Sprouted Lentil Patties

So I’m back from a whirlwind trip to Florida.  I have a new respect for air conditioning and a new favorite breakfast including plain Greek yogurt, blueberries, sliced banana, cinnamon, and peanut butter. I’m always stoked when I find a new breakfast staple.  The trip was really fun, and I think Nick’s parents picked the perfect house.  While I had fun furniture shopping, my favorite part was food shopping, and dining.  Surprised?

That brings me to these sprouted lentil patties.  How?  Well, eating on vacation always is stressful for me.  My stomach is super sensitive (annoying!), and one wrong meal can be devastating.  At home it’s easy to eat delicious food that I know will leave me feeling happy, on vacation, not so much. Last Monday, I started sprouting lentils after much reading and research in hopes that my stomach would deal better with sprouted beans than regular beans.  I LOVE beans, so the discovery that beans were not agreeing with me was terrible.  No hummus?!  I couldn’t live with that statement.

I read that sprouted beans are much easier to digest while containing more nutrients than their regular counterparts.  It seemed too good to be true.

Of course sprouting beans takes about three days, so I didn’t have much time to see how I fared eating sprouted beans, but I did it nonetheless.  The process is quite easy and so far, I have had no issues with the bean sprouts!  I even made them into delicious sprouted lentil patties infused with turmeric.  See, I was getting to the patties eventually 🙂

Before I dive into their mouthwatering flavor, I want to briefly explain why sprouted beans are easier to digest than regular ones.  I, for one, was fascinated by the power of sprouting and am definitely going to try sprouting much more than lentils in the near future.  I also am planning on writing an entire post once I have a few more types of sprouts in my fridge on the process and benefits, so here is the cliff-notes version.

When you sprout beans, you are allowing the bean to germinate.  The bean is breaking down and changing its chemistry to grow into a plant.  Sprouting breaks down the seed, which means less work for your digestive system.  I think of it as eating a baby plant, not a bean.  It seems my stomach views it the same way, which is fine by me!

I mentioned that sprouting also increases the nutrition of the bean.  This is partially because more of the bean can be absorbed by the body and partially because the bean is changing chemical composition and gaining more vitamins and minerals as it grows into a plant.  It’s a win-win situation as I see it.

How do you sprout beans?  To sprout beans, simply soak the beans anywhere from overnight to 24 hours, then drain and rinse them.  Put them in a jar and secure a piece of cheesecloth over the top (I used a rubber band).  Let the lentils sit in the jar for at least three days, or until your sprouts reach their desired length.  Make sure to rinse and drain the beans every 12 hours or so.  If the room you have the beans sprouting in is exceptionally hot, keep them in the fridge to sprout.  It’s really that easy.  I had almost one inch sprouts within three days.

I’m calling these sprouted lentil patties instead of burgers because they are thin and not as “beefy” as you would expect a veggie burger to be.  They require lots of toppings, which I will never complain about, so I made a patty stack with avocado and two fried eggs.  Delicious. To keep this meal vegan, use your favorite non-dairy spread or tahini instead of the fried eggs.

Try something new and sprout your own beans!  Whether you have a sensitive stomach or not, there are numerous benefits to sprouting your beans before eating them.  With grilling season in full force, you are going to want to keep a batch of these patties in your freezer to enjoy all summer long.

Sprouted Lentil Patties

yield: 12 patties

3 1/2 cups sprouted lentils
1 cup mashed roasted sweet potato
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 red onion
1/4 cup fine-ground golden flaxseeds
1/4 cup hemp hearts
2 tsp thyme
2 tsp parsley
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp turmeric
2 tsp cumin
1/2 inch fresh grated ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper  (optional)

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2.  Thoroughly rinse your sprouted lentils and add 3 cups to to the base of a food processor with the garlic cloves and blend until a thick paste forms.  Some pieces are fine, just blend until it begins to stick together.
3.  Add the sweet potato to the food processor.  Blend until combined.
4.  Next add the ground flaxseeds, thyme, oregano, turmeric, cumin, ginger, salt, and pepper.  Process until incorporated. *
5.  Pulse in the onion, hemp hearts and last 1/2 cup of lentils.  You want them well distributed, but chunky.
6.  Scoop the mixture onto the prepared pan, making each scoop a heaping 1/4 cup.  I used a muffin scoop.  Press them down so they are about 1/2 inch thick.
7.  Bake at 375 F for 15 minutes, then flip them and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until patties are brown and crispy.  Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack before storing.

*If your mixture is very wet, add a tablespoon or two of coconut flour (or oat flour, regular flour, etc.), until the mixture is thick and sticks together

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