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Sprouts are nutritious and easy to grow at home. They are consumed around the globe in many cuisines, in many different ways. Sprouts can be added to soups, salads, curries, stir fries, wraps.
In India, growing sprouts at home is quite common. Lentils and beans are sprouted and are consumed in different dishes such as curries, stir fries, salads, chaat or dips.
Typically, sprouting the legumes can take somewhere from 2-3 days depending upon the temperature. In summers, sprouts are ready in a day and in winters it takes somewhere from 3-5 days for legumes to sprout.
Instant pot really comes in handy specially during winters, it just speeds up the process of sprouting. It takes somewhere from 1-2 days to grow sprouts in Instant pot. Thus, providing warm and humid temperature, perfect to sprouts legumes.
I will be sharing the traditional and Instant pot method for sprouting lentils and beans in this post. This complete guide to HOW TO GROW SPROUTS – LENTILS AND BEANS will walk you through the entire process of sprouting, step by step, so you can easily grow sprouts at home.
WHAT IS SPROUTING
Sprouting is a simple process of germination. You can germinate legumes, grains, seeds and nuts. Germinated legumes, grains, seeds and nuts are called sprouts.
Legumes, grains, seeds and nuts are soaked in water for sometime, and left to germinate, resulting in young shoot to blossom. This is called sprouting.
The sprouted legumes, grains, seeds and nuts are considered super healthy and nutritious.
Growing up in India, I remember my mom used to sprouts few legumes and seeds, like mung beans, kala chana, moth beans and fenugreek seeds.
It was quiet fascinating to watch these little seeds, grow into tail-like creatures. We used to eat sprouts almost every single day. My mom used to incorporate these sprouts into so many different dishes. Such a healthy diet, Isn’t!!
HOW TO SPROUT LENTILS AND BEANS
Sprouting is a simple technique of germinating a legumes, grains, seeds or nuts. However, it is important to understand precisely the steps involved in it. Follow few simple steps and yes, you can grow beautiful sprouts in your very own kitchen.
Legumes are rinse thoroughly and are soaked overnight. Soaking the legumes initiates the sprouting process. Well soaked legumes, have a greater sprouting rate.
The soaked legumes are than rinsed and drained, and are placed in a dry, warm place for sprouting. A warm and humid atmosphere makes sprouting process faster. Typically, this process of sprouting the legumes takes somewhere from 2-3 days. However, it takes only a day to sprout legumes in Instant pot in yogurt mode.
(Pic shown) Sprouted mung beans, sprouting time 12 hours.
WHY SPROUTS ARE HEALTHY
Sprouting enhances the nutritional value of legumes, grains, seeds, and nuts significantly, thus provides with better digestion.
Sprouts act as an alkalizing agent. Helps reduce acidity by reducing pH levels in our body. Thus, help prevent illnesses due to excess acidity in the body.
The antioxidants naturally helps detoxify our body by boosting oxygen levels in our body.
WHY YOU SHOULD EAT SPROUTS
1. SPROUTS ARE INEXPENSIVE, EASY TO MAKE
Looking at all the cost of healthy foods available in supermarkets these days, people spend so much on healthy eating. Well, you don’t have to spend a fortune to eat healthy.
Sprouts are inexpensive, super-foods available to human kind. Sprouts can be easily made at home and are budget friendly too.
2. HELPS IN DIGESTION
Sprouts contain live enzymes, thus it boosts your metabolism and specially helps with the digestion. Enzymes found in sprouts help break down food effectively and helps in better absorption of nutrients.
(Pic shown) Sprouted mung beans, brown lentils, moth beans, chickpeas, kidney beans, black eyed beans. Sprouting time 8-36 hours.
3. NUTRITIONAL POWERHOUSE
When legumes, grains, seeds and nuts are sprouted, their nutritional value increases significantly. Sprouts are considered nutritional powerhouse, loaded with vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients.
4. RICH IN VITAMINS A, B-complex, C, E
Vitamin content in legumes, grains, seeds and nuts, increases considerably than their original value.
Vitamins are essential in maintaining good health and for overall well-being. Vitamins are considered building blocks of a healthy body.
5. NUTRIENTS ABSORPTION INCREASES
Sprouting produces more enzymes than found in raw fruits or vegetables.
Enzymes are special type of a protein which help extract more vitamins, minerals and essential nutrients from the foods, which can be easily absorbed into the body.
6. HELPS MAINTAIN HEALTHY IMMUNE SYSTEM
Sprouts are rich in vitamin C and high on antioxidants. Thus, help us build healthy immune system.
Sprouting improves the quality of proteins in the legumes, grains, seeds and nuts. Thus, improved nutritional value, which helps maintain a healthy immune system.
7. AIDS IN WEIGHT LOSS
Sprouts are high in nutrients value and low in calories, thus makes them an ideal candidate if you are on a weight loss diet.
Sprouting increases the fiber content of legumes, grains, seeds and nuts. Fiber is an essential element for weight loss. Fiber keeps you full for longer period of time. It also helps flush out toxins from our body. Thus, keeping us light and fit.
If you are on a weight loss plan, do try to incorporate sprouts into your daily diet. It is highly beneficial in weight loss.
8. ALKALIZING AGENT
Sprouts work as an alkalizing agent to our body. Sprouts help reduce acidity in our body, by regulating pH levels and maintain reduced levels of acids. It also helps prevent illnesses due to excess acidity in the body.
(Pic shown) Sprouted brown lentils, sprouting time 12 hours.
9. GOOD FOR YOUR EYES
Sprouts are high in vitamin A, which is associated to improved vision. Thus, sprouts may help improve our vision and eye sight.
10. HEART HEALTHY
Sprouts are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which helps maintain good cholesterol (HDL) levels and reduce bad cholesterol (LDL) levels, which can cause clogged arteries.
Following sprouting guide provides a quick glance at soaking and sprouting time for lentils and beans using traditional and Instant Pot method.
HOW TO GROW SPROUTS USING INSTANT POT
There are various ways of sprouting and also so many different foods that can be sprouted. Legumes, grains, seeds and nuts can be sprouted. Please refer to the post FAQ ABOUT SPROUTS – WHAT FOOD CAN YOU SPROUTS
Depending upon the size of the ingredient, the soaking and the sprouting time will vary. Please refer to the SPROUTING GUIDE discussed earlier in this post. Here’s step by step guide to – HOW TO SPROUT LENTILS AND BEANS IN INSTANT POT
STEP 1: SOAKING
Rinse the beans thoroughly, discard any stones, debris or bad beans. Soak in hot water covered for 8-12 hours or overnight.
When beans re-hydrate they almost double in size. I soak one cup of beans in 3 cups of hot water, thus making sure there is enough water for the beans to re-hydrate.
I prefer to soak the beans in hot water covered overnight for consistent results. Soaking in hot water, helps soften the beans and also initiates the sprouting process.
STEP 2: DRAIN AND RINSE
After beans have been soaking for 8-12 hours, they must have been double in size. Drain and rinse the beans. Let excess water drain. This is important to avoid any mold formation.
Line steamer basket with a damp cheesecloth or a thin cotton cloth (used in the recipe). Transfer the beans to the steamer basket.
(Pic shown on left) You will notice that the well soaked beans are doubled in size, are soft and can easily break them between the two fingers. Sometimes you will even notice tiny sprouts, sprouting through them.
STEP 3: INSTANT POT SPROUTS
Place a trivet in the inner pot of Instant pot. Place steamer basket on it. Wrap the beans with the damp cloth.
Remove the sealing ring and close the Instant pot lid on venting position. You can also use a glass lid if you prefer.
Turn on yogurt setting, by default it sets to 8 hours. Using “+” option set the time to 12 hours.
STEP 4: SPROUTS ARE READY
After 12 hours, check to see if the beans have sprouted. You will see beans have tiny sprouts coming out. If desired you can leave the sprouts in Instant Pot for little longer, depending upon how long you like the sprouts.
If the cheesecloth seems dry, sprinkle some water. Check half way through.
(Pic shown) Sprouted mung beans, sprouting time 12 hours. You can keep it longer for longer sprouts.
DO I NEED TO ADD WATER IN THE INSTANT POT
I don’t add any water in the Instant Pot, when I am using a damp cheesecloth for sprouting.
However, if you choose not to use the cloth and sprouts the legumes directly into the steamer basket, than add 1/4 cup of water in the inner pot of Instant pot. This will create a warm and humid atmosphere, required for sprouting.
Both techniques – with cheesecloth or without cheesecloth directly in the steamer basket work for sprouting.
WHAT TYPE OF STEAMER BASKET, COLANDER TO USE FOR SPROUTING
I have used the following steamer basket, colander and fine mesh steamer for sprouting without the cheesecloth and they work the same.
The key thing to remember when sprouting without cheesecloth is to make sure to drain the water completely.
Whatever container you choose for sprouting, it should not retain water. Water retention can lead to mold formation.
WHAT TYPE OF CLOTH TO USE FOR SPROUTING
Cheesecloth, muslin cloth or a thin cotton cloth all work fine.
The important thing to remember is that the cloth should be damp and not wet.
The cloth gets stained once used for sprouting, therefore I prefer to keep it separate just for sprouting purpose only.
I DON’T HAVE INSTANT POT, CAN I GROW SPROUTS
Absolutely, you can use the same procedure as described earlier for soaking the beans.
Line steamer basket or colander with a damp cloth or a cheesecloth. Add the soaked and drained beans on to a steamer basket. Wrap the beans with the damp cloth.
Cover the steamer basket with some plate and place it in a dry, warm place. I normally keep the steamer basket in the oven. No need to turn ON the oven. During winters, I leave the oven light ON, for some warmth.
Sprinkle some water once or twice to keep the sprouts moist, but NOT drenching.
Depending upon the moisture, humidity in the temperature the sprouts will mature somewhere from 1 – 3 days. In summers, it takes about a day for sprouts to mature.
In winters, it takes longer to sprout, therefore keep a close eye on the sprouts. They can start to turn moldy or slimy after few days.
Depending upon how long you like the sprouts, you can leave the sprouts to grow for a longer time.
(Pic shown) Sprouted mung beans for 12 hours.
HOW TO SERVE SPROUTS
There are many ways to serve sprouts. Some of the ways we enjoy sprouts:
(Pic shown) Sprouted chickpeas, kidney beans, black eyed beans, sprouting time 24-36 hours.
Sprouts add a nice crunch to the salads. I prefer steamed sprouts in my salads. Drizzle some of your favorite dressing and sprouts salad is ready to be devoured.
I like to make sprouts soup. A complete nourishing bowl of soup, serve with some crusty bread on the side for a complete meal.
I like to serve sprouts as a chaat (Indian appetizer). Steam the sprouts, add some yogurt dressing and some sweet and tangy tamarind chutney. Top it with some green chutney.
I like to stir-fry sprouts with some other vegetables.
Make some sprouts curry, using some onion, tomatoes, some Indian spices. Add sprouts and simmer until soft and tender. Enjoy sprouts curry as it is or with some steamed rice.
(Pic shown) Sprouted Moth beans, sprouting time 8 hours. If kept longer for sprouting, they will grow longer sprouts.
FAQ ABOUT SPROUTS
WHAT FOOD CAN YOU SPROUTS
Technically, any food that is whole and is not split or broken can be sprouted. However, there are limitations to what sprouts and what not.
Legumes such as mung beans (moong), black chickpeas (kala chana), chickpeas (garbanzo beans), kidney beans, Moth beans, brown lentils (Masoor), soy beans, peas, black eyed beans.
Grains such as barley, wheat, corn, splat, rye, rice can be sprouted.
Seeds such as quinoa, fenugreek, alfalfa, mustard, radish.
Nuts such as peanuts, almonds can be sprouted.
HOW TO CLEAN SPROUTS
Take a colander or a fine mesh sieve. Place the sprouts and run it under cold water for around 30-60 seconds. Gently, toss the sprouts couple of time.
Let the colander sit on counter for 5-10 minutes for all the excess water to drain. You can now use the sprouts as desired.
HOW TO STORE SPROUTS
Sprouts can be stored in a refrigerator for 3-5 days. Seed sprouts, must be consumed within 1-2 days. Legumes, grains, and nuts can be stored for up to 5 days.
Store sprouts in a glass container, layer kitchen paper towel. Do not pack the sprouts tightly. Change the paper towel, once every day for better results.
Rinse the sprouts daily for a longer shelf life. Dry them well, place a kitchen paper towel and store it in the refrigerator.
(Pic shown) Sprouted black eyed beans, brown lentils, kidney beans, mung beans, chickpeas, Moth beans. Sprouting time 8-36 hours.
WHY DO SPROUTS SMELL
Sprouts contain living enzymes and therefore are at a high risk of contamination with some food bacteria.
The way you can tell if the sprouts have gone bad is first by its appearance. If sprouts look slimy, discolored.
Secondly, if they smell weird they have probably gone bad. Don’t eat the sprouts!!
DO SPROUTS CAUSE ABDOMINAL DISCOMFORT
Certain sprouts such as broccoli, Brussels, cauliflower, cabbage, radish, chickpeas, may cause stomach discomfort, blotting, or gas.
It is advisable to cook these sprouts first before consuming. Sprouts when cooked are less likely to cause abdominal discomfort than the raw ones.
Some sprouts such as Alfalfa can be eaten raw, as cooking these sprouts makes them mushy. Make sure to clean these sprouts thoroughly before consuming.
IS IT IMPORTANT TO COOK THE SPROUTS
Sprouts contain living enzymes and are at a high risk of cross contamination with some of the food-borne bacteria such as salmonella and E.coli. Cooking the sprouts eliminates this risk.
Sprouts can be steamed or boiled before consuming to prevent any food-borne illnesses.
Some spouts such as Alfalfa can be eaten raw, as cooking these sprouts makes them mushy. Make sure to clean these sprouts thoroughly before consuming.
WHAT ARE HEALTH RISKS ASSOCIATED WITH SPROUTS
Sprouts contain living enzymes and are at a high risk of cross contamination with some food-borne bacteria such as salmonella or E. coli.
In order to prevent this, keep your surroundings clean, including your kitchen and containers in which sprouts are stored. Always use clean hands to process the sprouts.
You must also cook the sprouts, lightly steam or boil before consuming.
Use organic seeds if possible for sprouting.
Consume sprouts within 3-5 days of sprouting for best results.
Here are some more recipes for you to enjoy!!
Dal Makhani – creamy, flavorful, dal made with black gram lentils, kidney beans
Sarson Da Saag – mustard greens tempered with onion, garlic and some Indian spices
Homemade Ghee –rich nutty flavor, nourishing and aromatic, homemade ghee
Bharwa Bhindi – okra stuffed with some Indian spices
Aloo Gobi – simple, easy, delicious Potato Cauliflower curry
Carrot Halwa, quick and easy carrot halwa.
Broccoli Cheddar Soup – thick, creamy soup made with broccoli, cheddar cheese
Strawberry Jam – 3-ingredients, super easy, finger-licking homemade Strawberry Jam
Subscribe to our Youtube Channel for easy and delicious video recipes. Happy Cooking!!
How to grow sprouts - Instant Pot
- 1 cup mung beans
- 3 cups hot water, for soaking
- Rinse the beans thoroughly, discard any stones, debris, bad or split beans. Soak in hot water covered for 12 hours or overnight.
- After beans have been soaking for 12 hours, they must have been double in size. Drain and rinse the beans. Let excess water drain. This is important to avoid any mold formation.
- Line steamer basket with a damp cheesecloth or a thin cotton cloth (used in the recipe). Transfer the beans to the steamer basket. Wrap the beans with the damp cloth.
- Place a trivet in the inner pot of Instant pot. Place steamer basket on it.
- Remove the sealing ring and close the Instant pot lid on venting position. You can also use a glass lid if you prefer.
- Turn on yogurt setting, by default it sets to 8 hours. Using “+” option set the time to 12 hours.
- After 12 hours, check to see if the beans have sprouted. You will see beans have tiny sprouts coming out.
- (Optional) If desired you can leave the sprouts in Instant Pot for little longer, depending upon how long you like the sprouts. If the cheesecloth seems dry, sprinkle some water. Check half way through.
- FAQ ABOUT SPROUTS
- SPROUTING GUIDE
- HOW TO SERVE SPROUTS
- I DON’T HAVE INSTANT POT, CAN I GROW SPROUTS