Thursday, 16 February 2012

The Beans, They Are A-Sproutin'

Urad dal (black lentil) sprouts
Last year, a good friend dropped by with a little foil box full of sprouts she had grown. "Put some on bread with a little mayo. It's SO good!", she told me. I did. And I loved it! Being a vegetarian in a meat-eating household means that getting the nutrients I need can sometimes be challenging - especially if I'm looking to add variety. But, according to what I've read, many sprouts are high in fiber, low in calories & fats, and contain a decent amount of protein*. Sold!

*For a more detailed nutritional chart, please click here.

So, after a little research (admittedly, not much), I decided it was time to try sprouting myself. I was inspired by Mumm's Sprouting Site, as well as a great organic farm called McFadden's Acres Organic Farms in Desbarats, Ontario. From these two sources, I gathered the information I needed and got to work. True to form, I disregarded half of their solid advice and sort of did my own thing.

I used the following:
  • glass jar with hinged lid
  • 1/2 cup urad dal (whole black lentils)
  • water
Pour lentil beans (or whichever seeds you want to use) in the jar and rinse through with water - to drain, hold the hinged lid open a crack. Pour in clean water and soak overnight.

After soaking overnight (or 4-8 hours), you'll want to rinse the beans again and drain over the sink. Prop the jar, slightly open, in a bowl to allow any excess water to drip out. Rinse the beans twice a day or so - if you forget, don't worry, because sprouts are really forgiving. 

Your sprouts can be ready in as early as 2 days, depending on the seeds you've chosen. You're good to go when you see little tails coming from the sprouts. If you see little white hairs growing from the tails, that's perfectly ok, too! Watching your seeds sprout is actually pretty interesting and kids love seeing the progress.

Check out the bounty!

Do you sprout?

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