Sprouting Beans and Lentils

Sprouting beans or lentils is a simple process that can be done at home with minimal equipment. They're great as an added salad topper or added onto sandwiches.

My favorite thing to use sprouts for is giving them to my chickens as an added treat!

Here's How:

1. Choose Your Beans/Lentils: You can sprout a variety of beans and lentils including mung beans, chickpeas, and lentils. Make sure they are whole and not split, as split beans may not sprout as well. My favorite (and my chickens' favorite) to sprout are lentils.

2. Rinse and Soak: Rinse them thoroughly under cold water. This removes any dirt or debris and hydrates the seeds. Transfer them to a clean jar and cover them completely with water. Sprinkle a little bit of cinnamon or citric acid into the water and gentle swirl your far to mix it. You can cover the jar with a cloth, or I like to use sprouting lids for my jars. Allow them to soak for about 10-12 hours or overnight. The soaking process softens the seeds and initiates the sprouting process.

3. Drain and Rinse: After soaking, drain the water from the beans or lentils and rinse them again under cool water. This helps to wash away any enzyme inhibitors and encourages sprouting. Sprinkle some ground cinnamon or citric acid into the jar, and rinse again. 

4. Sprout: Cover the container with a breathable lid (I like these sprouting lids) or cloth secured with a rubber band. Place the container in a well-ventilated area away from direct sunlight.

5. Rinse and Drain: One to two times a day, rinse the beans or lentils under cold water and drain them thoroughly. Repeat this process daily until you see sprouts forming. For Lentils, this takes about 4 days for them to be at their peak. Some beans like like black beans can take up to 5 days to start to sprout.

6. Store and Eat: Once sprouted, you can store the sprouts in the refrigerator for up to a week. Rinse them and change their water every couple of days to keep them fresh. My chickens love lentil sprouts as an added treat. They go nuts for it!

Benefits of Sprouting:

1. Increased Nutrient Content: Sprouting increases the nutrient content of beans and lentils, making them more bioavailable and easier to digest. Sprouts are rich in vitamins, minerals, protein, and enzymes.

2. Improved Digestibility: Sprouting breaks down complex carbohydrates and reduces anti-nutrients like phytic acid, which can interfere with the absorption of nutrients. This makes sprouted beans and lentils easier to digest.

3. Enhanced Flavor and Texture: Sprouted beans and lentils have a milder flavor and a crunchy texture, making them a delicious addition to salads, sandwiches, wraps, and stir-fries.

4. Cost-effective and Sustainable: Sprouting beans and lentils at home is cost-effective and environmentally friendly. It requires minimal resources and allows you to have fresh, nutrient-rich sprouts at your fingertips.

5. Cost-effective Feed: If giving to your chickens, this helps to cut WAY down on your feed costs. This also allows your chickens to get a chance to have fresh greens year-round, especially in winter when foraging is slim.