I love lentils. They are so versatile and can be used in so many different dishes. I also love sprouts, so I decided to try making lentil sprouts. They are so good! If you haven't tried them, I highly recommend giving them a go. You won't be disappointed.
Sprouting lentils is probably the cooking tip with the highest effort/reward ratio. It may sound like sky-rocket science, but it's a straightforward process.
You may have sprouted a bean as mid-school homework to unveil how mother nature works in front of you.
It's nice to see how life emerges in front of you, provided the right conditions. The beauty lies in the fact that these conditions are elementary: humidity and sunshine.
Sprouting pays off. Making your own sprouted lentils is super easy. Sprout lentils for:
- An increased amount of nutrients
- Change in flavor
- Different textures as a sprouted lentil can be eaten raw.
- An evolved version of an available kitchen ingredient.
The germination process triggers a release of stored nutrients that the young shoot requires, making the nutritional benefits more prominent than those of the dried lentils.
Lentil germination also reduces the concentration of trypsin, an enzyme found in the dry lentils, that inhibits the seeds' bioavailability. Once this inhibitor is broken down, the digestive system can absorb the nutrients from the grains.
Increased protein content
During germination, protein nutrients are made readily available, making them easier to digest and absorb.
Read on: High-Protein Vegan Meals »
Higher Fiber Content
This leads to improved gut function, thus helping the rest of the body's overall health.
Since lentil sprouts contain folate, they prevent the early onset of artery damage, which contributes to heart disease as well as increased risks of developing a stroke
They contain Polyphenols, health-promoting phytochemicals with a robust antioxidant effect and an anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective effect on the nervous system.
Increased Minerals Uptake
By expanding mineral content such as magnesium, iron, phosphorus, and zinc, boosts the over 300 biochemical reactions in your body, such as forming hemoglobin and supporting the immune system.
I understood when I read it once in a very simplistic way:
A seed can create life and a whole new plant or tree, like an egg. When you sprout them, you are unlocking this potential and making it readily available to be more easily absorbed by your body.
Change in Flavor
The flavor of sprouted grains is significantly different than their seed's predecessors.
I like having more ingredients and options in my kitchen. For example, I eat sprouted lentils in salads and lentil soup.
See my Curried Hearty and Spicy Sprouted Lentils Soup for an example of how to eat cooked sprouted lentils.
We eat raw sprouted lentils in a salad like this Couscous Warm Salad, just adding some fresh herbs and roasted and fresh veggies.
You can also sprout lentils and simply enjoy them with a sprinkle of garlic powder and a drizzle of olive oil and enjoy with your favorite veggies.
I enjoy a lot adding different textures to my dishes. I like finding something crunchy when it is not expected or something silky in the middle of a crispy bite.
Raw lentil sprouts usually have a crunchy texture; when briefly cooked for a couple of minutes, they turn very soft.
The varieties found in food textures are a great resource when you want to get creative in the kitchen or give a twist to create a new dish.
In the end, you create an evolved version of an available kitchen ingredient, one with a different flavor, texture, and increased nutritional value.
What to sprout
You can sprout any lentils: brown lentils, green lentils, or red lentils. Also, you can sprout kidney beans, mung beans, soybeans, garbanzo beans... basically all kinds of pulses.
Different varieties of lentil seeds will need less or more time to sprout. So, lentils need less time than chickpeas.
Sprouting lentils: how to?
- Rinse lentils and put them in a flat pan, let 7 ounces (200 grams) of lentils soak overnight. Depending on the size of the lentils sprouting time can take anywhere from one to three days. Keep watering them until no more water is absorbed; let them close to a window where they can catch the sunshine.
- You can also put them in a mason jar, ensuring they always have some humidity and direct sunlight.
- After they have doubled their size, keep adding a little water to hold some moisture and stir them.
- When you start seeing the sprouts, they are ready (feel free to leave them another day for them to become even softer).
You can consume them as they are in salads, cook them for not more than 3 minutes or store them in the fridge. You can keep freshly harvested lentil sprouts in the refrigerator for up to one week. The cold temperature within the fridge prevents bacteria's growth, which would otherwise decompose the stored lentil sprouts.
Use your sprouted lentils!
Want to know more about sprouting. Check this link.