You may be wondering what the heck those tiny tails are on my lentils. First, let me assure you they are NOT worms. They are sprouts. According to Nourishing Traditions, sprouting your lentils before cooking is better for your digestion and makes your food more nutritious.
Did you know Vitamin C is created during the sprouting process? Not only that, sprouting increases B vitamins and carotene content in food. The process also neutralizes phytic acid, a substance that inhibits you from absorbing important minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
Sprouting also activates enzymes not only in food but also in our gut which allows for better breakdown and absorption of nutrients. It inactivates cancer causing carcinogens like aflatoxins and last but not least, sprouting also breaks down the complex sugars which are responsible for the gas and bloating that those who eat lentils (and those around those who eat lentils) are familiar with.
Sprouting is really easy. Like super duper easy. Basically all you have to do is pick out the lentils you want to sprout, give them a good rinsing, place them in a jar and fill it up with filtered water. Then let the jar sit in a dark part of your kitchen undisturbed for about 12 hours.
Once the 12 hours is up, drain and rinse the lentils and let them sit for a few more hours until white tails start to sprout.
And that's it!
So your lentils are sprouted, now what?
Well honestly you can eat them as is or add them to just about anything for an extra boost of protein and fiber. I use sprouted lentils to make a yummy and tangy lemon lentil soup that is super awesome and gentle on my digestive tract.
Sprouted Tangy Lemom Lentil Soup
This flavorful and tangy soup will keep you healthy and full any time of year. Lentils are loaded with fiber and protein, lemons are loaded with vitamin C and pizazz!
Lentils don’t get any better then when they are combined with this perfect combination of tang and love.
- ½ onion
- 2-3 carrots
- 1 celery stalk
- 2-3 tomatoes
- ¼ head cabbage
- 1-2 potatoes
- 1 cup sprouted lentils (you could use ½ orange and ½ green)
- Sprouted Garbanzo beans (optional)
- Lots of garlic
- 1 inch slice of ginger
- Curry seasoning to taste
- Olive oil
- Salt & pepper
Sauté onions, carrots, celery, garlic, tomatoes, and seasonings (except salt) in a tablespoon of ghee until tender. Then add ½ or more pot of water and bring it to a boil.
Once its boiling add the sprouted lentils and turn the heat down to low. Let the contents simmer for about 15 – 20 minutes. Once the lentils are soft add the sprouted garbanzo beans and spinach and cook another minute or so. Right before serving add the juice of 2 – 3 lemons, salt, and olive oil for taste. For added tanginess add sliced lemons including the peel into the pot before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.
More Health Benefits of Lentils
Did you know lentils have been a staple of the human diet for at least 10,000 years? They have been found in archeological sites and are also mentioned in the bible. They are thought to have originated in the middle east but ancient artifacts proving their existence have been found from Greece all the way to India.
Lentils are a relatively inexpensive food and can be purchased at just about any grocery store throughout the entire year. It’s best to purchase fresh lentils and keep them stored in a cool, dark, and dry place away from heat and sunlight. Use them within a few months as you don’t want them to go rancid.
Just under 200 calories, each bowl of soup contains about 10g of protein, 10g of fiber, 5g of fat, and 25g of carbohydrates. Perfect for any health conscious dieter looking to stay healthy without having to empty their bank account. Enjoy!