It’s February. We’re in the middle of winter. The cost of fresh foods seem to be at an all time high.
As I mentioned in my previous post, this year has been named “International Year of the Pulses” by the United Nations. What do fresh foods and the Year of the Pulses have to do with each other, you ask?
Did you know that you can sprout pulses?
Sprouting pulses is an inexpensive source of live nutrients, which is especially beneficial in the winter when there are less local leafy greens available. Pulses are very reasonably priced, cheap even! I like to transfer mine to tall, glass mason jars or re-used jars from store-bought pasta sauce or soups and store the jars in my cupboard. They will keep fresh for 12 months.
When a seed is sprouted into the beginning of a new plant, many of the stored nutrients burst forth into the seedling and these little sprouts become nutritious powerhouses. Protein content increases by approximately 15-30% depending on the plant as the carbohydrate food source gets converted. Sprouts are living foods that contain active enzymes that help with digestion and assimilation. Sprouting can be done easily with a glass jar and cheesecloth or nut milk bag.
How To Sprout Pulses:
- Place your seed or pulse of choice in a jar (start with ¼ cup of seeds), rinse with preferably purified, chlorine-free water.
- Fill jar again to cover pulses. Put 2-3 layers of cheesecloth, or a nut milk bag, on mouth of jar and secure with a rubber band or string.
- Soak for ~ 24 hours on the counter.
- Rinse and re-fill the jar several times during those hours.
- Drain and keep them in the jar tilted into a bowl.
- Keep out of direct sunlight and rinse 2-3 times per day, pouring the water off and tilting jar again to drain into bowl.
- When they have sprouted or grown little tails, they should be rinsed 2-3 times a day to keep them fresh and clean for the next 1-2 days.
- Store in fridge.
By this time the amount will have doubled in volume and they will be edible. Lentils and chickpeas will be at peak protein levels at day 2 or 3. They should be consumed within the week.