Check out the lentil sprouts that have been growing on my windowsill since last week! I really can't believe how easily and quickly these little buggers turned from hard, brown beans to crunchy, green treats.

I have always liked sprouts, but generally don't buy them at the store because they can be pretty pricey and spoil quickly. Also, a few years back I read something that said they have high bacteria levels because it's hard for packagers to clean them thoroughly. A very healthy friend of my mother's suggested I try sprouting with one of these bags, but I was a bit intimidated by the various sprouting "systems" and worried about finding a place to hang/drain the bags.  I have a very small kitchen, after all.

Then I saw this post on one of my favorite blogs, Honest Fare, and I was encouraged to try sprouting on my own using mason jars. Gabrielle's instructions couldn't have been easier, and I followed them to the letter. After soaking the lentils over night and rinsing them well, I filled each jar about 1/3 of the way full of the beans, making sure there wasn't too much water left so they wouldn't get funky. Then I covered the jars with cheese cloth and a tight rubber band and set them on my windowsill. By the next morning I started to see the first signs that the lentils were sprouting. It was like a science experiment, and would be a fun activity to do with a child as it could really get kids excited about eating these strange little, nutty worms! Each morning and night, I rinsed the jars with clean water several times, letting the water drain out completely before I placed them back in my window. And that was it!

I just ate a delicious salad of arugula, sprouts, red pepper, quinoa, green onion and avocado, served with Gwyneth Paltrow's delicious "Standby Vinaigrette" from her new cookbook. If I could digress for a moment, I highly recommend you buy or at least flip through this lovely book. Say what you will about Gwyneth, after reading this cookbook, which is equal parts a memoir, it's impossible to deny that she is a creative, talented, and down-to-earth woman. She's also quite funny and I think would make an entertaining dining companion. A shout-out to my big sis for presenting this cookbook to me on my birthday last week!

Have you ever tried sprouting at home? Am I really late to the party here? Later today I'm bringing the smaller jar of sprouts to someone who I know will appreciate them.. my mother!

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