Seen at the Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Breaking the Rules: Sprouted Lentils


I've learnt recently lentils have a strong urge to keep on growing. I sprouted some as usual for my Salad Challenge, but last month's exceptionally cold weather turned our appetites away from salad.

So this batch got shoved in the fridge for a couple of days until the weather warmed up. Except it didn't and a few days turned into a few weeks :o

I knew beansprouts of the shop bought variety are grown in the dark (weighted down to keep them stumpy), but I thought the cool temperature of our fridge would stop the lentils growing. After all, the text books say a minimum temperature of around 5oC is needed for plant growth. That puts them firmly into my Against the Odds series too ;)

The shoots are etioliated as expected, but I'm surprised the tiny leaves are green rather than the chlorotic yellow usually seen when plants grow in the dark. Perhaps the occasional burst of light as we go to the fridge for milk or whatever is sufficient for chlorophyll production?

This isn't me breaking the 'rules' this time, but my lentils are showing that once again, plants don't read the manuals ;)

It's interesting to see what's happened, though I'm playing safe and composting rather than eating these! 
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5 comments:

  1. Rats, I was hoping you were going to tell us what they tasted like! Whatever it is that makes me death to all house plants appears to also render me incapable of sprouting seeds successfully, which is a weakness I really must address some time, since I love sprouted seeds in a sandwich.

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  2. That's a "sprout" with a shout! Will probably make very nutritious compost.

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  3. That's amazing. I do find that sprouts grow their fastest when they are ready to eat - if they aren't eaten immediately they're off and away! You've reminded me to grow some though; they are great for this time of year when there's not much salad to be had. Off to rootle through the cupboards to see what's around.

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  4. I've never thought about growing my own edible sprouts. Now I am inspired. My husband will say 'Just what you need; another project.' :-) I love sprouts in sandwiches and salads but I'm the only one in the house who will eat them. Do you have a favorite kind, either from a taste perspective or an ease-of-management perspective?

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  5. Janet - If I'd kept up with the rinsing regime, I probably would have eaten them. But as I hadn't, I wasn't taking any riskes!

    Helen - I can hear my compost heap saying 'yum' in anticipation ;)

    CJ - I'm glad someone else rootles around their store cupboard :)

    MHM - all sprouts are very easy :) My absolute favourites are sprouted green lentils or chick peas. If you need further help in what to do, have a look through my 52 Week Salad Challenge page - the Let's Eat Shoots and Leaves has lots of information and there's also a Sprouted Leaves fact sheet you can download

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