You have probably already tried or seen more than once in the supermarket jars with bean sprouts, a product widely used in salads and dishes of all kinds. What is not so common yet, but is gaining popularity every day, is the consumption of shoots and sprouts of all kinds of seeds.
Join us in this EcologíaVerde article, in which we are going to see how to make lentil sprouts at home and you will see that they are cheap and easy to get.
What are edible sprouts or shoots
The sprouts They are, as their name suggests, sprouts grown from all kinds of seeds. Recently they have become popular with great speed, since they provide a whole series of advantages with respect to their consumption in the form of seeds. On the one hand, germinated shoots They have great nutritional value and are very easily digestible, so their nutritional properties are used much better than if we just eat the same food in the form of seeds. In addition, they are generally very rich in antioxidants and some of them contain protein concentrations comparable to those found in meat.
It should also be noted that the germination process tends to reduce the amount of gluten in the food, so they may be easier for those with mild gluten intolerance to digest. Be very careful, however, if you suffer from a serious intolerance to this, since germination does not eliminate gluten completely.
How to get lentil seeds
to prepare your lentil sprouts The first thing you are going to need, as you can already imagine, are the lentil seeds. Some specialized stores sell seeds prepared to be germinated, treated in a way that prevents the appearance of bacteria in the germination process.
However, you can also carry out your sprouts with completely normal lentils, although you must take special care in the lentil germination process to prevent the necessary humidity from causing the appearance of unwanted pathogens. In the process that we explain below, we take several safety measures to avoid this, but if in any case you have doubts, cook your sprouts before consuming them and this way you will eliminate any danger of contamination.
How to make lentil sprouts – steps to make them sprout
Once you have the seeds of these legumes, follow these steps to make lentil sprouts:
- To make your lentil sprouts, you will first need to make your own homemade seed germinator. To make this sprouter, choose a glass jar, which does not need to be very large, but it is advisable to be large enough to contain enough sprouts to consume them several times. Empty it completely and wash it thoroughly with hot soapy water, taking special care of the interior. Let it dry when finished.
- Add the lentils to the glass container. Keep in mind that the lentils will greatly increase in volume when they sprout, so don’t fill it more than one-fifth full. When you have carried out the process several times, you will see what exact amounts are best for you according to your consumption rate.
- Add water to the bowl until the lentils are completely submerged. Close the jar with a breathable gauze, fixing it around the mouth with an elastic band. If you don’t have gauze, you can use the original plastic jar lid, but poke a lot of small holes in it first with scissors, and wash it properly.
- Let the lentils rest in the water overnight, and when the day comes, empty the water through the gauze, leaving the jar tilted so that the seeds dry, and leave it in a dark area. When night comes again, fill it with water again.
- Repeat this process of soaking the seeds overnight and drying them during the day each day, always without removing the cheesecloth. This allows them to maintain an adequate level of humidity, and at the same time changing the water prevents the appearance of bacteria. When the sprouts are 1 cm long, you can take them out to an area where they receive sunlight so that they begin to put out leaves. From there, they are edible sprouts. This whole process should take approx. one week.
For this process, you may find this other article on How to make a germinator useful.
Tips for growing lentil sprouts and sprouts
Take care of hygiene as much as possible, especially if you work with common seeds. As we have already said, the germination process needs humidity that is also a suitable medium for the development of bacteria and fungi, and the most scrupulous hygiene possible is the best method to combat it. The purchase of specialized seeds is also an option, but it is significantly more expensive.
Remember cook your sprouts before consuming them whenever you have doubts about their state, and do not keep the germinated sprouts for more than 4 or 5 days in the fridge, especially in the warm season. As the germination process is not that long, you will soon have the time to produce your sprouts at the same rate that you consume them.
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