Has your acupuncturist recommended that you eat sprouts? In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), sprouts have cooling properties, which make them a healthy addition to your diet if you tend to have higher inflammation.
They require so little effort and are ready in just a few days. In theory, this works with anything that has seeds. Herbs, beans, flax seeds, you name it. However, more gelatinous seeds require specific equipment, so this method won’t work for flax or chia. If this is your first time making sprouts, I recommend you try this method with your favourite kind of bean.
What you need
A strainer, cheesecloth, or pantyhose
Seeds to sprout
An abundance of water
How to proceed
If you’re using some kind of bean, start by sorting through them and picking out the ones with spots on them. Then, rinse the seeds thoroughly. After your initial soaking, the beans will have more than doubled in size, and once they start sprouting, your batch will increase in size even more. Many websites suggest starting with half a cup to one cup.
Once you’ve rinsed the beans, place them in a large jar. They shouldn’t take up more than about a third of the jar. Pour water in the jar almost all the way to the top. The jar needs to be covered but it needs to be able to breathe as well, so this is where the cheesecloth or the pantyhose comes in handy. I had neither, so for this step, I used paper towel. Keep it in place around the rim of the jar with an elastic. Let it sit for up to a day in a cool place.
Once it’s been sitting for no more than a day, the seeds need to be rinsed very well to avoid mould. If you have cheesecloth or pantyhose, this can be done directly in the jar through the fabric. Because I had neither, I transferred the set-up to my strainer. Once you’re done rinsing, make sure you’ve gotten rid of every last drop of water. Leaving water in the seeds/beans will increase chances of mould.
From this point on, rinse the seeds/sprouts every 8-12 hours and keep them dry otherwise until they’re done. This can take anywhere between 2 and 7 days, depending on the temperature in your home and how you like your sprouts to look. To store them in the fridge, make sure they are very well dried. They can be kept in a ziploc bag or a plastic container.
If you’re not sure what to do with the sprouts once they’re done, you can eat them straight, or put them in salads or sandwiches. I really enjoyed my lentil sprouts in salad.