As far as I’m concerned, lentils are the world’s most perfect food. They’re cheap, versatile, cook up quickly, are nutritionally amazing, and just flat-out delicious. Dried red lentils are my usual favourite because you can cook them into a hearty stew in about half an hour. And, as it turns out, red lentils are nutritionally superior to both green lentils and French lentils.
Green lentils are better for sprouting, however.
A few days ago, James brought green lentils home from the grocery store because he couldn’t get red, so I decided to sprout them for a few days and use the resulting sprouts to top salads over the coming week.
A mere four ounces turned into astonishing THREE CUPS of lentil sprouts, however, so I decided to use half for a raw, sprouted lentil hummus.
It was a bit of an experiment (and a bit of a leap), but the result was absolutely delicious, and James and I demolished about a pound of raw vegetables with this amazing lemony-garlicky dip, which turned out to be much lighter than my regular hummus (made with chickpeas).
Now, lentils are super good for you, but sprouted lentils are off-the-charts good for you because, according to Kim Harris of The Nourishing Gourmet, while a legume,”has many nutritional advantages, many are locked up tight by anti-nutrients (such as phytic acid). Once you start the germinating process, that dormant seed starts to become a live plant. Anti-nutrients are cast away, it changes, inside and out, and when you eat that seed, no longer are you eating just a seed, instead you are eating a tiny little plant.
With unsprouted lentils, the phytic acid in legumes binds with calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc, making it hard to impossible for you to absorb those nutrients. It’s also irritating to your digestive system. By sprouting your lentils, you are neutralizing phytic acid very effectively. You will also be neutralizing enzyme inhibitors, which unfortunately not only inhibit enzymes in the actual seed, but can also inhibit your own valuable enzymes once they have been eaten.”
Pretty good, eh?
The other great thing is that dried lentils are only a couple of bucks a pound, and you can make a big batch of hummus by sprouting only two ounces (which makes about a cup and a half of sprouted lentils and, eventually, two cups of hummus).
Anyway, here’s my recipe:
Raw, Sprouted Lentil Hummus
1 1/2 cups sprouted lentils
2 TBS tahini
1 TBS Better Than Bouillon Paste
6 TBS lemon juice
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
Combine in a food processor and blend until smooth.