- 1 Cup 365 (Whole Foods Markets) Dried Lentils (these sprout everytime!) Note that lentils will double or even triple in size once reconstituted in water and expand again as they sprout.
- 1 Cup match stick or grated carrots - cut into fork-friendly lengths
- 1 Cup fresh red bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 Cup fresh red onion or scallion, chopped
- 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
- 2 Tablespoons flax oil or olive oil
- Himalaya (pink) sea salt to taste
- 2 Tablespoons Avocado oil *OR* Olive Oil *OR* Grape Seed Oil
- 2 Tablespoons Bragg's Liquid Amino's
- Wash lentils very well so they ‘sink’ when soaked. Use a veggie wash if needed.
- Place prepped lentils into a large bowl and cover with water at least 2” more than the lentils. All lentils MUST sink and be covered with water. No lentils should float or they will not soften!
- DENTAL ALERT! Lentils that are not properly soaked will not sprout and remain hard! Chewing on an un-sprouted lentil is like biting on a rock! So please take care to follow the sprouting steps. It's easy, but being thorough counts! =)
- Soak lentils for 8 hours or overnight.
- Rinse well and drain in colander.
- Place lentils/colander inside large bowl, cover with plate and let stand on counter top. This provides a warm, moist environment for sprouting and catches any water drips. Rinse lentils every eight hours, allow to drain, replace in bowl, cover.
- Allow lentils to sprout 8-10 hours on the counter top, and then refrigerate. I find the lentils are tender and more flavorful when they just being to sprout..so watch for the little 'tail' on the seed. Then give them a try to see if they suit you taste. They will continue to sprout in the fridge but at a slower rate.
- You may also find they sprout more quickly in summer months. Be sure to monitor this process and whisk them into the fridge before they become 'too sprouted'.
- Add ‘dressing' (or eat 'as is'!) and additional spices; veggies. Chill; EAT!
- Check out the pictures below to see how I sprout lentils using a collander, a bowl and a plate. The keys to success are to soak all the lentils properly per the above directions, then draining them and transferring to a colander for sprouting. I have a colander that fits into a large stainless steel mixing bowl and then I cover the bowl with a plate.
- Next keep them moist and at room temp while they sprout. Sprouting varies by time of year... and how warm the sprouting location is.
- For best success, check lentils every few hours during the sprouting process and transfer to the fridge when they sprout and tender and soft.
- Pro Tips for the Easy Sprouted-Lentil Salad Recipe
- Sprouting Tips
- The picture below shows lentils while in sprouting mode. They have already been soaked. After the soaking step (see above), transfer the lentils to a colander; rinse them well and allow to drain. From here the lentils will need about 8-10 hours to start to sprout.
- Encourage sprouting by creating a warm, moist sprouting environment
- I place the colander and lentils inside a large stainless steel mixing bowl and cover both with a plate as shown in the picture below. This allows air to circulate around the lentils but this keeps them moist and warm so they can sprout faster. Leaving them in the collander makes the next step of rinsing super easy too!
- Note that sprouting time varies by the temperature of your home.
- Summertime typically goes faster. So keep an eye on them noting when they actually start to sprout.
- Keep lentils moist during the sprouting step by rinsing them
- To rinse the lentils, simply remove the colander from the bowl, rinse under tap or filtered water and drain. Return to the collander to the bowl and cover both with the plate again.
- Check the Sprouts Often
- Check the sprouting progress every few hours over the next 8-10 hours. You're looking for a small white "tail" or sprout appearing from each seed. Be sure to check lentils from the bottom of the colander too as they tend to sprout there first. I recommend gently shaking the colander to 'shuffle' the lentils and get a look at how the sprouting is going below the surface level, especially at the bottom.
- Once I see any sprouting, I test a seed that has not sprouted by gently chewing on it. We're looking for a light crunch as if biting into an apple. If you're seeing some sprouts and the rest of the seeds are tender, your sprouting step is complete.
I actually think the lentils in the picture below are sprouted beyond their ideal sprouting stage. But I wanted the 'root' (sprout) to be really easy to see for this blog.
Refrigerating the Sprouts
Once the sprouting has begun, rinse them again, drain well and transfer them to a food storage container for refrigeration.
Dressing the Lentils for a Simple Salad
Below are my ready-to-eat lentils in the refrigerator storage container and about to be 'dressed' with a simple dressing of flax oil, Himalaya (pink) sea salt and fresh lemon juice. For best flavor, allow the 'dressed' lentil to marinade for a few hours before serving chilled.
Storing the Sprouted Lentils
Often I will "dress" a portion of the lentils and store "undressed" lentils for later in the fridge. They seem to stay fresher without dressing. Always keep the lentils chilled once they start to sprout. It slows down the sporting process so they stay tender and tasty longer.
Getting Fancy with Black Lentils
Below is a pic of some black lentils. After getting questions about trying other lentils, I decide to try black lentils next. They worked fine following the same steps as outlined above. I did find the black lentils have a more earthy taste and could also be an option for adding a new color to the plate. Here's a pic of my black lentil salad with carrots, parsley and red onion added for color. Choose from a 'dressing option' above.