Earlier this year Nicole and I visited a local restaurant that is placing a greater focus on wholesome, local and organic ingredients. One of their first initiatives into this new menu was an organic salad bar. On the salad bar they had bean sprouts. I have of course had alfalfa sprouts before but never bean sprouts and I was hooked immediately! Unlike alfalfa sprouts however, I could not find bean sprouts anywhere and I didn’t know how I could get them. I started doing some digging on the Internet to see where I could get them when I found that I could grow them myself!
Before I get into how to grow sprouts I will tell you that this was a highly-discussed topic on various blogs and websites. Turns out there are “sprout politics” in which people discuss if sprouting is actually advantageous to your health or not, who knew! (I love uncovering hot little topics I never knew of!) Here is a great resource on sprout nutrition from some folks called Sprout People who have been growing sprouts for over 19 years! Sprout People sells sprouting seeds and actual sprouts if you’d rather not grow them yourself. Turns out there are all sorts of seeds you can sprout including grains which is what led to sprouted grain bread (LOVE). Sprouting can actually be found way back in biblical times which explains the name behind the most famous sprouted grain breads, Ezekiel 4:9. I would love to get into all of the health benefits, but to tell you the truth I just loved how the sprouts tasted so that was my main reason for sprouting.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A glass jar or Mason caning jar
- Rubber band
- Dried beans (lentils)
Step 1: Soak dried beans overnight.
Step 2: In the morning the beans will have expanded, drain excess water. Let the beans sit for 3-4 days rinsing once or twice daily so that the beans stay wet (this creates a great growing atmosphere.)
After 3 or 4 days your harvest is ready to be enjoyed. As you probably noticed, I started with garbanzo beans but didn’t show you them completely. I loved the garbanzos I had at the restaurant but when it came to growing them myself they weren’t very good so I have to do some digging into this. I recommend doing some research before trying different beans to sprout because I found out you cannot do this with kidney beans. Apparently, kidney beans release some toxin when they sprout which you shouldn’t ingest, who knew! The lentils that I sprouted turned out great and we’re enjoyed by themselves or on salads. Not only are they yummy, but Wren had a blast watching the beans grow their “tails”.