Sprouting lentils and beans can be a bit time-consuming, but I’m going to show you an easy way to do so. Sprouted lentils and beans are considered to be a very healthy choice for both protein and carbohydrates in vegan and vegetarian diets. Once sprouted, they can be used for raw salads, batters, stirfrys, and even soups. Eating sprouted lentils and beans versus the whole lentil and bean has been proven through research to be more beneficial. In fact, many researchers say that sprouts are richer in digestible energy, vitamins, antioxidants, amino acids (proteins), and minerals in general. It has also been said that sprouts have an increased fibre content, making them an all-around stable food for vegans and vegetarians.
Directions to Sprout Any Lentil or Bean:
1. Soak your choice of dry lentil or bean in twice the amount of water for 8-12 hours. I usually soak them overnight. Make sure you cover the lentils or beans with either a dish or soak them inside a airtight container.
2. After 8-12 hours, you will see that the lentils or beans have grown in size since they have absorbed some of the water. Drain the remaining water from the container. Look for lentils or beans near the bottom of the container that have not grown in size and remove them since they won’t sprout (the reason this happens is because you have a high quantity of lentils or beans soaking and the water will reach the top most layers first).
3. Make sure there is no remaining water in the container (I use a strainer and place the strainer with the lentils or beans on top of a bowl so any excess water is easily captured).
4. Place the lentils or beans into a warm area, covered once again with a dish or in a container. Let them sit for about 24 hours, sometimes more depending on how warm the environment is.
5. By now, you should see the sprouts. You can let them sit for several more hours if you wish to have more sprouts. Once you are content with your sprouts, remove them from their container or bowl and rinse thoroughly. When rinsing, look for any sprouts that feel really sticky and remove them. These should be thrown away.
6. If you plan to use the sprouts right away, go for it! If not, lay them out on a large paper towel or dish towel on the kitchen counter for a few hours till they are completely dried.
7. Once they are dry, you can store them in the fridge for about a week until you are prepared to use them. When storing, make sure you use an airtight container (I use reusable plastic containers). Lay a paper towel on the bottom of the container, then pour in your spouters, and finally cover the top with another paper towel before closing the container. “Wrapping” them in paper towels helps to keep the sprouts fresh.