Monday, 19 January 2009


I has a green thumb.

Look!!!! GREEN CHICKPEAS! How extremely super-exciting! I found them (dried) while I was out on an epic search for black beluga lentils (which is a long and somewhat boring story, which I will spare you).

Now I will tell you the top secret method of "How to sprout things without having a sprouter", because sprouters are stupid devices that stand as a testament to people's ability to sell (and willingness to buy) useless crap. Remember when you were 7 and you grew a bean at school, probably starting it off between layers of moist paper towel? Well? See? You know how to sprout. This is merely revision, in case you can't read your notes from grade 2, or have misplaced them sometime in the past few decades:

1) Find some beautiful dried legumes that you want to sprout. Buy them. Find a nice big bowl. Deposit legumes into bowl. The dried legumes should only cover the bottom of the bowl (when they double in size, they shouldn't take up more than 1/4 of volume of the bowl). This is because you will need some air circulation or things will get gross. A large plastic flat bottomed bowl is best.
2) rinse them, and soak them for 24 hours (big legumes, like chickpeas) or overnight (small legumes, like lentils). If you're unsure of how long to soak, because your legumes are annoying intermediate-sized but so adorable-looking that you just love them to bits (aduki beans), arbitrarily assign them to the "large" category.
3) after the soaking period is up, drain the water.
4) rinse the legumes thoroughly a few times with cool water and drain completely. cover the bowl with a clean cloth and put it somewhere dark. I just wrap my bowl in a dark tea towel and leave it near the couch in the kitchen. You may not want to follow this example of a "good place to sprout things" if you have pets or children or are prone to kicking things over. The important thing is that it be dark and cool.
5) repeat step 4 every 24 hours for 2-5 days, depending on the size of your legume and the temperature of your sprouting environment. You don't have to change the cloth unless it gets wet or dirty. When the tails are more than twice as long (go for thrice as long) as the legume (see photo), they're done (you can pop one in your mouth and check). Give 'em one last rinse and refrigerate in a loosely covered container. Eat them however you want. Feel smug that you just made a whack of sprouts for about 1/100th of the cost of buying them already sprouted, PLUS you got to watch them sprout, which is very grade-2-science-project-satisfying, and fun, and very, very cool. Trust me, in 2009, all the cool kids will be sprouting green chickpeas. Start now so that you can say you were doing it before it was trendy.

Note: if your sprouted legumes smell or look funny DON'T EAT THEM. I've never had legumes go "off" while I was sprouting them, but it's probably not impossible.

Now, go get started. I'll post a sprouted chickpea recipe soon.

inspirational green music: It's not easy being green, sung (but not composed) by Kermit the frog.


medici said...

If I can't have a tail of my own, at least my beans can. Your green garbanzos are so cute! I know that they yearn to be eaten, and soon, yeah? Perhaps you are eating them right now.

I had forgotten all about sprouting beans in 2nd grade using damp brown paper toweling. But now I remember. So I am not an epic fail when it comes to growing plant material, after all. Whew.

vegandwhatnot said...

ohmygoodnessthey'resoooocute! I've been curious about the whole home-done sprout thingy, as I hear it's just a healthier way to eat beans. More nutrients.

sinead said...

So yummy and sooooooo damn easy, I swear! And of course, food tastes better when it's really, really cute.