How Sprout Legumes (Lentils & Mung Beans)

I absolutely love adding sprouts to my meals, but they are so darn expensive to buy in stores! Did you know that it is ridiculously easy and simple to make your own for only pennies?? Read on to learn how to sprout legumes quickly and easily to make nutritious, fresh veggies from your pantry!

Sprouting magically transforms dried, dormant legumes into fresh, crunchy, delicious vegetables for salads. Sprouting also improves their protein content, unlocks extra nutritional benefits like vitamin c and antioxidants, and can be easier on digestion.

You can sprout all kinds of legumes, but my go-to’s are mung beans and brown lentils because I just love them. I sprout them together in the same jar, because I love the texture combination. Read on for my instructions!

Equipment Needed:

  • A glass jar (although I’ve been known to sprout in drinking glasses, as in the photo above)
  • A sprouting lid (optional)
  • Legumes or seeds to sprout.

That’s it!

Sprouting Lids: You definitely don’t need a fancy sprouting lid (I’ve been known to sprout lentils when camping or traveling using whatever I have around) but they do make rinsing the sprouts quicker and easier. They are awesome. My favorite one is this sprouting lid. I looove that you can stand it upside down so that water can drain out and prevent mold. I prefer plastic sprouting lids (metal ones can get a bit rusty after a while) but I’ve used metal ones too and love them. If you’re looking for metal sprouting screens, I recommend these ones.

Sprouting Seeds & Legumes: You can try sprouting any dried mung beans or lentils that you have around, but the older they get, the less viable the seeds (which is fine for cooking, but less ideal for sprouting). For smaller sprouts I recommend a seed mix like this one.

Step 1: Soak overnight

First you need to soak the seeds or legumes in water overnight to wake them up from their long, dormant, seed slumber. (They are seeds after all, destined to grow into plants!)

  • Fill the jar about 1/4 of the way with green lentils, mung beans, or whatever legumes you want to sprout. They will expand a TON, depending on how long you grow them for. You can always transfer them to a larger container later if you need to, so don’t stress about it. Fill to the top with water, cover with something (or don’t, whatever) and let sit on the counter overnight.

Step 2: Rinse in the morning

  • In the morning, pour them into a strainer to drain, gently toss and rinse under running water. Return to the jar. They should be wet, but not sitting in any standing water. Or, use your handy dandy sprouting jar.
  • Cover them with a lid or towel to prevent fruit flies, and turn them upside down (the reason I love this lid) on a plate or at an angle so that any remaining water can drain out and prevent mold.
  • Store somewhere dark (cupboard, pantry, room without sunlight) and let them do their sprouty thing.

Step 3: Rinse before bed

  • Do the same thing you did in the morning. You just want to rinse them every morning and every night so that they don’t get funky. You will notice them beginning to sprout.

Step 4: Repeat until sprouted to your liking!

  • Keep rinsing them morning and night for a couple of days. You can start eating them when they start to sprout little tails, and you can keep them going on the counter for about a week. I find that mung beans get sprouty tails quickly and lentils take a bit longer. I eat the lentils before they have sprouty tails, you can eat them as soon as they are crunchy and delicious, even if they don’t have tails.
  • If you like the amount of sproutiness and want to stop their growth, you can pop them in the fridge to stunt their growth and rinse every other day or so.

How to Use Your Sprouts!

Add them into salads, bowls, stir fries, on top of hummus and crackers, in sandwiches, or just eat them as a snack!

If you love how easy and clean this method of making sprouts is, you would also probably LOVE Hamama, the COOLEST microgreen subscription service. I used it for over a year before I set off on my current digital nomad adventure, and I was obsessed.

Hamama makes growing your own trays of microgreens SO easy, and there’s NO DIRT. They send you “seed quilts” in the mail so that all you have to do is put them in a tray of water, and then wait a week. You don’t even have to water them. You don’t even need any light. They send you the starter kit and everything. Check out this satisfying time lapse. 🙂

Click HERE to check out Hamama’s Microgreen Grow Kits!

Here’s a few of my salads featuring my delicious homegrown Hamama sprouts. <3

Do you sprout? What do you like to sprout and how do you use them? Share in the comments!

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4 Comments

  1. Patti B

    Thanks so much for the info. I bought some “sprouting jars” and didn’t know what the process was. I have used the Hamama system before. Works very well so I’ll get more of those too!

  2. Kathryn

    I just started my first sprouts ever! I had mung and lentils AND the jar, but had never put it altogether. Thanks! – Kat

  3. stephanie

    I have a question about the sprouting seed mix you recommended, in a lot of the reviews people mentioned they are spicy or at least peppery, did you find that to be the case? Do you have another seed mix recommendation that isn’t spicy (I don’t mind a little spice but I was going to share with my mom who probably wouldn’t tolerate it). BTW, I started sprouting because of this post and I’ve since recommended your process to many others – mostly when I underestimated how many sprouts 1/3 of a jar makes and have had to share with 3 neighbors:). Thank you for this guide, it gave me the confidence to try! I’m ready to branch out from the mung beans and lentils, hence the question about the mix. THanks!

    • Hi Stephanie, thanks for writing! Yes, they are a bit peppery, the radishes are the spicy ones. I love the kick, but it you don’t like spicy stick with non-peppery greens like broccoli, alfalfa, etc. The sprouts taste like the veggies or the greens that they become, so if you don’t like spicy radishes, you probably won’t like their sprouts. So happy you are having fun sprouting, isn’t it so much fun?? Yes, they expand like crazy! Happy sprouting adventures!

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