a day (I like to do it morning and evening). Each time after you have emptied the water out of the jar, place it upside down and on an angle in your plastic container to drain.
Here is what my sprouts looked like on day #2, you can see they are starting to grow tiny little sprout tails:
Day#3…tails are getting bigger:
Day #5 – time to eat! I just ate some of these plain with a bit of sriracha, but you can throw sprouts onto a salad, process with a bit of tahini for some great nori rolls, or a gazillion other things!
A really great resource for sprout info is SproutPeople.org.