Around this time of the year I love taking advantage of home sprouting, it’s such a good way to bring freshness to your plate. You can almost sprout any seeds or pulses, as well as some nuts. The idea of sprouting is to increase mineral and vitamin content and to encourages enzyme action which helps improve digestibility.
The good thing about sprouting is that it is super easy and it only takes a few days until you can enjoy the fruits of your labour. I usually have lentil, chick pea or alfafa sprouts on the go, and I am still always amazed when I see the little tails appearing .
You will find that the tender crunch of a sprout makes even the most boring dishes interesting, so they are the perfect way to upgrade high street lunches. Just take them to work in a jar and decorate soups, salads, stews or sandwiches- its just the best.
The variety of seeds and pulses available for sprouting is incredible. You can find broccoli, beetroot, cabbage seeds, millet, mung beans, adzuki beans and peas to only name a few from the endless list. Once they are ready they keep in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, so you can literally sprout in advance. Have fun trying out different varieties!!
Lentil, chickpea and alfafa sprouts
You can get the dry beans and seeds from the supermarket and most organic shops or green grocers should have some. Organic is always better and not that much more expensive. And here is how it works:
1. Place a handful or two of seeds into a bowl , fill with water until covered and leave to soak over night. Ideally use filtered water.
2. The next morning, rinse well with filtered water and drain using a sieve, then place seeds back in the bowl, this time without adding water.
3. Leave covered or uncovered throughout the day, avoiding direct sunlight and repeat rinsing process in the evenings and mornings. Keeping the seeds moist and at room temperature will encourage them to start sprouting.
4. After 2-3 days small tails should start showing . Once the tails are well visible, they are ready to be eaten and will keep in and air tight container in the fridge for around 3-4 days. The cool temperature in the fridge will prevent them from sprouting further. Sprouts go really well on top of salads, soups, as sandwich fillings or eaten as a snack. In fact you can just sprinkle some freshness onto any lunches and dinners of your choice! For example I topped my kale & red cabbage salad with some alfafa sprouts today.
Bon appetit !