Sunday, April 26, 2015

Big Batch Sprouting

If you are interested in sprouting several cups of beans at a time such as pintos or green lentils, just place them in a large pot, and fill no more than 2" deep.  Cover with a minimum of 4" of water from the top of the beans and soak overnight.  Drain, rinse and drain again in the morning, then rinse and drain at least two more times during the day.  Rinse and drain at least three times per day until beans sprout.  (Let sit in the water 4-5 minutes each time before draining well). I pour the soaking beans into a collander for ease of draining, then back in the pot.  Once little sprouts emerge from 80% of  the beans it's time to cover with 3" or more of water and simmer very slowly until tender.  (50% for pintos.)  In warmer weather especially, cook as soon as begin to sprout as the beans will not stay fresh as long as they do in the colder months.  A piece of cheese cloth over the pot in the warmer weather helps keep any additional 'protein sources' from flying in.  Why only a couple inches deep to start with?  A thinner layer of beans will allow needed air flow while they sprout on your counter. (They  will almost double in volume overnight.)   Without sufficient air flow they may develop mold and need to be thrown out.  Be sure the dried beans are less than a year old when used for sprouting. If the beans are older, soak 8-24 hours on your counter, drain, cover with water, drain, cover with Several inches of water, and simmer until tender. There isn't quite the same nutritional boost of sprouted beans, but there is still the added benefit of cooking much quicker than dried beans.
Of course Small seeds can be sprouted until the 'tails' are longer, then eaten raw.  Some examples are  brown lentils, sesame seeds, alfalfa, mung, and radishes.  These mix well in salads, sandwiches, or wraps.  When sprouting a small amount of seeds, all you need is a quart canning jar and ring, (plastic ring if possible) and a piece of very fine screening made of copper or stainless steel cut to fit the ring snuggly. The smaller the seed, the fewer you'll need.  For example:  1 1/2 T alfalfa seeds, but 2 T  mung bean seeds are plenty for a quart jar.

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