Things you’ll need:
• Lentils (Or any other type of legume, including beans, peas or peanuts.)
• A strainer.
• A glass, porcelain or stainless steel bowl.
• A plate.
1. Choose the legume you would like to sprout. For this tutorial, we’re using lentils.
I recommend sprouting only one glass full of dry or raw lentils. Why is that? Because if there are too many layers of lentils, then some of them may not get enough air, which can lead to rotting and a bad smell.
2. Sort your lentils and remove any that are bad or broken.
It’s highly recommended that you sort through your lentils and remove any that are rotten, since they can cause the other lentils around them to become rotten as well.
You should also remove any broken lentils, as they will not be able to sprout. Since the broken ones will not interfere with the ability of the other lentils to sprout, removing them isn’t an absolute necessity, but it is recommended.
3. Place the lentils in a strainer and rinse them.
4. Soak the lentils in a bowl of water for six to twelve hours.
• I recommend soaking your lentils in a simple glass bowl. If you don’t have glass bowl, you can use a porcelain or stainless steel bowl instead. Plastic bowls are not recommended, as your lentils could potentially absorb the smell or the taste of the plastic.
• The lentils will swell as they absorb water, so you should choose a bowl with edges that are at least one to two inches higher than the surface of the water you’ll be pouring over them.
• Add your water to the bowl, making sure to pour enough in so that it covers the lentils by an extra one to two inches, and then cover the bowl with a plate.
• The bigger the legumes are, the longer you’ll need to soak them. For instance, it’s recommended to soak chickpeas (garbanzo beans) for a full twelve hours.
5. After soaking, drain and rinse your lentils.
Pour the lentils into a strainer to drain away the excess water and then rinse them one last time. From there, all that’s left to do is to make sure that the lentils stay moist until they sprout. Sprouting usually takes anywhere from twenty-four to thirty-six hours.
How do you keep them moist?
Simply wash them two to three times a day for the next day or two until they’ve sprouted.
• If you live in a country with a cold weather, or if you’re doing this during the winter months, then washing twice a day should be enough.
• If you’re sprouting in hot weather (above 30 Celsius / 86 Fahrenheit) but you can’t wash the lentils more than twice a day, then do the sprouting inside of your refrigerator.
Please Note: The soaking stage will take place outside of the refrigerator, not on the inside. Only the sprouting will take place on the inside.
• The more often you wash the lentils, the faster they will sprout. You can even wash them every four hours if you’d like, just to speed things along.
• Do not keep the sprouts in a dark place. You should leave them on the counter, preferably near a window where they can receive a fair amount of indirect sunlight.
And that’s all there is to it. Twenty-four to thirty-six hours after the soaking, the sprouts should be ready and you can use them however you’d like. Have them raw in a salad, use them as a healthier alternative in any recipe that contains legumes, or simply enjoy them as a snack.
If you’d like them to grow even bigger, just keep rinsing them and allow the sprouting process to continue for an extra two or three days. The sprouts can be stored for up to a week in the refrigerator.