Saturday, September 14, 2013

The Heart of Raw Food: Sprouts

Sprouting is the centerpiece of raw foods.  It brings life back into food and increases the level of protein.  Sprouting legumes allows you to eat them raw, so you keep the enzymes intact but make it edible.

My suggestion is that you try sprouting lentils.  You can use any kind of lentils (although red doesn’t always sprout as well), and my favorite is to do a combination of half green lentils and half black (or mung beans, or any other small lentil.)  

The equipment you will need is one glass mason jar, and then either your nut milk bag OR a lid for the mason jar and a piece of cheesecloth.

1. Soaking.  Put about 1 or 1.5 inches of lentils in the bottom of a mason jar. Fill to the top with water and soak for about 12 hours on your countertop.

2. After the 12 hours, rinse very well and drain your lentils.  

3. Draining. Method 1: If you have a nut milk bag, put your lentils in it and hang it over a bowl or your sink to drain (this process is going to take about 2 days, so pick a good spot.
Method 2: Alternatively, if you want to use your mason jar, simply put a piece of cheesecloth (or a piece of screen if you have it) in the removable part of the lid, screw it back on, and leave the jar inverted in a colander.  Watch the cheesecloth to make sure it doesn’t get moldy; if it appears iffy, replace it.   Choose your method based on the equipment you have.

4.  Every morning and every night during the “draining” period, rinse out your lentils (you can leave them in your jar or bag while you rinse), and then invert and leave draining again for the next 12 hours (or so--it can be approximate.)  The whole process takes about 2 days.  You will know your sprouts are done when they look like this, below. The tails should be at least ¼ inch long (although it’s fine if they are ½ an inch or longer, too).  

5. Store finished sprouts in a jar in your refrigerator. Rinse them before eating.

You can add sprouts to salads, or you can eat them as a side dish.  Raw foodists often add a dressing on top--a yummy one to put on top is an almond-ginger dip.

Sprouts are outstanding for your health, and really so easy to do. I hope you try them!

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