Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Sprout Report

For my birthday my brother gave me the book, THRIVE: The Vegan Nutrition Guide to Optimal Performance in Sports and Life, which has significantly influenced his diet. He bikes for a living, and relies on his body working at its best. He is 98% vegan. The extra 2% is because he is a self described "opportunivore," not wanting to turn down any free meal.

The book revived my interest in sprouting. You can sprout most seeds and legumes at home, they don't have to be sold for sprouting. Just look in the back of your cabinet and use the odds and ends of lentils, beans, or raw sunflower seeds. Though there are endless tips for success and instructions, sprouting is essentially two simple steps:

1. Soak - Soak whatever you plan to sprout 6-12 hours in fresh water.
2. Grow - Keep the seeds/legumes clean and damp, but not soaking, until they are as big as you want, about two days to a week.

For more detailed instructions, you can read the PDF Jar and Tray Method Sprouting Instructions from Handy Pantry.

On Saturday night, after I finished the book, I started soaking some things I had in the house. Below is the "day 3" report on each thing I tried sprouting.

Quinoa sprouted w/in 24 hours, but its a pain to rinse and drain in my primitive system. They haven't grown much since the first or second day. Maybe they are too crowded and staying too wet without enough air.

Green lentils are looking beautiful and are sweet and ready to eat any time now. I started with very old lentils and they proved to be very easy.

Red Kidney Beans sprouted slower, but sure enough. They're large size means they need the longer soaking time and more space, but they are the easiest to rinse and drain. You don't even need cheese cloth, because they won't get away from you if you just use your fingers to drain them.

Chia seeds are very interesting. They sprout easily if you can get them in a single layer, but I haven't found a good way to grow them easily in a way that makes them easy to get at to rinse and eat.

Buckwheat did not sprout. It smells awful. I think I must have unknowingly used toasted buckwheat. I had to throw it out.

Now I am soaking little black lentils and tomorrow I will start sunflower sprouts. Sunflower seeds are generally easy to sprout, rinse, and keep in the fridge. They have a mild sweetness and are easy to incorporate in salads and wraps, even for picky eaters.

You may also enjoy my post on Growing Alfalfa Sprouts.


  1. I sprouted lentils, but they weren't nearly as popular as my sauerkraut. Two out of three of my kids gobble up my sauerkraut, so I need to make more often. My pickles are more touch and go - sometimes they work, sometimes not so well.

    1. I found lentils to be easy and tasty. My 6-yr-old son liked my kraut even before I took to it. Do you add any probiotics to yours?

  2. Shalom Yosefa, I tried Handy Pantry but I am getting the article sideways so I am unable to read. I read that Red Kidney Bean are poisonous and toxious when soak and are unsafe I read this on another site where I was reading about sprouting beans please clarify as I have big packet in the pantry. Love your Sriracha sauce recipe but its difficult to come by fresh red chillies green we get plenty can u suggest alternative Tkz



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