Sprouted Lentils

If you’ve ever perused a supermarket’s “fancy” produce section, you may have noticed a growing selection of sprouted grains and beans. These tailed plants adorn many overpriced salads but you don’t have to pay a premium to get your hands on some sprouts. They’re easy to make, and none are easier to make than sprouted lentils. All you need to do is soak some dried lentils, drain them, rinse them, and let them sit. Over time, this repeated rinsing and draining jump-starts the germination process, and sprouts begin to form. Typically, lentils need to be cooked first to be easily digested. But sprouting neutralizes phytic acid and facilitates the bioavailability of nutrients like B vitamins and vitamin C. And on top of being good for you, sprouting opens new avenues for flavor: Sprouted lentils are grassy, crunchy, refreshing, and filling. Use them on slaws or salads, or crisp them up for a flavorful garnish. You can use most varieties of lentils, but green, black, and de Puy lentils work best. For best results, we don’t recommend using red lentils, yellow lentils, white lentils, or any varieties with their skins removed.

Sprouted Lentils

Serves Makes about 4 cups
  • 1 cup green, black, or de Puy lentils, rinsed and picked over
  • Water
  1. Place lentils in 1-quart container and fill with water. Cover loosely with perforated lid or coffee filter fastened with rubber band and let soak at least 8 hours or up to 16 hours.
  2. Drain lentils in fine-mesh strainer; return lentils to container and re-cover with lid. After 8 hours, transfer lentils to fine-mesh strainer and rinse under cold water; return lentils to container and re-cover with lid. Repeat step 2, rinsing and letting lentils sit, twice per day, until sprouts begin to form, 3 to 4 days.
  3. When sprouts have grown to desired length, spread lentils on sheet tray lined with paper towels to dry. Return sprouted lentils to container and store in refrigerator until ready to use. Sprouted lentils will keep up to 7 days in refrigerator.

Nutrition facts:

1/2 cup 85 calories 6 grams of protein 14 grams of carbohydrates 7 grams of fiber 2 milligrams of sodium 229 milligrams of potassium

Recipes featuring sprouted lentils

Slaw made with cabbage, sprouted lentils, celery, and a tangy dressing

Sprouted Lentil, Cabbage, and Celery Slaw

An easy, crunch-filled salad that highlights the crisp texture and grassy flavor of sprouted lentils.
Get the recipe.
Shrimp with red curry and crispy sprouted lentils

Shrimp with Red Curry and Crispy Sprouted Lentils

Crisping sprouted lentils in a pan creates crunchy morsels that are something between popcorn, toasted nuts. Here they are paired with a simple but intense dish of poached shrimp in red curry.
Get the recipe.

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