I’ve been meaning to write this post for a while now, but lately, so many people have been asking me about this that I feel now is the time!
I sprout a lot of things, but quinoa and chickpeas are my favourites. The list of things you can sprout when they’re in seed form is almost endless, but some of the more common ones are lentils, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), mung beans, soy beans, quinoa, barley, buckwheat and even oats, when you get them raw. But, I hear you cry, what the hell is sprouting?
Well, technically speaking, sprouting is the process of germinating a seed. Once these seeds are sprouted, you can then eat them raw or cook them. The sprouting process is said to ramp up the nutritional value of the things you choose to sprout, but it can also be a more convenient way to have them ready for eating, if you don’t want to sit over a stove for hours while dried beans decide to cook.
But how to do it?
How to Sprout Chickpeas
1. Get yourself a bag of normal, regular dried chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
2. Just your everyday dried chickpeas, the kind you get from the bulk bins or in the small bags. Nothing special about these!
3. Soak the chickpeas in water overnight, then the next morning, rinse them thoroughly.
4. I’m going to assume that you don’t have a fancy sprouting jar, so you can do two things at this point. You can either use a Mason jar with some cheesecloth across the top, held in place by an elastic band, or you can simply use a baking tray. Let’s go with the baking tray. Spread the chickpeas out on the tray.
Leave the chickpeas for 12 hours. If you’re using the jar, place the chickpeas into the jar and spread the cheesecloth across the open top. Leave the jar upside down, but on a 45 degree angle.
5. After 12 hours or so, some of the chickpeas should be showing a little sprout coming through. Some won’t yet. This is normal!
6. Rinse the chickpeas through again and return them to the tray / jar. Repeat this every 12 hours. I like to keep mine covered, to keep bugs away.
7. Between 24 and 48 hours since their initial rinse through, your chickpeas should have started to sprout FOR REALZ. Most of them should look like this:
Some will have much smaller sprouts, and some will have larger. If you feel that the sprouts would benefit from another 12 hours, rinse and repeat.
8. When your sprouts are looking as badass as this lot, store them in a sealed container in your fridge! You can toss these into a salad, make hummus with them, make falafels (as in this recipe) or, if you prefer, you can cook them as you would normally cook dried chickpeas and use them in any chickpea dish, safe in the knowledge that you just added a whole lot more nutritional goodness to your dinner!