How to Make Sprouts at Home


Plate of Lentil Bean Sprouts

Sprouting greatly increases the nutritional value of beans and seeds, and is not difficult to do.  It just requires a few steps.  First of all, dried beans can be used from the supermarket.  Most bean sprouts are made with “mung beans” or soy beans.  If seeds are used such as broccoli, alfalfa, or radish, they should be labeled for sprouting, as seeds that are purchased for gardening are treated with various chemicals.  Whole wheat berries can be used for baking bread, or sprouted further into wheat grass. 

Whichever variety is used, they should first be rinsed with tepid water, and any obviously broken or cracked seeds should be discarded.  In a quart sprouting jar, use 1-2 tablespoons of seeds, or ¼ to ½ cup beans or lentils.  If using a stackable sprouter, follow the manufacturer's directions, or use a spare single layer on the bottom of each layer you are using.  Beans generally take longer to sprout than the smaller seeds.  Fill the jar with water, and allow to soak for 6 hours for seeds, or up to 35 hours for beans.  One teaspoon of citric acid can be added to a quart of soak water to help prevent mold.  This step is completely optional, however. If using a stackable sprouter, the water is regulated by the unit, and so simply follow the included instructions.  For the jar style sprouter, choose a sprouting lid that is appropriate to the type of sprout, and screw on that type of lid.  Upend the jar, allowing the water to drain out. 

After the initial soak, sprouts should be rinsed twice a day, and thoroughly drained.  Once the sprouts appear, place the jar in sunlight.  Eat while the root is a single strand, they become more bitter after multiple branches appear in the root.  Sprouts can be ready to eat in as little as a day after soaking.  Other types can take as many as 4 days to be ready.  Wheat berry sprouts are used when there is only a tiny rootlet, and only require the soaking step.  They are kneaded right into the dough.  

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