I never used to like lentils. I avoided them for years, mostly because of a childhood incident which involved a dish of lentils in a dill sauce. It was like eating a sopping hot grass stew. I never recovered.
As a result, I grew up believing that Lentils Had to Be Avoided At All Costs. But somewhere along the way I realized that lentils weren’t really the murky-tasting pods of poison I thought they were. There were a few lentil dishes I actually grew to like.
My kids, however, were a different story. Unfortunately they inherited a serious case of Lentil Reluctance. There was no way they’d eat them no matter how I served them.
That is why I was very excited to discover the world of lentil sprouts. I didn’t realize I could soak grocery-store lentils and have them sprout into an actual snack food. (!)
It’s a very easy (not to mention kid-friendly) activity to do:
• Pour a handful of dried lentils into a small glass jar.
• Cover with cold water and leave overnight on the windowsill.
• Cut a small piece of cheesecloth and place it over the mouth of the jar, use an elastic to hold it in place.
• Pour the water out of the jar and rinse the lentils thoroughly.
• Rinse and drain the lentils twice a day.
• On the third day the lentils will start to germinate. (You’ll see a cute little white sprout on each one.)
Lentil sprouts are a good source of Thiamin and Iron, and are a very good source of Vitamin C, Folate and Manganese.
They make a great topping for salads and are also good eaten on their own. I tested a batch on my youngest daughter. As luck would have it, she ate what I gave her and held her hand out for more.
It doesn’t get much better than that.