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How to Sprout Lentils

How to Sprout Lentils (and Why You'd Even Want To)

Alfalfa sprouts add a fresh-tasting crunch to your salad or sandwich, but if you're freaked out about buying sprouts at the grocery store or choosing them from the salad bar because of salmonella, listeria, or E. coli, you can ease your worries and get the nutrition of sprouts by making them at home.

If you've already tried making homegrown alfalfa sprouts, it's time to venture off into the world of lentil sprouts. They're a protein-packed option to eating legumes without the gas-producing effects many people suffer from when eating cooked lentils. Sprouted lentils are not only easier on your belly, but since they don't require any cooking, these gems also offer more vitamins and antioxidants than their boiled buddies.

They're filling and low in calories, so they make a great food if you're watching your waistline. Just one cup contains 82 calories and 6.9 grams of protein, and they're also a decent source of iron, vitamin C, and even a bit of calcium and vitamin A. They taste a little like mild fresh peas and can be added to cold green salads, sandwiches, or cold grain or pasta dishes. They also make great salads on their own. Try this lentil sprout and cucumber salad.

Are you ready to get sprouting? Keep reading to learn the simple instructions for making lentil sprouts.

  1. Measure out half a cup of dry lentils (brown or green). Pour them into a quart-size glass jar and add two cups of water. Place a piece of cheesecloth, muslin, or pantyhose on top and secure with a rubber band. Soak overnight for 12 hours.
  2. The next day, keeping the top on, pour out as much of the water as possible and refill with two cups of water. Take advantage of the fact that the wet seeds want to cling to the jar's inside surface. Roll the jar around, causing as many seeds to stick to the surface as possible, then lay the jar on its side, out of the sun. Rinse and drain twice a day.
  3. Within a couple of days, you'll begin to see the seeds sprout. Lentil sprouts are ready to eat once they are about a quarter to half an inch long. Give the sprouts a final rinse, store them in a bag or in the same jar in the fridge, and enjoy within a week.
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