How to Sprout!

I love sprouts. When living in London I often bought a pot of the mixed variety from health food stores. They’re a power house of nutrients, an excellent quick snack or lovely addition to any salad. However, since moving to Oxford 7 years ago, I’ve only attempted to sprout once, and that was before my son was born four years ago.

Chickpea sprouts
sprouted chickpeas

Why? I’m not entirely sure.

It think it’s probably because secretly I consider sprouting a mini form of gardening. And although I’d love to be an keen gardener, apart from my hardy herbs that tend to look after themselves, I’m pretty useless and largely leave it to Alex.

But being stuck at home has encouraged me to be more experimental. Despite my trepidation, sprouting chickpeas this week was probably one of the most enjoyable gardening sessions I’ve ever had. Plus I didn’t even have to buy any fancy equipment or put on some gardening gloves and get my hands dirty.

My kind of gardening.

When you sprout beans it reduces the phytic acid content by about 40%. 

This means it becomes more digestible and you absorb a lot more of the minerals and protein that they have to offer.

In fact, one serving of sprouted chickpeas contains 105mg of calcium, 115mg magnesium, 366mg of phosphorus, 875mg of potassium, and a whopping 557mcg of folic acid. As well as trace amounts of iron, sodium, vitamin C, thiamine, niacin, vitamin B-6 and vitamin K.

Nutritious stuff!

Sprouting chickpeas is easy. Here’s how:

  • Rinse and soak 1 cup of dried chickpeas overnight.
  • In the morning drain and rinse the chickpeas thoroughly.
  • You can use a jar, but next I just placed the drained chickpeas in a glass bowl and loosely laid a tea towel on top.
  • Every 8 hours or so I rinsed and drained the chickpeas in clean water. I also occasionally gave them a gentle shake to allow some air to get to all the chickpeas.
  • After just a few days they grew little tails.
  • After several days they looked like the picture above.
  • When you’re satisfied with the length of tail, thoroughly rinse and drain the chickpeas and store in the fridge to stop them sprouting further. They’ll last about a week.
Frugal organic peanut butter hummus

I like sprinkling sprouts on my salad, but I’m also going to try making raw sprouted hummus and a quinoa and sprout salad this week for some variety.

I’ll post the recipes here.

Have you new recipe that you’ve enjoyed having a go at in lockdown? I know there’s been many sourdough bread loaves baked!

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