Saturday, April 17, 2010

Homegrown Lentil Sprouts

So, I'm going to try to come out of my baby-world and put something out here again :-) Kate is six months old and I have lots of things that I want to catch up on blogging about here....making cloth diapers and covers, wraps and slings, and hooded baby towels. First though, I feel like blogging about something that we are doing right now.

With Earth Day coming up, I was online trying to figure out some activities to do with my little preschool-homeschooler. I decided that we would try to do sprouts; I say "try" because our experiment making rock-candy failed due to super-high humidity (this experiment relies on evaporation) and impure sugar. The evaporation was probably not helped by the fact that I had to cover the jar well with paper towels and a rubber band to keep the sugar ants out. It resulted in sugar "flecks" growing everywhere in the jar, and none actually on the string.

Anyway...this time I thought I should try the "experiment" myself, before we did it for a homeschool project. I found this YouTube video about growing lentil sprouts. I don't think that I ever would have though about trying lentils, but I was very excited about the prospect of using up the half bag of lentils that had been sitting in my cabinet for awhile. As my last attempt at a lentil-based meal was a gastronomic failure and my family would probably try sneaking any re-attempt to the little dog who lives down the street, finding another use for the lentils was a wonderful surprise.

Evening before:
Put half a cup of lentils into a jar and fill with water. Cover with a screened lid, or if you don't have one available, cover it with cheesecloth or a paper towel secured with a rubber band.

Day 1:
Drain the water, then rinse the lentils. Leave the jar upside down for an hour or so to drain. Keep the jar out of direct sunlight.

Day 2-4:
Rinse once a day, drain completely, and try to keep your children from shaking the jar.

And....(on day 3-4) they are ready! Store in an airtight container in the fridge; I put a few paper towels at the bottom to suck up any excess moisture. Use on salads, sandwiches, in smoothies or just for munching.

What surprised me....

- this was so very easy; nearly impossible to mess up and kill your sprouts (unlike plants that are unfortunate enough to make it into my house or garden)

- a little bit of seed/bean makes a lot of sprouts

- I also grew a piece of grass (I think) in with the first batch of lentils

- they taste really good, even the lentil seed at the middle of the sprout - I was afraid that the lentil-seed wouldn't taste good and I might have to pull it off, but it gets all crisp and fresh tasting. It's the most flavorful part of the sprout

- my kids eat them plain!!

All in all these turned out great. I'm already starting batch two (and will take pictures this time), and am curious about what other seeds/beans I could find here to sprout.

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