Windowsill Sprouts!- Carol McFarland

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With spring officially upon us, I find myself wanting to begin enjoying all of the delicious spring greens that are just not available yet here on Palouse. Enter: these versatile little gems- full of that green, spring vitality.

I have tried sprouting quite a few legumes using this low-maintenance method. The best results I have gotten so far are with these Caviar Black lentils that I picked up from the Moscow Food Co-op, courtesy of the PNW Farmer’s Co-op (and it looks like they will be going on sale this month as part of the Co-op’s “Earth Month” promotions!). These, and mung beans, have worked best for me so far.

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I’ve tried sprouting my favorite Red Sunrise lentils, also from PNW Farmer’s Co-op- and the best outcome resulted from seasoning and dehydrating them for a crunchy snack, after they developed their first sign of sprouting.

I use these Black Caviar (or mung bean) sprouts for so many things! You may have already seen them sprinkled on my Red Kuri Squash and Cauliflower Soup, and they are also amazing on salad, in stir-fry, and on sandwiches and wraps!

Making the sprouts:

After an initial 24-hour soak in non-chlorinated water, they should be rinsed 3+ times a day to avoid them drying out or hosting undesirable micro-fauna.

They will then progress through their various growth stages, all of which are edible and offer something different to a meal. I usually will grab some out of the bowl and just keep rinsing the rest until I use them all up, and then start again.

I find that they are good on the windowsill with consistent rinsing for about a week (if they don’t all get eaten first!)

It is important to note that they should form a relatively shallow layer in the dish you are using to sprout them, this is one way to avoid them getting “funky” as can be detected by a sour-ish smell (if you smell this smell at any time, compost the sprouts and start over, rinsing more frequently).

I love this technique because it is so simple and doesn’t require and special equipment, like screens. Giving them a quick rinse before heading out in the morning and again when I get home, and a third time before bed, has worked really well for me for years.

Give these a try – try other legumes – pair them with all kinds of food, or have another favorite sprouting strategy? – Please share your experience in the comments!

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With Gratitude- especially to Shane McFarland for always helping to clean up the mess I make!

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