So I had one of those ‘where-have-you-been-all-my-life’ sort of moments this morning. But, let me back track a bit to give you the back-story of how I got to this moment.
In my paleo days, I started sprouting brown rice. Anything that would heal my gut was a ‘you had me at hello’ deal. I started reading about sprouting because there’s a compound in grains and legumes called phytic acid. Phytic acid not only inhibits the way enzymes work in your body, but it also binds with calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc. Since I was having a tough time absorbing minerals (I’ve been in a pernicious anemia state now for a few years, even though I’m relatively young), I was in for sprouting. Mainly I was doing brown rice because my family likes halvah bars and I was making a gluten free version with sprouted brown rice flour (which you can’t find in my neck of the woods). I also tried mung bean sprouts because my husband likes Chinese food with sprouts in it.
I had heard of lentil sprouts and it sounded tasty. I wasn’t a huge fan of alfalfa sprouts, at least not the ones you find in the store, because I always thought they had a bit of a moldy taste to them. But I gave lentil sprouts a try. Lentils are so cheap that if I didn’t like them, it wouldn’t amount to a hill of beans (haha): I could just compost them. They were ready last night and I ate a handful right out of the jar, after I had rinsed them off. I don’t know what it is about them that was so good, but they’re really tasty. They’re a little peppery and nutty. I really love the taste. After eating a couple of handfuls more, I decide that they’re definitely a keeper. So, this morning I threw a couple of handfuls into my mushroom quinoa breakfast porridge, along with some kale. It’s seriously good. I’ll probably add them to some soup for lunch and some stir fry for dinner: they’re that good. My youngest is eating them by the handful as well. There’s just something about them.
Here’s how I sprouted: I was sprouting brown rice in a mason jar with some cheesecloth over the opening, but now my husband bought me a sprouting jar which I like a lot. Not only is it more roomy, but it drains easily. But, if you want to try this today and you have no sprouting jar, the mason jar works fine. Or, if you’re crafty and have some plastic needlepoint fabric around the house, you can insert some of that into the mason jar lid ring and that will work very similarly to the sprouting jar. Put whatever you’re sprouting into the vessel of your choice and cover with twice as much water (when I did mung beans, I used very hot water) and let it sit overnight. Drain and rinse the next day. Rinse and drain again and let sit at a sideways tilt to allow air flow and good drainage. Rinse and repeat a couple of times a day until they start to sprout (mostly within 2-3 days). If you’re sprouting rice, you don’t need for it to get long sprouts: the sprouts on rice will be fairly short (to make rice flour, just dehydrate the sprouts and then grind them). For other sprouts, once the sprout comes out, you may want to put it in a window so the leaves will start to appear. You don’t have to wait for leaves to appear, though, to eat the sprouts. My lentil sprouts have very tiny leaves on them. If you’re looking for a more salad-y type of sprout, then leave them in the window for a few days after they sprout. There’s not a real science to it. It’s all about your personal taste. I hope you give it a try. It’s fun for the kids and good for you and tasty as well.