Thursday, October 11, 2007

It's a bird, it's a plane, no, it's (finally) the SPROUTING POST!

I have no homework today, other than studying for an Italian test, so I thought that it was about time I wrote the promised sprouting post.


What you need:

-A legume, grain, or seed to sprout
-A mason jar (preferably with a screen lid)

Now, this legume/grain/seed can be something you bought packaged nicely at a health food store, like this:
Or, feel free to use any dried bean or grain you have lying around. I've done chickpeas, lima beans, quinoa, and even wheatberries! Anything works, but one thing to remember if it's your first time is that smaller grains like quinoa are harder to sprout than big ol' chickpeas.

Also, don't sprout kidney beans! When they're raw, they can contain harmful amounts of a toxin called phytohemagglutinin. Eep.

As well, if you don't have a metal mesh lid for you're jar, that's just fine. I only have one because my dad made it for me. You can improvise. I've had to use paper towel in the past and simply place the jar upside down. Click here for a place where you can buy special sprouting lids.

Now, fill your jar no more than 1/3 full of whatever it is you're sprouting. Rinse your legumes/grains/whatever by filling the jar with water, swirling, and draining. That's where the mesh lid comes in handy! Refill it again now, with cool water, and place your sprouter aside. Let soak for 8-12 hours, or overnight.

After this soaking period, drain the water out, and rinse a few times using cool water and swirling the jar. Let the jar drain completely now, upside-down - I like to put the jar on top of a paper towel to let the water drip out.

Next, for the next few days, do this rinse-drain process 2 to 3 times a day. You can take one minutes in the morning, after school/work, then again in the evening.

At first, you won't see much, but after a day or so your little sproutsies will start to look like this...
and this..
then this...

Of course, nothing lasts forever, and especially not sprouts. As soon as the 'tail' is long enough, generally the length of the bean/grain itself, place your sprouts in a container and refrigerate.

I'm usually too lazy to do this, but there's something you can do to keep your legume sprouts lasting longer: before you refrigerate, place the sprouts in a bowl of water and pick off all the 'hulls' or 'shells'. Like, in the picture above of my lentil sprouts, you'd take the little brown things off.

What do I do with all these sprouts?!?!?

You can use them in:
  • salads
  • sandwiches
  • as a nice raw topping for soups or stir-fries
  • raw dips- like my raw hummous
  • sprouted crackers
  • and more!

Well, that's all! I think that I've covered everything. :) Feel free to ask any questions in the comments.

I should practice some Italian now- ciao!


Emmie said...

Oooh, sprouts! Lovely!

Do you study italian? I did for two years, along with 5 years of spanish and 3 years of french. I forgot all the italian and the french though...

VegMomma said...

Yay for healthy sprouting!

bazu said...

Thanks for this post! I love sprouting at home, but haven't tried a wide variety of sprouts yet- just mung bean and lentil. I should sprout more freuently!

Anonymous said...

yum! i love sprouted beans in curry, but i'm not so good at sprouting... it's really dry here in the desert!

Peggy the Veggie said...

Thanks for the comments!

Yep, I'm taking Italian 10H right now. It's real fun! French is great too; I was in French Immersion for 12 years. :)

Sprouting is awesome indeed. :)