The thing I love most about plants is that they never give up on life. Have you ever noticed that? No matter how much you deprive them of water, sunlight, or air, until their last molecule is intact they will put up a fight and invest all of their efforts into growth. I find that hugely inspiring.
It’s especially fascinating to watch the sprouting of seeds. A true wonder of nature – a dazzling sparkle of magic.
As it happens, I’ve got some of that magic bubbling in a jar on my windowsill right now. What you see on the picture above are lentil sprouts. I remember Jamie Oliver showing something similar in one of his shows, many years ago, calling it his “herb garden in a jar”. Somehow, it seemed a chore to try it back then (perhaps I didn’t have any jars ?), but when I found out how to do it a couple of days ago I realised that it’s simpler than I could ever have imagined. And the results are near-instantaneous! You won’t believe it until you’ll have tried it yourself.
After putting a small amount of dried lentils (or any other pulse, really) in a spacious canning jar, follow the procedure described below for about a week, or until your jar fills with lovely green sprouts: every morning and every evening (about 12 hours apart), pour lukewarm water over the lentils just until they’re covered, wait five seconds, and pour it back out again. Cover the jar (making sure not to seal it) and place it near your window. Watch the magic. (If you’re feeling especially feisty, tap the jar with a makeshift wand and recite a charm of choice.)
Once you’ll have gotten yourself a jar-full of sprouts, use them to give volume to sandwiches and salads, add crunch to soups and stir-fries, and bring colour to pasta dishes.
In this dead-of-winter time (depending on where you live, of course), sprouts of all kinds constitute a readily available source of various varieties of vitamin B, calcium, magnesium, zinc, and other important nutrients. Magic to the power of awesomeness.