How To Grow Your Own Bean Sprouts!


Sprouted Lentils with Black Olives, drizzled with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and black olives. Simple and perfect.

Fresh sprouts. There is nothing like them. They are crunchier, sweeter, more vibrant in flavour than anything you can buy on a supermarket shelf. Up until last month I never wondered too much how bean sprouts came about and figured it was too complicated a process for a home cook to undertake. That was until my raw foodie friend Elspeth posted some pictures of her lentil sprouts. When I asked her where she got the seeds from she said they were regular dried supermarket lentils. Oh rly?

Armed with that curiosity I decided to look online for guides to home sprouting, and believe me I found many. Honestly, many of them have instructions that are way too complicated. They almost made me scared to begin. Fortunately I was able to distill them to the bare essentials, and those essentials are what I have been following in the weeks since with great results.

To begin: I soak the required amount of beans in enough water to cover about 2 inches overnight

The next day: I drain them into a colander and put it into a cool, dark cupboard.

And that’s it! Twice a day I rinse them off, go through to get rid of any seeds that haven’t sprouted by the second day, and to remove any loosened skins.

By the 4th day they are ready to get some sunlight. This activates the chlorophyll! A few hours is more than enough.

At this point they are ready to eat, either raw or in a dish of your preference.

The following pics show the above lentils as they progressed.

Lentil sprouts are my favourite sprouts to eat raw, they are especially sweet. However I am now playing around with chickpeas, mung beans and alfalfa seeds. Needless to say my humble little colander is feeling the strain. Don’t get me wrong, if you just need sprouts occasionally a colander is ideal. However, now my mom loves them so much she wants to have them on hand ’round the clock! She also is putting in requests for seeds that are not always on the agenda of my own weekly sprouting needs.

That’s why last week I put in an order for a tri-level Kitchen Crop Sprouter that will allow me to harvest 3 different types of sprouts simultaneously! I’ll write about it in more length once I’ve given it a test run (it arrived yesterday!).

So why would one go through the trouble of sprouting one’s own beans? Well for one the sheer economics. Sprouting my own beans, compared to buying them in the supermarket costs pennies on the dollar. The beans/seeds are easily available from supermarkets and specialty stores and the results are fresher and crispier than any I’ve purchased. Plus there is no wastage as I only sprout what I need, as I need, and the sprouts continue to stay fresh in the fridge for several days if I have any leftover.

The other reason why sprouting one’s own beans makes sense is the sheer nutritional boost that seeds undergo when they are sprouted.

From ISGA-sprouts.org:

…researchers at the universities of Pennsylvania and Minnesota, Yale and McGill have found that sprouts retain the B-complex vitamins present in the original seed, and show a big jump in Vitamin A and an almost unbelievable amount of Vitamin C over that present in unsprouted seeds. While some nutritionists point out that this high vitamin content is gained at the expense of some protein loss, the figures are impressive: an average 300 percent increase in Vitamin A and a 500 to 600 percent increase in Vitamin C. In addition, in the sprouting process starches are converted to simple sugars, thus making sprouts easily digested.

Not all seeds are suitable for raw consumption or raw sprouting. For a list of suggested seeds (and those to avoid) visit Wikipedia’s entry on Bean Sprouting. Happy Sprouting!

This post has been submitted to Grow Your Own 2009 hosted by Andrea’s Recipes

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Passionate foodie, founder of Trinigourmet and Caribbean Lifestyle Maven. Author of "Glam By Request: 30+ Easy Caribbean Recipes"

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  • http://www.theperfectpantry.com Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I used to sprout all sorts of beans and legumes when I was in college, but for some reason I just stopped doing it. Thanks for the reminder that it’s fun as well as delicious!

    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)’s last blog post..Ground coriander (Recipe: curried turkey meatballs)

  • http://www.theperfectpantry.com Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I used to sprout all sorts of beans and legumes when I was in college, but for some reason I just stopped doing it. Thanks for the reminder that it’s fun as well as delicious!

    Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)’s last blog post..Ground coriander (Recipe: curried turkey meatballs)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lydia – yay! :) You’re the 2nd person who told me that they used to sprout in college and then just stopped doing it :) Economically I think they really can’t be beat for the value they give :) yum! Gonna set some mung beans this evening actually :)

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Lydia – yay! :) You’re the 2nd person who told me that they used to sprout in college and then just stopped doing it :) Economically I think they really can’t be beat for the value they give :) yum! Gonna set some mung beans this evening actually :)

  • http://www.andreasrecipes.com Andrea

    I used to have a sprouter just like yours and used it for alfalfa all the time. Somehow it got lost during one of our recent moves, but I’ve vowed to start doing this again. We love sprouts!

  • http://www.andreasrecipes.com Andrea

    I used to have a sprouter just like yours and used it for alfalfa all the time. Somehow it got lost during one of our recent moves, but I’ve vowed to start doing this again. We love sprouts!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Yay Andrea! :) I have some mung beans growing on two levels at the moment and looking to put some lentils in the third. This is my first time using a commercial sprouter and I’m loving it!

  • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

    Yay Andrea! :) I have some mung beans growing on two levels at the moment and looking to put some lentils in the third. This is my first time using a commercial sprouter and I’m loving it!

  • http://www.sidewalkshoes.blogspot.com/ pam

    I just started sprouting last week, I used some broccoli seeds. I can’t wait to see some pictures of your kitchen sprouter! I’m putting a post on sprouting later this week on my blog.

    pam’s last blog post..Baked Shells with Winter Squash

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Oooh broccoli seeds :) I look forward to seeing that post Pam :D I am really loving the sprouter so far. The beans seem to be growing even faster! Have taken pics so will definitely post an update in the near future

  • http://www.sidewalkshoes.blogspot.com/ pam

    I just started sprouting last week, I used some broccoli seeds. I can’t wait to see some pictures of your kitchen sprouter! I’m putting a post on sprouting later this week on my blog.

    pam’s last blog post..Baked Shells with Winter Squash

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Oooh broccoli seeds :) I look forward to seeing that post Pam :D I am really loving the sprouter so far. The beans seem to be growing even faster! Have taken pics so will definitely post an update in the near future

  • http://www.fromourhometoyours-en.blogspot.com Cris

    Love this recipe, it looks sooo good! The picture caught my attention on Andrea’s blog.

    Cris’s last blog post..Caldo Verde – A Portuguese Soup – Grow Your Own #24

  • http://www.fromourhometoyours-en.blogspot.com Cris

    Love this recipe, it looks sooo good! The picture caught my attention on Andrea’s blog.

    Cris’s last blog post..Caldo Verde – A Portuguese Soup – Grow Your Own #24

  • http://www.fromourhometoyours-en.blogspot.com Cris

    Love this recipe, it looks sooo good! The picture caught my attention on Andrea’s blog.

    Cris’s last blog post..Caldo Verde – A Portuguese Soup – Grow Your Own #24

  • http://nowiswowtoo.blogspot.com Elspeth

    Yummy! Did you eat them with black olives? Your photos look great. I’m getting hungry and I just ate!!

  • http://nowiswowtoo.blogspot.com Elspeth

    Yummy! Did you eat them with black olives? Your photos look great. I’m getting hungry and I just ate!!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Yeah I ate them with black olives and a little sea salt and pepper and olive oil :D Recently got a 3 tier sprouter and am loving it :) Much sincere thanks for igniting my interest in all these things :)

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Yeah I ate them with black olives and a little sea salt and pepper and olive oil :D Recently got a 3 tier sprouter and am loving it :) Much sincere thanks for igniting my interest in all these things :)

  • http://nowiswowtoo.blogspot.com Elspeth

    Yummy! Did you eat them with black olives? Your photos look great. I’m getting hungry and I just ate!!

    • http://www.TriniGourmet.com Sarina

      Yeah I ate them with black olives and a little sea salt and pepper and olive oil :D Recently got a 3 tier sprouter and am loving it :) Much sincere thanks for igniting my interest in all these things :)

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  • fauzia hosein

    I just love the natural foods. I will surely try this one.

    Thanks
    Fauz

  • fauzia hosein

    I just love the natural foods. I will surely try this one.

    Thanks
    Fauz

  • http://www.sproutingsprouts.com/ SproutingSprouts

    t looks so appetizing. I love sprout salads. I’ll definitely make this salad. I can also share you some sprout recipes. Keep it up!
    .-= SproutingSprouts´s last blog ..Broccoli Sprouts the Best Form of Sulforaphane =-.

  • http://www.sproutingsprouts.com/ SproutingSprouts

    t looks so appetizing. I love sprout salads. I’ll definitely make this salad. I can also share you some sprout recipes. Keep it up!
    .-= SproutingSprouts´s last blog ..Broccoli Sprouts the Best Form of Sulforaphane =-.

  • http://www.sproutingsprouts.com/ SproutingSprouts

    It looks so appetizing. I love sprout salads. I’ll definitely make this salad. I can also share you some sprout recipes. Keep it up!
    .-= SproutingSprouts´s last blog ..Broccoli Sprouts the Best Form of Sulforaphane =-.

  • http://www.sproutingsprouts.com/ SproutingSprouts

    It looks so appetizing. I love sprout salads. I’ll definitely make this salad. I can also share you some sprout recipes. Keep it up!
    .-= SproutingSprouts´s last blog ..Broccoli Sprouts the Best Form of Sulforaphane =-.

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