Growing sprouts at home is easy. It is fresh, hygienic and free of any contamination that store-bought sprouts may have. Here is a guide on sprouting white chickpeas at home. There are two ways of growing sprouts, either using a container with breathable lid or tightly wrapping it in a clean porous cloth.
How to grow sprouts?
Sprouts are the germinated seeds of lentils or grains and are a great source of nutrients like iron, vitamins, protein, zinc, folic acid etc. Daily intake of sprouts provides numerous health benefits and primarily strengthens our immune system to protect us against various diseases.
Sprouts can be made using nuts, lentils or beans or grains like green moong, whole masoor, Kabuli chana, dried peas, rajma or kidney beans, millets, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, wheat berries, barley and more.
The process is simple. Legumes, lentils or beans are washed thoroughly, soaked for 8-12 hours, drained and germinated for 2 – 3 days. Soaking makes the hull soften and allows small tail-like structure called sprouts to grow. Once the length of the sprouts reaches ¼ inch, it is good to consume.
The soaking and sprouting time vary from depending upon the weather and the type of food. The hotter and more humid the weather, the quicker the germination takes place.
Here, I have used white chickpeas or Kabuli chana as its one of the frequently made sprouts at my home. Of all the legumes, chickpeas take more time to sprout. In hot and humid weather, it takes about 24 to 30 hours to sprout and in winters about 2 to 3 days. The pictures shown here are taken in winter.
- Soak the chickpeas overnight. While soaking, the quantity of water should be 3 times more than the chickpeas.
- Next day, strain the water thoroughly.
- 2 ways of germinating the chickpeas. If following method 1, place it in the sprouts making container. Otherwise, wet a clean cotton cloth, place the soaked chickpeas in it and wrap the ends tightly. (method 2).
- Store it in a warm place or on the kitchen counter top for a day or two.
- Keep checking it after a day’s time. You can see small tail-like sprouts start emerging from the chickpeas.
- When the length of the sprouts reaches ¼ inch, remove it from cloth or the container and refrigerate till use.
- Sprouts stay fresh for 3-4 days when stored in fridge.
- You can also use a sprout maker that are available in the market.
- If the weather is humid, sprouts starts appearing the next day itself.
- In extreme winters, if you want to quicken the process, following ideas may help:
- wrap an old but clean sweater over the container and place it near the room heater.
- Place it in a preheated oven or in an empty pressure cooker with its lid.
- Sprouts need to be steamed or cooked before consuming. It’s not advisable to eat raw sprouts as they are easily prone to bacteria that may cause food-borne illness.