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More Fantastic Sprouts

Posted Jul 01 2009 6:38pm

Sprouts are wealthy in nutrients so these past few days I continued my sprouting adventure with adzuki beans, French green lentils and sunflower seeds.

Any seed that is capable with the potential for the next generation of plant life is sproutable and that includes most legumes, grains and seeds.

For this weeks' sprouts, I used the jar method as they don't consume a lot of space. But sometimes I still prefer using the large sieve for particular legumes as they expand greatly. The method is almost the same, it's just the jar and the draining process that are different.

For this method, you will need a large jar with a wide opening, a bowl to prop up the jar, some screen or netting such as nylon tulle from a fabric shop or a gray fiberglass from a hardware store, rubber band, fresh water and organic seeds, legumes or grains.

  • P lace 1 to 4 tablespoons of seeds, legumes or grains in a wide mouth jar. This will also depend on how large your jar is. Cover with mesh and secure with a rubber band. Add water to cover and let soak in a dark place. (I soaked the adzuki and lentil for 10 hours, while I soaked the sunflower seeds for about 8 hours).
  • Rinse them well twice a day, (morning and evening). Invert jar and prop at an angle in a bowl. For the sunflower seeds, you need to remove most of the skins after rinsing to maintain their freshness during the sprouting process.

  • After 3-4 days, place them on a sunny windowsill for a few hours to get an energy boost. You don't need to remove the skin from the adzuki and lentils sprouts. They are different from the mung bean sprouts where the skins
    fall offautomatically.

Adzuki Bean Sprouts

Just like mung beans, adzuki beans are easy to sprout and handle. Although they would probably sprout well using a large sieve. They are really great with stir-fries and a classic pair for pumpkin. Adzuki bean sprouts are neutral in flavor with a touch of creaminess. They lend a little bit of sweetness and a hint of bitterness at the end. They are chewy in texture with a touch of crunch. I sprouted them until day four but they are ready by day three.

Lentil Sprouts

They are ready to use by day three if you want to avoid the root ends with their brown spots which makes them look dirty. Lentil sprouts are also neutral in flavor but with a trace of saltiness at the end. They add crunchiness to salads, stir-fries, wraps, sandwiches and soups.

Sunflower Sprouts

This is an odd looking sprout. I would probably use a different method for sprouting sunflower seeds as they are a little bit messy to work with and they also impart a slightly bad odor during the sprouting process. Cultivating them in a flat tray filled with soil would probably work well and would yield a better looking, sexier sunflower sprouts. After soaking and draining them, remove the skins before sprouting. These sprouts are the strongest that I’ve tried so far in terms of flavor. I could really taste the intense sunflower seed with a bit of spiciness and bitterness at the end of the palate. Sunflower sprouts are really great in flavor. It would be a great idea to have some sunflower greens on hand as well.

Making a sprout salad (with your favorite dressing) would be a great way to utilize the fruits of your labor. But you can use them in sandwiches, soups, stir-fries and wraps. But they are also great to eat like popcorn. Just season them with a little bit of Celtic or Himalayan sea salt. For a more interesting flavor, spice them up with a combination of ground coriander and sea salt or some umami salt (another blog post).

This is just the beginning of my sprouting adventure. There are more sprouts to come in the following weeks.

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