Sprouting Just About Anything

If you’re looking for a tutorial on mung beans, see my post here:

https://behindthedisarray.com/2012/07/20/diy-bean-sprouts/

Mung beans are a little different from other types of sprouts because they need darkness, a longer sprouting time, and pressure to grow long, thick sprouts. Other types of beans, grains, and seeds aren’t like this at all, but they’re just as easy. Keep reading!

The Basics of Sprouting

The basic sprouting instructions are similar for all sproutable things, but here’s a review.

  1. Soak the beans/grains/whatever for the appropriate amount of time. Smaller seeds/beans, etc. = less soak time. Bigger seeds/beans, etc. = longer soak time.
  2. Place them in a sprouter and rinse them off. I’ve used a couple of things that all work: Mason jar with mesh/other breathable lid, colander lined with paper towels, two sour cream containers of different sizes with holes poked in them (only really necessary for mung beans, since they need dark.)
  3. Rinse the sprouts 2-4 times a day to keep them moist. They shouldn’t be really wet, or they can get moldy. When using a Mason jar, I keep it tipped over so the excess water can drain out.
  4. Keep the sprouts in a cool place with good air flow. I keep mine on the counter. Sunlight doesn’t matter at this point since they don’t have leaves, so don’t worry about how much light they get.
  5. Once you see sprouts, start tasting to see how you like them (unless they’re beans that need cooking). Grow them longer if you want. When the sprouts are done, store them in the fridge for up to two weeks. Let them dry a little on paper towels before putting them away. They will last longer that way!

Sprouts I’ve Tried

I tried sprouting everything found in my food storage just to see what would happen. I was pleased with the results, so here’s a handy little table of my findings.

ItemSoak TimeSprout TimeDone
When…
Taste Notes
black beans12 hours or overnight2 days (3
maximum)
tiny sproutCook before using! No
change in
flavor, can
use like
normal
beans.
pinto beans12 hours or overnight2 days (3
maximum)
tiny sproutCook before using! No
change in
flavor, can
use like
normal
beans.
white beans12 hours or overnight2 days (3
maximum)
tiny sproutCook before using! No
change in
flavor, can
use like
normal
beans.
chickpeas12 hours or overnight12 hourstiny sproutEat raw or
cooked.
lentils8 hours12 hourstiny sproutEat raw or
cooked.
mung
beans
1 day2-5 dayslong, thick
sprout
starting to
get leaves
Eat raw or
cooked.
brown rice8 hours2-3 daystiny sproutCook and
use as
normal.
Takes less
time to
cook, about
the same as
white rice.
Texture and taste both
improve, as
the rice
gets
sweeter
after
sprouting.
sunflower
seeds
2 hours2-3 dayssprout as
long as the
seed
Eat raw.
wheat8 hours2-3 dayssprout as
long as the
grain
Eat raw or
cooked.

Notes

  1. Some sprouts (most beans, not including mung) MUST be cooked before using, or they are poisonous to some degree. These are noted in the chart.
  2. The length of the sprout is up to you, but I think shorter sprouts generally taste better. The longer they get, the more “earthy” flavor the sprout has and tastes less like the original grain/seed.
  3. I prefer almost all sprouts cooked. That isn’t a problem because they are really versatile and still have the awesome nutritional profile. (Cooking does destroy some nutrients, but cooked, sprouted grains/seeds/beans are still healthier than unsprouted!)
  4. There are a whole bunch of things that can be sprouted: alfalfa, clover, radish, broccoli, almost any seed. Don’t use seed packets intended for planting because most of those have pesticides in them. I don’t sprout any of these things because of the cost to get the seeds. (There’s no health food store around here.) For sprouting just about anything else, see http://sproutpeople.org/. They’re pros on sprouting and can sell you good-quality (though expensive) seeds to grow just about anything.
wheat sprouts

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