Monday, March 2, 2009

Day 8 -Sprouting


We've finally successfully sprouted. We looked at a number of websites to get down the basic concepts. The most helpful, by far, was I decided to MacGyver my own jars, but they seem to have good products if you're less venturesome. More importantly, they have a mother lode of sprouting information, describing tiny alterations in procedures depending on what you're growing.

Below, I'll describe how to make a sprouting jar, and how to sprout lentils.


The key to sprouting seems to be simply soaking the beans, rinsing and draining them daily, and storing them out of direct sunlight. The point of the jar is to hold in small beans while allowing for good drainage.

1) I went to the Ace Hardware website and ordered a 6-pack of wide mouth mason jars. In retrospect, these are a little big. I got them at Ace, because they deliver them free of charge to a local store. They came within a few days.

2) I bought a 36" x 84" roll of Phifer Brite Aluminum Screening at Home Depot. It's way too much material, but it was only in the $6.00 range.

3) Remove the lid and grab the round metal plate that would normally seal the jar.

4) Take the aluminum screening and trace a circle around the round metal plate. Do this two times, so you have two circles. I eventually decided to use two because it makes the sprouting jar much more sturdy.

5) Cut out the circles.

6) Set both circles into the jar cap. If you've cut them the right size, they should just set in easily, and should entirely cover the open area.

7) Screw the lid back on your sprouting jar. Game over.


Bear in mind that the point of sprouting a lot of these beans is just to get the thing "living" so you can enjoy the nutritional benefits that follow. Leafy green sprouts like alfalfa produce long, jar-filling sprouts. The goal with lentils, on the other hand, is to get a short sprout so you can add them to salads and other recipes.

1) Soak a half cup of lentils in a cup and a half of cool, 65 degreeish water. Soak overnight, for 8-12 hours.

2) Put the soaked beans into your sprouting jar and screw the mesh top on. Fill it with cool water and drain it a number of times so the lentils are rinsed well.

3) Shake out the remaining water vigorously so the lentils are drained very well. Do this every time you rinse and drain.

4) Store the jar angled, but just about upright, in a bowl. Put it in a place that doesn't get direct, screaming sunlight. Somewhere away from windows is fine. Don't worry about hiding the jar in darkness.

5) Rinse and drain a couple times a day. I did it every morning and evening.

6) After two days of rising and draining, our lentils were sprouted and ready to go. Keep rinsing and draining until you are happy with the length of the sprouts.

7) Wait 8 hours after your last rinsing and draining before putting the lentils in the refrigerator.

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