What is a sprout? A lentil in it’s dried form is a “sleeping” plant but sprouting it “awakens” the seed nutritionally and organically. Once that growth begins all the nutrients the plant needs to flourish are concentrated in the tiny sprouts
Benefits of Sprouting Lentils:
1. Lentils contain phytic acid, which can be difficult to digest. Sprouting neutralizes the phytic acid which means more vitamins and minerals can be absorbed by your body as they’re digested.
2. When you sprout lentils, you’re actually starting the germination process, which changes the composition of the lentils. Sprouting increases the amounts of vitamins and minerals in the lentils, especially B vitamins and carotene.
3. Sprouting also produces Vitamin C.
4. Sprouting also helps break down some of the sugars that create intestinal gas.
1. Place the lentils in a strainer. Rinse lentils with plenty of cool running water for a minute or two. Fill the jar with water, add lentils and let them rest overnight as the dried seeds absorb water and rehydrate. Cover with papertowel or cheesecloth and secure with an elastic or jar ring. (Note: The lentils will quadruple in size from start to finish so only use about 1/2-3/4 cup of lentils for a 1 litre mason jar.)
2. In the morning drain the jar thoroughly and rinse the lentils with lots of water once again, but this time drain them thoroughly and rest the mason jar on its side. You may not see it yet, but the lentils are starting to grow!
3. Twice a day rinse and drain the lentils, taking care not to leave them sitting in water. After just a day or so they will start to sprout! The whole process works best if the sprouts are not in direct sunlight, which tends to dry them out too much.
4. Continue rinsing and draining the lentils twice a day until the sprouts are about ½ inch long with small green leaves forming on the ends, about three to four days. When the sprouts are beautiful, remove the papertowel and replace the lid on the jar and store them in the fridge. They will keep for about a week, but that is no guarantee they will last that long!
© Chef Michael Smith (adapted from http://www.lentils.ca/?q=recipes/sprouted-lentils)
I have used lentil sprouts raw as a topping for salad, steamed gently for 10 minutes, in a casserole and in soup (excellent in soup!).