Introduction: How to Sprout Grains and Beans
Sprouting grains and beans on your own is cheap and easy to do! You can eat sprouts on their own raw, or cook them and add them to other dishes. You can even make flour from sprouted grains! :)
In this instructable I'll cover how to sprout grains and beans on your own and what sorts of beans and sprouts are safe to eat raw.
My absolute favorite things to sprout are quinoa, lentils and mung beans - they're great raw. :D
Step 1: What You'll Need + Beans and Sprouts to Eat Raw
(What I'm sprouting, left to right: quinoa, French lentils, brown rice, wheat berries, chickpeas - quinoa and French lentils are my favorites, though the wheat berries are really tasty too!)
- quart sized mason jars
Beans/legumes to sprout and eat raw:
- whole lentils (I'm using French green lentils)
- green peas
Grains to sprout:
- wheat berries
- brown rice
This page has a more complete list and lots of info!
You can also sprout greens like alfalfa and clover, but I tend to just buy those because they're super easy to find and I save myself some effort.
Keep in mind that there are certain beans that are toxic eaten raw, so always do your research before eating them raw. You can sprout and then cook them, however!
Step 2: Soaking
Please keep in mind that the grains/beans will swell when soaked, so make sure you never fill the jars more than 1/3 of the way full.
You'll want to rinse the grains/beans and pluck out any rocks or odd colored pieces. Then pour them into jars and cover with cool water almost to the top.
Cover with the cheesecloth and seal with the lid ring and let them soak at room temperature for 6-8 hours. Do this out of direct sunlight. :)
I always lean more towards 8 hours, because that way I can go to sleep or head to work and let them soak while I'm doing something else.
Step 3: Draining + Rinsing
After the initial 8 hour soak, pour out the soaking water and rinse the grains/beans very well. I like to set them over a baking sheet on a rack so that they can continue draining.
For smaller grains like quinoa, you'll want to drain them really really well - otherwise they can get quite stinky! Holding the jars at a 45 degree angle lets them drain a little better.
After the initial rinsing, let them sit upside down on the rack (or on a dish rack!) unless you're rinsing them. You'll want to rinse them 3-4 times a day and set them back to drain until they begin to sprout.
Step 4: Sprouting Times
Most beans and grains will be ready within 48 hours, though some can take 4-5 days - Keep them rinsed and well drained during this time or the sprouts can go bad.
In most cases, I stop sprouting them as soon as I see a little tail, anywhere from 1/8 - 1/2 inch. Brown rice takes a while longer, however - and the leafy green sprouts can do with another day in sunlight so they grow tiny shoots. :)
Keep in mind that if you let the sprouting process go too long, you can alter the flavor in a huge way, and often not for the better. The length of time that you let them sprout will be something you figure out with a little trial and error.
Step 5: Storing Your Sprouts
To store your sprouts, first rinse them well in a sieve or colander and let them sit for a bit to remove most of the water. Then store them in a small container or a ziploc bag - pop a dry paper towel in there to leech out some of the moisture.
You'll want to store them in the fridge and use them pretty fast - they can get funky quick! I always try to use them within 3-4 days.