Do you love bean sprouts? Do you not like how much they cost in the store, or how they sometimes appear to be not so fresh? Ever think of making your own? They’re so good and they have to be good for you. They’re pretty inexpensive when you make your own. I think a batch of lentil sprouts cost me about a nickel! We love the smaller sprouts on sandwiches . . especially tuna salad. We often use them in place of lettuce on sandwiches or burgers, mainly because we almost always have sprouts and we don’t always have good, fresh lettuce. When sprouts are just out of the fridge, they’re cold and crunchy and kinda sweet and nutty and delicious!
For the larger sprouts, we use those on salads or in Chinese or Indian dishes that call for sprouts. Here’s how I make them.
There are many different types of beans that are good for sprouting. For the larger sprouts, I usually use mung beans. They taste mostly like the bean sprouts purchased in the grocery store. Mung are the beans on the left. For the smaller sprouts, I use lentils, on the right. These jars are the beans I’m storing . . not the ones I’m sprouting. Only put about 1/8th of a cup in the jar you’re sprouting. They grow quickly!
Start with about 1/8th of a cup .. really, seriously! Especially the mung beans, they expand a lot! Rinse them and put them in a pint jar (separate jars, of course!). Add enough warm water to about fill the jars. You just need enough for the beans to soak. Let them soak overnight. Drain the water off and rinse with cool water. Drain the beans so they’re not sitting in water but allow them stay very moist.
Cover with either cheesecloth or I just use a paper towel. I place the towel on the jar, then screw the band onto the jar/towel. Lay the jar in a bowl or something that will catch any spills if it drips. Place the jar on its side so that the beans have as much room to spread out as possible. (They’re not piled on top of each other.) Some say they need to stay in a dark place. For me, that means that if I stick them somewhere dark, I can’t see them and I forget about them and forget to rinse them every day. I leave mine out on the countertop and they work just fine.
At least twice a day, usually in the morning and right before bed, rinse the beans and drain well, but continuing to keep them moist. You do not want them to dry out.
After a day or so, sprouts should begin to appear.
Here are the mung bean sprouts:
Here are the lentils.
When they’re sprouted, rinse them well with cold water. Shake most of the excess water from them. Lay them on a paper towel. The towel will absorb some of the water and you want the paper towel to stay good and damp.
These will last 2 or 3 or more weeks in the fridge. Ours never last more than a few days so as soon as I “harvest” the sprouts, I get a new batch going. Even if you’ve never tried sprouts, you might want to play around with some beans and see what you get and how you like them. It’s a pretty inexpensive and fun experiment if you have kids around too.