Over the past couple months I’ve begun sprouting lentils for use in legume and grain salads, as well as for topping on more traditional vegetable-based salads. My mother has a collection of seeds that she’s been wanting to sprout, and I was more than happy to sprout them for her. I may have been slightly overzealous in my sprouting, as we now have way too many jars of sprouts, and not enough time to eat them! Typically sprouts will last for around a week. That being said, the sprouts are still quite delicious. I would definitely recommend sprouting, but maybe start with only one or two jars. Now I need to get creative in order to use them all up!
Okay you ready to sprout? You’ll need the following materials to get your sprouting station set up.
- Mason jars
- Plastic mesh netting (available at craft stores)
- Scissors and a sharpie
- Big glass or stainless steel bowl
- Large towel
- Seeds to sprout (ex. alfalfa, red clover, etc.)
- Rinse all your mason jars. Place one tablespoon of sprouting seeds in each jar, and cover seeds with water. Screw the lid onto the jar, and let the seeds soak overnight. You should keep the seeds out of sunlight. I covered my jars with a towel.
- Take the lid of a mason jar, and trace the circular outline onto the plastic mesh with a sharpie. Cut the mesh to size. *Make sure the holes in the mesh are small enough so your seeds won’t come through later on!
- Once your seeds have soaked overnight, drain the water off and rinse them. Put the mesh circles in place of the solid mason jar lids, and screw on the outer top. In a large bowl place the jars upside down to allow any remaining water to drain, while keeping the seeds moist. Try to angle the jars so water isn’t pooling up directly under the lid and blocking air flow. Again, keep the seeds out of sunlight by placing the towel back over them.
- Rinse, drain, and recover the seeds every 8-12 hours. Repeat this for around 3-5 days. After the first day or so, you should see the seeds beginning to sprout. If you buy actual sprouting seeds, there should be specific directions for sprouting on the back of the packet.
- After 3-5 days have passed and your sprouts look like the ones pictured below, they are ready to eat! Note that some seeds will get stuck at the top of the container and may not sprout (that’s okay). Enjoy your sprouts in salads, as a soup topping, and more.
Once you get the hang of this process, it’s really just a matter of remembering to rinse the seeds twice a day.