If you’ve never sprouted lentils before, you’ll soon discover how incredibly easy (and beneficial) it is. Sprouted lentils are packed with nutrition, are better digested, and inexpensive to boot.
I’ve recently been on a sprouting kick. If you follow me on Instagram you would’ve seen my green lentil adventures and I gotta say, it’s exciting stuff.
While I’ve eaten a variety of sprouts over the years such as broccoli, alfalfa, and mung bean sprouts, I’ve always purchased them pre-made at grocery stores (you can find them at most stores in the produce aisle in little plastic packages). But I decided it’s time I try it myself, considering how easy I’ve heard it is.
And I assure you, sprouting is indeed very easy!
Sprouting is great because is transforms the legume/grain into a nutritional powerhouse and enhances their digestion. Here are many reasons why you should try sprouting lentils:
Benefits of Sprouted Lentils
- Enzymes are activated for better digestion
- “Anti-nutrients” are broken down (compounds that interfere with nutrient absorption)
- Vitamin content dramatically increases compared to non-sprouted; rich in vitamins A, B, C and E
- Great source of minerals including iron, calcium and phosphorus
- Rich in chlorophyll
- Contain about 25% protein
Whether you choose to do some sprouting or not, I do recommend you at least soak your legumes/grains prior to cooking them. This helps aid digestion by breaking down those anti-nutrient compounds as listed above.
I opted for sprouting green lentils since they’re one of my favourite types of legumes (I also have a package of red lentils I plan on sprouting soon, too). You can use whichever you prefer: green, red, yellow. There’s even a type of lentil called “beluga lentils”. Pretty great name. I want them.
How to Sprout Lentils
Sprouting lentils is really as simple as soaking and then rinsing them a couple times a day for about 3 days.
- Soak dried lentils in bowl of water for 24 hours (just use enough to submerge them well). You can use as many cups of lentils as you’d like.
- After 24 hours, transfer soaked lentils to fine mesh sieve or strainer and drain. You can keep them in the strainer.
- Rinse morning and evening for about 3 days, covering with a clean dish towel in between rinses.
- Watch them sprout more and more each day. They’re ready to enjoy once they have about 1/2 – 1 inch long sprouts with tiny leaves on the end. It’s really as simple as that!
- Enjoy raw as-is on top of salads, or boil gently to soften and eat as you normally would (in salads, soups, pasta dishes, etc.)
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Let me know if you try sprouting your own lentils! I’d love to see how it goes for you. Tag me on Instagram @meghanlivingstone.
I’m excited to try sprouting! Do I need to refrigerate them during the three day process or can I leave them out on the counter?
Hi Jaime! Nope, you can just leave them on your counter while they’re sprouting 🙂
Do I need to put them in the fridge?
Once they’re done sprouting you can store them in the fridge 🙂 But they can stay on the counter while they are sprouting!
Hi, Meghan! I am delighted to have found you through a video-collaboration you did with the wonderful Ria of “The Whole Happy Life” YouTube channel. Do you have an effective method of sprouting lentils in a Mason jar? I have some sprouting lids… Also, I have very limited counter and sink space and sprouting in a Mason jar would be more convenient for me… Thank you! I learn so much from you! I honor and respect your openness and willingness to share with us what you do to live your best life in hopes that we will do the same for ourselves! I feel deeply heartfelt gratitude for you and your kind generosity of spirit! xo
Hi there!! Thank you so much for your lovely comment. I haven’t before used mason jars for sprouting lentils but I know it can be done! As long as there is a little air flow, they should be fine just on the counter. The sprouting lids you have should work great. Let me know how it goes!
Hi Meghan! I love your blog and YouTube channel! So much great information. I’m curious, how do you use the sprouted lentils? I look forward to giving it a try!
Hey Reagan! You can top them raw on salads, or use them like regular lentils and cook them up on their own or add to soups/stews. They won’t take as long to cook though!