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Lentils, sprouted, raw (organic?)

Sprouted lentils (Erve) have a slightly sweet and nutty taste. They can be used raw or cooked. Make sure they are organic.
Macronutrient carbohydrates 69.95%
Macronutrient proteins 28.31%
Macronutrient fats 1.74%

The three ratios show the percentage by weight of macronutrients (carbohydrates / proteins / fats) of the dry matter (excl. water).

Ω-6 (LA, 0.2g)
Omega-6 fatty acid such as linoleic acid (LA)
 : Ω-3 (ALA, <0.1g)
Omega-3 fatty acid such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA)
 = 0:0

Omega-6 ratio to omega-3 fatty acids should not exceed a total of 5:1. Link to explanation.

Values are too small to be relevant.

Sprouted lentils ( Lens culinaris ) can be eaten raw in a salad (raw food) or cooked. The sprouts contain significantly more vitamins and minerals than dried lentils. Sprouts are different from sprouts. See text.

Using sprouted lentils in the kitchen:

Lentils are indigestible in their raw form because they contain toxic ingredients (eg lectins) that can be rendered harmless by cooking. Soaking for a long time or, better yet, a sprouting process - or cooking (cooking) reduces harmful substances sufficiently. Sprouted lentils can therefore be eaten raw.

Eating lentil sprouts raw: Sprouted lentils have a wonderful sweet, nutty taste and are ideal as a salad base or for garnishing. Pureed and refined with herbs, you can conjure up a vegan spread. Since sprouted lentils taste more like vegetables, they also develop a delicious aroma when steamed or blanched. However, they lose valuable ingredients due to the heat and are therefore less healthy. If you add sprouted lentils to dishes shortly before serving, they taste great in vegetable curries, stews, risottos or soups - and they stay healthy.

Vegan recipe for lentil salad with sprouted lentils:

Ingredients: For the refreshing salad you need 250 g sprouted lentils (raw, organic?), 2 chopped shallots, 100 g dried tomatoes in thin strips, approx. 125 g chopped celery, 1 finely chopped garlic clove, a little olive or rapeseed oil and (depending on taste) 2 tablespoons or more apple cider vinegar.

Preparation: Put the pulses and vegetables in a bowl, mix the oil and vinegar and stir in. Season to taste with a little salt, pepper and chopped parsley.

Rapeseed oil is healthier than olive oil . For a healthy diet (based on raw or cooked food), it is recommended to use oil sparingly or even to avoid it altogether.

Vegan recipes with sprouted lentils can be found under the note: " Recipes that have the most of this ingredient ".

Not only vegans or vegetarians should read this:
Vegans often eat unhealthily. Avoidable nutritional mistakes

Shopping - where to buy sprouted lentils?

The best place to buy sprouted lentils is in well-stocked organic shops. They can also be found in the refrigerated section of the usual supermarket chains such as Coop , Migros , Denner , Volg , Spar , Aldi , Lidl , Rewe , Edeka , Hofer , etc. as raw food. You can often get them online via priority delivery. Prefer organic quality, if possible from domestic or even local production.

You should also look out for mold in purchased products. However, the furry, fluffy fibrous roots are often confused with mold. A smell test will help you distinguish mold from the fine roots: mold smells musty, fibrous roots smell more fresh to strongly sharp.

There is a significant difference between seeds (1), germs and sprouts: Lentil sprouts (2) are only one to a few millimeters long and you eat the seeds and roots. Lentil sprouts (3) however, they reach a few centimeters: Lentil sprouts are also edible raw. As sprout greens (4) they then form cotyledons. In this case, the seed is cut away.

Germinate lentils:

If you want to germinate lentils yourself, only buy unpeeled, raw lentils .

Can red lentils germinate? Red and yellow lentils from the supermarket are almost always peeled and therefore no longer germinate. There are also unpeeled yellow and red lentils; however, the seed coat of red lentils is generally darker in color (depending on the country of origin) and is therefore also often referred to as brown or black lentils. 14,15 Organic seeds do not normally contain any germination inhibitors. You can do a germination test before the process by placing just a tablespoon of lentils on a moistened kitchen paper towel (should stay moist).

You will need a propagation device, such as a sprouting jar, a bowl or a sprouting tower. To start with, a clean screw-top jar with a perforated lid is sufficient for sprouting.

During the germination process, you should always keep an eye on the cleanliness! Since the seedlings are very susceptible to mold, the jar should be boiled well. The seeds must also be clean. Rinse the lentils thoroughly with water over a sieve. So that the seeds can start the germination process better, soak the lentils in water for 1-2 hours. This is not absolutely necessary for unpeeled red lentils. After soaking, rinse the lentils well for the first time. To do this, pour away the soaking water, fill with fresh water and then pour well again. Regular rinsing is also necessary during the germination phase. Rinsing twice a day with fresh water is sufficient - except in summer: then 3 rinses per day are recommended. 10

Lentils (like most large seeds) germinate in the dark. Contrary to advice to the contrary on various websites, we do not recommend a bright location. There must be no waterlogging, which is why the jars should be placed at an angle with the opening facing downwards. The lentil seedlings will form after about 1-2 days. If you leave them in the jar for longer, a maximum of 3 to 4 days, sprouts will develop that can be eaten raw. Larger lentils such as plate lentils (6-7 mm) or giant lentils require a longer germination period (see the article Phytic acid or phytate and soaking or germination ). Before eating, rinse the seedlings/sprouts well one last time.


Sprouted lentils should be kept in the fridge and eaten within 3 days. If you store them for longer, they will continue to grow in the fridge, but they will lose valuable vitamins and trace elements - or go bad. Sprouted lentils can be eaten raw straight away or put in a sealable jar or bowl, refrigerated and consumed within two days.

Ingredients - nutritional values - calories:

The nutrients in sprouted lentils are better absorbed. They contain more protein, fiber and vitamins than dried lentils . 5 Eating sprouted lentils does not mean that you consume more minerals such as iron , sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and zinc than with unsprouted lentils. Sprouted lentils are heavier than dried lentils because they swell before sprouting. This makes a one-to-one comparison of the nutrients difficult.

But sprouted lentils contain significantly more vitamin E and B vitamins (including thiamine , niacin and folic acid ). 5 Lentil sprouts, eaten raw, contain a considerable amount of vitamin C (16.5 mg/100g). 4 This is roughly equivalent to the content of pineapple, orange tomatoes or persimmons. Guava (228.3 mg) and yellow bell peppers (183.5 mg) contain significantly more vitamin C. 13

During the germination process, up to 80% of difficult-to-digest complex carbohydrates (triple sugars or trisaccharides) are converted into easily digestible disaccharides. 3

In germinated legumes, the content of the essential amino acid methionine and cysteine, a conditionally essential amino acid, increases.

Cooking sprouted lentils: Cooking sprouted lentils is almost a shame because some of the ingredients are lost.

The complete ingredients of sprouted lentils (including kcal), the coverage of the daily requirement and comparison values with other ingredients can be found in our nutrient tables. In the article Nutrients explained you will get a detailed insight into the topic.

Health aspects - effects:

Lentils are a good source of iron (8 mg/100g) and are therefore considered effective against anemia. Due to the high fiber content, they help with constipation and lower cholesterol levels. They cause blood sugar to rise only slowly and are therefore also recommended for diabetics. The high folic acid content is particularly beneficial for women who want to have children and pregnant women. 6

The phytic acid it contains is said to have an antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic effect. The reduced risk of colon cancer is due to the chelation with iron. Phytic acid has a positive effect on prostate cancer, breast cancer and pancreatic cancer and is also said to lower blood sugar. 1,2

Dangers - Intolerances - Side effects:

Can you eat lentils raw? Raw lentils, like other legumes, have a high phytic acid content. Phytic acid is found inside the endosperm. Phytic acid is very important for the germ, but less so for us humans. Lentils should therefore not be eaten raw, but eating germinated lentils raw is common.

Phytic acid binds minerals and trace elements such as calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium and manganese. These are called indigestible or poorly digestible complexes with food components. Phytic acid also inhibits certain digestive enzymes, but also has positive effects. You can find more information in the article: Phytic acid or phytate and soaking or sprouting .

If you eat raw lentils without germinating them, you will suffer from headaches, vomiting, diarrhea, or stomach and intestinal problems. The germination process breaks down various substances in raw lentils that are unhealthy or poisonous. Among other things, it breaks down the tannins contained in the raw seeds. 12 Tannins are anti-nutritional substances that can render other nutrients completely or partially unusable. In addition, the hemagglutinin content of the lentils is reduced when they germinate. These lentil lectins can cause red blood cells to clump together if unsprouted lentils are consumed in excess and are therefore considered toxic. The germination process is said to reduce the hemagglutinins by 75-100%, although there are also studies that show less. 11 Soaking already leads to a reduced tannin and lectin content.

Mold infestation on sprouts is relatively common. You should always make sure that the rinsing water can drain properly and that no water accumulates. If mold appears, please remove everything and then clean the work surface, containers and your hands thoroughly.

Sprouted lentils and hydrogen cyanide

Sometimes you can find information on hydrogen cyanide and sprouted lentils on the Internet, often the terms B 17 as "vitamin", laetrile or amygdalin appear. Here we explain what it's really all about.

Amygdalin is a cyanogenic glycoside, i.e. a compound between an alcohol and a sugar, which is broken down by the body's own enzymes to produce hydrogen cyanide (HCN) or hydrogen cyanide. This ingredient can be found in a variety of other foods in addition to sprouted lentils. 16

The term "B vitamin 17 " is a synonym for the acronym laetrile or amygdalin - but this is a pseudovitamin that the body does not need for its normal function. There are also rumors dating back to the 1980s that this ingredient has anti-cancer effects. However, this claim was clearly refuted by a systematic review by a Cochrane review in 2015. The study concluded that there is no reliable evidence for the alleged effects of laetrile or amygdalin on curative (healing) effects in cancer patients. 17

The best-known representative is the eponymous bitter almond, because amygdalin comes from the Latin amygdala (ancient Greek ἀμυγδάλη) for almond kernel. However, even though hydrogen cyanide is a toxic component that can accumulate over time, the amounts contained in germinated lentils are not a cause for concern, unlike in bitter almonds.

Unfortunately, we were unable to find any well-founded studies on this, except for bitter almonds, which in turn speaks for the safety of the lentils. In addition, sprouting is definitely worthwhile, as it increases digestibility and reduces the content of resistant starch and anti-nutritional compounds. 18 The greatest danger is not the accumulation of hydrogen cyanide, but possible contamination by various bacteria. 19 However, this happens very rarely and can easily be avoided by good hygiene conditions.

Occurrence - Origin:

The lentil as we eat it today probably comes from the wild lentil Lens orientalis from Asia Minor. Lentils have been planted and cultivated since the Neolithic period. They are one of the oldest types of dried vegetables. 7 In the Neolithic period (approx. 7000 BC), lentils were a major crop in the Fertile Crescent (Bulgaria, Greece). Lentils were also a staple food in ancient Egypt and Palestine.

Today, the main growing areas are Spain, Russia, Chile, Argentina, the USA, Canada and the Middle East. In India alone, over 50 types of lentils are grown.

Cultivation - Harvest:

Lentils are legumes that bind nitrogen from the air with the help of nodule bacteria in the soil, which has a very positive effect on the soil. If other legumes were previously in the field, no inoculation with nodule bacteria is necessary. In addition, lentils are very undemanding and can also be grown on marly, sandy, calcareous, loose clay soils, which can also be quite shallow. They are considered to be weak competitors, which is why weed control in a pure culture is crucial for successful lentil cultivation. Depending on the climate and soil, there are also mixed cultures with oats or barley. Here it is important not to shade the lentils. Lentil cultivation in Europe is still a niche product and is more common in organic farming. 8

Lentils are harvested with a combine harvester, but it is difficult to determine the time of harvest because lentils ripen very irregularly (from bottom to top). Therefore, drying the harvested lentils is almost always necessary.

General information about lentils:

The lentil ( Lens culinaris ), also called lentil, erve or kitchen lentil, is a plant species from the genus Lens ( Lens ), from the subfamily Faboideae, within the family Fabaceae or Leguminosae. 9

The seeds of all plants whose leaves, stems and fruits are edible are suitable for germination. Nightshade plants (potatoes and tomatoes) are not suitable because of the toxic ingredient solanine. Germinated garden beans can only be enjoyed after a 15-minute heating phase because of the phasin they contain. 4

Literature - Sources on lenses:

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