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July 30, 2012

Sprouting - Lentils, Garbanzos and Mung Beans - Oh My!

Beans, beans, beans. We've got lentils, garbanzo beans and mung beans  and it's time to do some sprouting. There are many health benefits to eating sprouts and I've read that sprouting increases enzymes up to 600%. I don't know that's true, but I do know they feel good and my body tells me what's good and what's not. It says, "Sprouts are GOOD!!!"

1Rinse beans really well in a strainer and place each in a large jar. Fill with filtered water. (You can also do this in a strainer and cover with a towel).
 2 - Close jar and let sit overnight, or all day. Preferably, rinse and change water once during that time. (Soaking 8 to 12 hours). Check Sprout People for more detail on sprout times.  I purchased really nice sprouting lids from them, or you can use screens or these sprouting screens.

3 - Drain sprouts, rinse and drain again. Use sprouting lids, (screens, cheesecloth or paper towels and rubber band) to cover jars and set aside, away from direct light. Lay jars down, preferably tilted to drain any excess water. A dish drain works great for this.

4 - The experts suggest rinsing and draining every 8 to 12 hours, but I'm mold phobic, so I rinse every few hours. Sprouts can be ready between 2 to 4 days.I usually like my tails to not be any longer than the bean itself, but this can vary. For chickpeas, bite into one. If it's tender and easy to bite into, it's done and there may only be a bud of a tail. Mung beans sprout very quickly, and I like longer and fatter. Taste them. If they taste good, they are done. All of these beans were done within 2.5 days.

5 - When they are done, do a final rinse and drain REALLY well before placing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Other uses: Chickpeas are great in raw vegan hummus, but I mix mine with cashews. Believe it or not, they are great blended into cookie or brownie mixes. They add a wonderful chewy, cake-like texture. I don't care for them in salad, but that's personal taste. My favorite sprouts in salad are mung bean, lentils and broccoli. See salad recipe below.

I made this delicious lunch-time salad today (see primary photo).

Sprout Salad
2 cups sprouted mung beans
1 cup sprouted lentils
1 apple, sliced
1/2 cup golden beets, finely chopped
1/2 cup raisins
2 Tablespoons sauerkraut (I used Bubbies)

Add avocado, greens, mangoes, etc. Top with your favorite dressing. I added a spoonful of juice from the Bubbies' sauerkraut and it was delicious!  

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