Lentils, My Old Reliable Standby Sprouts!
Lentils: My old standby! I’ve grown them in all sorts of climates, in all sorts of living situations, and in all sorts of sprouters. They always seem to come through for me. I don’t even need to buy organic or special “sprouting lentils,” either. Versatile, delicious, and nutritious… oh, and cheap!
All sorts of climates!
For more than 30 years, I’ve grown lentil sprouts. I grew them in sunny southern California in a mild climate. I’ve grown them in the High Desert around Apple Valley, California. I’ve grown them in the deserts of Baja California Sur, Mexico. I’ve grown them in the tropical climate of the Florida Keys and the Bahamas.
They adapt and grow well in all climates. Even in the 115 degree heat of the Baja California Sur, Mexican desert (where the nighttime temp drops down to a balmy 107!), they were the best, most reliable sprouts I’ve ever sprouted. While most larger sprouts turn to nasty mush very quickly and smaller seeds just have a hard time making it, lentils sprout right up with minimal problems.
In those extreme climates and in the in-between climates, lentils have proven to be the most successful sprouts I’ve worked with.
All sorts of living situations!
I’ve sprouted lentils in cars, vans, motorhomes, 22-34 foot sailboats, a 60 foot power boat, apartments, houses, on Amtrak trains, and in backpacks. They never let me down. No other sprout seems to be as successful in varying living situations as the humble lentil!
All sorts of sprouters!
I’ve sprouted lentils in Mason jars with no screens, mason jars with cheese cloth covers, window screen covers, and specialty plastic screen lids. I sprouted lentils in over five different tray sprouters and in a mesh bag sprouter. Heck, I’ve even sprouted them in a bowl. They all worked every time!
Any Lentils Will Do!
I don’t even need to buy organic or special “sprouting lentils,” either. A couple decades ago, you had to try to find organics because most all dried beans / legumes were sprayed with chemicals to prevent them from sprouting in the package, to keep them on the shelf longer. It was hard to get stuff to sprout, lentils and anything else.
Thankfully, those days of bad chemistry are pretty much past. I’ve bought lentils in high end organic grocery stores like Whole Foods, Central Market, and the like. I’ve bought them in WalMart, Target, and the like. I’ve bought them in out of the way, back-woods tiendas in Mexico, the islands of the Bahamas, and small-town, USA. I’ve bought them in convenience stores.
I’ve bought bulk lentils and pre-packaged lentils. I’ve bought organic lentils, green lentils, pink lentils, black lentils, brown lentils. My best luck has always been with the most common variety the green / brown lentils. Granted, the pink ones are far more delicate and more prone to damage in the process.
But the humble lentil, from any venue I can find them, almost always works out just fine.
Bottom Line: Lentils are Versatile, Delicious, Hardy, Reliable, Simple/Easy-to-Sprout, and Nutritious… oh, and cheap!
Sprouting lentils seems to be the best all around, versatile sprout I have utilized. A constant success. They seem to be more immune than other sprouts to missed water/rinsing, temperature extremes, and other mishaps that can waste other sprout batches.
Did I mention how wonderful they taste? They are great for cooking in stews, soups, stir fries, veggie loaves, and casseroles. They are wonderful on sandwiches, salads, or as a raw side dish in their own right. They make a great snack food, too.
I’ve rarely spent more than a buck a pound for lentils. One pound will keep me in fresh sprouts for over a month. Not bad for a buck! All that fresh, nutritious green veggie for a buck? Works for me. By sprouting on boats, I don’t have to buy and maintain refrigeration units… a large money savings! And I don’t have to be pulling in to civilization nearly as often to stock up on fresh veggies, since I’m growing my own!
They always seem to come through for me and really are the workhorse of my sprouting world. The last couple of years I’ve found many blends of seeds and other seeds more readily available at far better prices than before. But the lentil is still tops on my list in every category.
Yes, I’m very grateful for the wonderful lentil, king of the sprouts for all the right reasons! – Jim B
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