Sprout lentils in a jar! In the midst of winter, it’s a fun way to “garden” inside, and any time of year, it’s an easy, great way to grow some fresh food of your own in just a few days. (You can let kids do it, too.)
How to Sprout Lentils in a Jar:
1/2 cup dry lentil beans
small piece of cheesecloth
That’s all you need!
Pour lentils into the quart jar.
Rinse lentils a time or two, using lukewarm water. I just use my hand to cover the top of the jar and let the water run out through my fingers while holding the lentils inside. Alternatively, you could go ahead and place cheesecloth and the jar band on top and run it through that way or rinse the lentils before adding them to the jar.
Once the lentils are rinsed, add just enough water to cover the top of the lentils by about an inch.
Place a small piece of cheesecloth on top.
Put on the jar band.
Keep the jar (upright) in a warm, dark place. A kitchen cabinet works good.
Let sit about 12 hours or overnight then take out the jar and drain the soak water (again, I just take the cheesecloth/band off and drain it out through my hand). Fill the jar with fresh, lukewarm water and drain again. Replace the cheesecloth/band and return the jar to the warm, dark location, this time setting the jar on its side to distribute the lentils.
Take the jar out once or twice a day to rinse and drain, returning it back to its side wherever you’re keeping it.
How long it will take for your sprouts to be ready will depend on the temperature in your house. It should take under a week, anywhere from three to five days in most cases. For me, in my winter house, it takes about five days.
Within a day or two, you’ll see the first shoots coming forth.
Within a few more days, they’ll fill up the jar, with sprouts measuring an inch or so. They’re ready!
You can eat the sprouts by themselves as a snack (they’re delicious!) or load them onto salads. Mix them in a stir fry with seasonings! Or use them in sandwiches in place of lettuce.
To store: Keep them in the fridge. You can store them in the same jar you used for sprouting. When the jar’s nearly empty, start another one! Sprouts are full of vitamins, too, so they’re not only good–they’re good for you.
Note: You can sprout all sorts of seeds and beans such as alfalfa, broccoli, soybeans, garbanzo beans, sunflowers, etc, using the same method. Be careful about choosing seeds and beans for sprouting–if they are packaged for garden use, they may have been sprayed with chemicals. Be sure they’re either organic or labelled for kitchen use before using any seeds or beans to eat as sprouts. Some sprouts need to sit out for a day in indirect light at the end of the sprouting period to develop chlorophyll or carotene, and in some cases, it’s desirable to remove the hulls before using. The directions above are specifically for lentils–the beans will be quite soft and wonderful and add to the flavor–don’t hull them!