|Sprouted Lentils Quick Facts|
|Taste||Earthy and slightly peppery|
|Major nutrients||Iron (38.75%)
History of Sprouting
Traced back for thousands of years, sprouts have been referenced in history for medical and other nutritional reasons. In 1282 B.C., Shen-Nung, the Emperor of China, reported how good he was at growing mung beans himself. Whether or not he used the term “sprouted” or even knew what this report would do for the future of sprouting in the world, this record shows that sprouting was happening domestically thousands of years ago.
Sprouts of seeds and grains have been a large part of the history in Eastern cultures and are still a main staple in certain areas of the world. Sprouts and sprouting are also mentioned a few times in the Bible. However, sprouting took much longer to take off in Western cultures and is just now hitting its stride in certain areas of the world.
The main references to sprouted grains in the Bible come from Genesis 1:29 and Ezekiel 4:9. Food for Life Baking Company, a firm that makes sprouted-grain products, offers a variety of sprouted-grain foods that use the mixes of grains mentioned in the Bible, as well as other blends, to create tasty prepared sprouted-grain foods.
Throughout history, food has been used not only as nourishment but also to heal. In early civilizations, food and plants were the only things available to people when it came to curing diseases or treating infections, headaches, and stomachaches. Many of those early people found that certain foods did have healing powers and began to use them for medicinal purposes, as well as to feed their families and keep them healthy throughout the year.
Traditional Cultures and Sprouted Grains
Throughout history, some cultures and groups have documented using seed, legume, and grain sprouts for medicinal cures and nutritional reasons, as well as recording simple things like how they grew new plants or sprouts on their own. Historically, in Chinese culture, many families were known to grow sprouts themselves because sprouts, whether from seeds, legumes, or grains, were a low-cost food to produce and provided impressive nutritional benefits.
One other historic recorded use of sprouts is from the 1770s. Captain James Cook was looking for cures and solutions for his ship’s crew because the sailors were getting sick while out at sea. When a large number of his crew were found to have scurvy caused by the extreme lack of vitamin C, Captain Cook began to use sprouts as one way to easily give his men more vitamin C to help keep them healthy while they were onboard the ship. Along with citrus fruits and other vegetables, the regular use of sprouts in the men’s diets cleared up the scurvy and solved one of the biggest health problems they were facing.
Traditional use and modern fact:
Scurvy is a human disease caused by a severe vitamin C deficiency. This lack of vitamin C can cause extreme weakness, swollen and painful joints, anemia, gum disease, and skin problems. Eating a diet high in vitamin C—which includes citrus fruits, berries, melons, peppers, tomatoes, dark greens, and some whole grains—can cure the disease.
Health Benefits of Sprouted lentils
Lentils have phytic acid in it which is difficult for the body to digest. Sprouting nullifies the phytic acid letting more vitamins as well as minerals could be absorbed by the body as digested. Sprouting means the germinating process that changes the composition of lentils. It also promotes the amount of beta carotene and B vitamins. It also helps to break down the sugars which are the cause for forming intestinal gas.
- Offers macronutrients
Sprouted lentils offer the macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrate and fat. The serving size of half cup grants 3.5 grams of protein required to form healthy tissues, skin, bones and hair. Moreover, sprouts offers 7.5 grams of carbohydrates and 0.25 grams of total fat. Carbohydrates and fats are the elementary source of energy for the cells. Sprouted lentils also curb the intake of calories. The serving size of half grams of lentils provides 41 calories.
- Copper and zinc
Sprouted lentils also grants copper and zinc. Zinc is crucial for regulating enzyme activity and has a crucial role in cell communication; prevent free radical damage to the cells and hormone production. It also maintains the tissue health, allows formation of ATP and upgrades nerve communication. Half cup of sprouted lentils offers 136 micrograms of copper i.e. 15 percent of daily recommended intake for adults. It provides 0.6 milligrams of zinc i.e. 8 percent of daily recommended intake of zinc for women and 6 percent for men.
- Offer Vitamin C
Sprouting lentils extends the Vitamin C content. It encompasses 6.5 milligrams of vitamin C per half cup. Vitamin C is required for functioning of brain, facilitate iron absorption from food and supports immune system. The diet with high Vitamin C reduces the chances of cancer. Half cup of sprouted lentils helps to derive 9 percent of daily recommended intake for women and 7 percent for men.
- Strong hair
Vitamin C present in sprouts supports growth of hair. It prevents dandruff, lowers hair fall and supports hair growth. Intake of sprouts helps to overcome this condition. Daily intake of sprouts helps to prevent premature graying of hair due to high antioxidant levels.
- Prevention of erectile dysfunction
Sprouts promote flow of blood and erectile dysfunction could be treated with an intake of sprouts. Promoting blood flow lowers the chances of heart attack. Increase in flow of blood controls the cholesterol level.
- Improve eyesight
Sprouts have high content of Vitamin A which supports hair growth, minimizes night blindness, enhance sperm health and improve eyesight. It is essential for development of brain and assists to maintain overall health. Regular intake of sprouts prevents macular degeneration and formation of cataracts.
- Treats anemia
Sprouts effectively prevents anemia. The low level of red blood cells promotes fatigue. The stomach conditions such as nausea could be prevented with an intake of adequate iron levels in the human body.
- Assist digestion
Sprouts prevent the chance of constipation and diarrhea. High fiber content minimizes the chances of colon cancer and also cleanses the bowel system. It ensures absorption of nutrients and also provides more strength.
- Source of omega-3 fatty acids
Sprouts have ample amounts of omega-3 fatty acids and improve heart health. It upgrades HDL cholesterol in the body. Sprouts also lower the stress on heart muscles. High content of potassium assures to manage blood pressure and control the chances of strokes. It also improves the oxygen level in blood.
- Skin health
Sprouts assist in providing glowing skin and also prevent occurrence of skin cancer. Sprouts have high content of Vitamin B which assists hydration of skin as well as speeds up regeneration of cells. It upgrades the collagen production and also prevents occurrence of acne. It lowers the occurrence of wrinkles and also reduces other forms of aging. It detoxifies the body and performs internal cleaning and benefits skin.
How to sprout Lentils
Lentils have the most variety when it comes to sprouts. People can find different colors and sizes of lentils to sprout at home, giving your dishes a nice pop of color.
- Dried lentils
- A jar
Steps to sprout lentils:
- In a jar, put the desired quantity of dried lentils and cover it with water. The lentils will triple or quadruple in volume when sprouted. Leave it overnight.
- Drain the water and wash off the lentils. Put it into a jar and cover it with cloth. Turn the jar upside down and use the chopstick for air circulation and drainage.
- Rinse and drain it again. After 24 hours, one can see the formation of little tails.
- Sprouted lentils are ready to eat after 2 to 3 days.
- Leftovers can be refrigerated for a week.
Sprouted Lentils Recipes
Lentil Pizza Salad
Lentils and pizza aren’t two words normally associated with each other. But this salad takes all the great flavors of pizza and mixes them together with heart-healthy and filling lentils.
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- ½ medium red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup sprouted lentils
- ¼ cup vegetable broth
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 4 ounces fresh mozzarella, diced
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon parsley
- 1 tablespoon basil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
How to make Lentil Pizza Salad
- Heat pan over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Sauté the red pepper, red onion, and garlic for 3–4 minutes, stirring occasionally until the vegetables are softened and the garlic is fragrant.
- Stir the lentils and broth into the vegetables and cover the pan. Simmer for 5 minutes, covered.
- Take the pan off the heat and pour the lentils and vegetables into a large bowl. Let the lentil mixture cool for 5 minutes.
- Toss the lentils with the cherry tomatoes, diced mozzarella, oregano, parsley, basil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Nutritional Value per serving
Lentil Enchilada Casserole
Since lentils have a subtle flavor of their own, using them in Mexican-spiced recipes transforms them into a dish where lentils wouldn’t normally be used.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup scallions, sliced (about 4–5)
- 1½ cups sprouted red lentils
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 cups kale, finely chopped
- 3½ cups green enchilada sauce, divided
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 (8-ounce) jar picante sauce or salsa
- 16 corn tortillas, cut into quarters (or see homemade recipe in sidebar)
- 1 cup queso fresco, shredded
How to make Lentil Enchilada Casserole
- Preheat the oven to 375°F.
- Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the scallions. Cook for 2–3 minutes until they are softened.
- Add the lentils and broth to the pan, and bring to a simmer. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the chopped kale, 1 cup of the enchilada sauce, garlic, cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika, salt, and picante sauce.
- Let the lentil and kale mixture simmer for another 5–10 minutes until the kale starts to wilt and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- In the bottom of a greased 9 × 13 pan, pour ½ cup of the remaining enchilada sauce and top with ⅓ of the tortilla pieces.
- Pour ½ of the lentil mixture on top of the tortillas. Add another layer of enchilada sauce, tortillas, and the rest of the lentil mixture. Top with the remaining tortilla pieces, and pour the rest of the enchilada sauce over the top.
- Sprinkle the queso fresco on top of the casserole and bake for 30–35 minutes until the cheese is melted.
Nutritional Value per serving (filling with 2 Homemade Corn Tortillas)
- Calories: 273 Kcal
- Fat: 8 g
- Protein: 10 g
- Sodium: 2,271 mg
- Fiber: 3 g
- Carbohydrates: 42 g
- Sugar: 10 g
Moroccan Lentil Soup
To speed up prep time, you can use fresh raw almonds and cashews (without soaking them), and sun-dried tomatoes, available marinated in olive oil, which are ready to use when you’re ready to cook. This spicy soup is delicious served with couscous.
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, soaked
- ½ cup almonds, soaked
- ½ cup cashews, soaked
- 3 cups water
- 1 cup lentil sprouts
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon turmeric
- 1 tablespoon miso
- 1 cup portobello or crimini mushrooms, diced
How to make Moroccan Lentil Soup
- Blend the sun-dried tomatoes, almonds, and cashews with water until smooth. Add in the lentil sprouts, lemon juice, cinnamon, cumin, salt, and turmeric and blend until smooth. As an option, you could add 1 tablespoon miso at this point.
- If one want the soup to have a chunky texture, save out ½ cup of the sprouted lentils.
- Pour soup into serving bowls and stir in the diced portobello (or reserved ½ cup whole lentil sprouts).
- Garnish with fresh cilantro or parsley.
Sprouts are known to cause E. coli bacteria, salmonella and virus attack in the body. It takes place when low quality sprouts are used. It makes people to be more prone to diarrhea, fever and abdominal cramps. When developed in wrong way provides the harmful bacteria to thrive and neutralizes the beneficiary effects on the body.