Are you thinking of taking the plunge into the world of sprouting, and are looking for low-risk options where you won’t end up with bags and bags of expensive exotic seeds that you have no idea what to do with if you decide that sprouting isn’t for you? To give you ideas for easy wins, I’ve shared my top three selections for seeds to use when you start sprouting.
What Makes A Great Beginner Sprouting Seed?
There are so many different sprouting seeds to choose from that can be grown in so many different ways that it can be hard to choose where to start. When you’re starting out it’s a good idea to cut through the complexity and pick easy wins. But what makes an easy win for sprouting?
For me an ideal easy win with means that the sprouting seed is:
- Cheap to buy
- Easy to get a hold of at my local supermarket
- Won’t require me to have an expensive or difficult growing setup
- Won’t taste awful, too exotic or tastes like dirt
- Will have seeds that I can use for something else if I can’t get it to sprout
Taking these considerations into mind, I’ve reviewed my sprouting experience and feel that the best sprout selections for beginners are:
- Mung Beans
Why Choose Lentils?
When it comes to growing sprouts, lentils have to be my top choice hands down. Lentils are incredibly easy to sprout in a jar and don’t require too much more effort than the initial soaking and daily washing. Due to the outside casing that surrounds the lentils washing away the sprouting by-products is very easy, which makes the daily washing process hassle-free.
Getting your hands on lentils is also fairly hassle-free. Most supermarkets will stock at least one type of dried lentils. Being available in the supermarket means that the lentils are at least food grade, so if you can’t get them to sprout at least you know that you can still eat them by adding them to recipes such as soups or stews. As lentils have a mild taste you may not even notice that you’ve added them.
Another winning point I that lentils have is their longevity. You can’t sprout them and keep them around for weeks and weeks, but lentils can be sprouted and left in the fridge for up to three or four days, which is a longer shelf-life than some other sprouts.
Tip: Lentils that come with an outside casing like brown, black or green lentils are much easier to sprout then red lentils. Red lentils are fairly easy to sprout, but I find that their tails are a little harder to see, and the sprouts are a little harder to wash because they don’t have that surrounding casing and therefore I would suggest using other lentils types before the red ones.
Why Choose Peas?
Who doesn’t love peas? Peas are a fantastic starter to get into the world of sprouting. With their familiar taste peas and ease of care are a great way for even the timidest of indoor spouters to get started.
Alike lentils, dried food-grade peas are usually fairly easy to pick up in your local supermarket as they are often added to things like soups, however as dried peas are often perceived as being used for winter foods, they may only be stocked seasonally. If you can get your hands on some dried peas you’re bound to have sprouting fun all year around.
Peas are great fun as they can be grown as simple sprouts (think of dried peas that have been rehydrated with little tails) or grown into larger pea shoots (which look more like little pea plants). Both the sprouts and shoots are easy to grow and eat and make a fantastic choice for a beginner to the sprouting world.
Why Choose Mung Beans?
My final recommendation for starter sprouts is none other than the simple mung bean. Mung beans tend to be a little harder to find in your local supermarket than lentils or peas, but mung beans are still a fairly common seed so it isn’t an impossible feat.
Mung beans are fast growers so be prepared to see them pop up fast. Despite their speed growth rate, they are still able to be stored for a few days if needed in the fridge. I find that mung beans do have an earthier taste than lentils or peas, but they are still able to integrate well into meals like salads without being too overwhelming.
Try it for Yourself
Whether lentils, peas or mung beans take your fancy, any of these three sprouts will serve you well in your first foray into the world of sprout growing. Eagar to get started? Then check out the guides on sprouting lentils, sprouting peas or sprouting mung beans yourself.