How to Sprout Beans
Bean sprouts are packed full of nutrients - the freshest food you can eat!
You can grow sprouts very easily in your own kitchen.
Click on the video below, we'll show you how!
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Under the video there's a whole lot more written instructions about sprouting beans.
Why eat sprouts?Sprouts are real living food – full of vibrant energy They can play an important role in a healthy diet. Many traditional cultures used sprouted beans and grains. Some nutritionists now believe that traditional harvesting methods caused grains to slightly sprout and ferment before they were consumed – thus making them more digestible.
One of the key properties of ‘living’ foods, such as sprouts, is that they are abundant in food enzymes. Enzymes are the essential catalysts for all the complex biochemical processes which go on in our bodies. The more enzymes we consume with our food, the less we need to rely on the body’s resources, saving us energy. Anne Wigmore, who popularised the therapeutic use of wheat grass, said that enzyme preservation is the key to health and longevity.
Sprouts contain high levels of antioxidants, anticarcinogens, minerals, vitamins, nucleic acids, plant antibiotics and plant hormones - a whole of lot of stuff which works together to give us amazing health benefits.
What can I sprout?
Our favourites are lentils, adzuki beans, mung beans.
sunflower seeds. You might also try other beans (and some
grains and seeds) such as buckwheat, wheat, quinoa, broccoli seeds,
radish, alfalfa and fenugreek.
After years of sprouting and trying all sorts of sprouting gadgets
we find the best arrangement is a preserving jar with a mesh lid.
Buy the lids at health food stores or make your own. Some larger
beans can be sprouted simply in a colander or sieve – but they need to
be rinsed more often.
Look for beans that appear plump and fairly uniform in size and
colour. There should be few, if any, cracked, broken or
discoloured beans. I buy almost all my beans organic because not
only have they been grown with maximum nutrition, they have also been
processed, transported and stored carefully. Buy from a retailer
that is likely to have a high turnover of stock to avoid buying old,
over-dry beans that don’t cook or sprout uniformly.
How to Sprout
Check your beans before use, especially if you notice they aren’t
uniform quality. Remove any discoloured, broken, cracked, or
shriveled beans as they won’t cook properly. The best way may be
to spread them on a tray for sorting.
This is the most important step to get used to when dealing with
beans. Soaking in water rehydrates the beans and removes some of
their natural toxins. Place them in a bowl and cover with plenty
of water. They will swell three or four times their original size
so give them more than enough to drink! Most beans need at least
eight hours to fully rehydrate – usually soaking overnight is
Drain the beans - then rinse daily
Drain and rinse the soaked beans. All you need to do now is
ensure that the beans are kept moist, by rinsing often. Do this
daily at least. Rinse twice a day in hot weather and when
sprouting smaller beans. You sprouts need to breathe – just
like you! This means you need to drain them carefully after each
rinse and not having any of the beans sitting in a puddle of
How long before I can eat them?
As a general rule, wait until the sprout tail is about as long as the seed itself. When the tips of the sprouts are starting to go green transfer them to an airtight container and keep in the fridge. They will remain alive, but their growth will slow right down.
How can we use sprouts in meals?
them on their own, as a snack
- Use them
in lunch sandwiches, roll-ups or salads
them to a stir-fry – cook them just long enough to warm through
up any meal by adding sprouts as a garnish
- Make a salad
Some other helpful hints:
Do I need to grow sprouts in the dark?
The best environment to sprout is generally the kitchen. It’s
neither too bright or dark and also warm and not too dry. Direct
sunlight is not helpful.
Caution!! Be moderate with sprouted beans
There are naturally occurring toxins in many plants which cause us
problems when consumed in excess. Legumes in particular contain
toxic substances that are not entirely removed by sprouting.
Large beans like kidney beans, chickpeas or soy beans, need to be cooked. Mung beans, adzuki beans and some lentils may be eaten sprouted in small amounts. However the health benefits of live foods far outweighs the potential dangers and a healthy body has the ability to detoxify natural toxins of sprouts eaten in moderation.
A note about alfalfa
Alfalfa sprouts should always be grown until mature before
consumption, and not eaten in excess. They contain an amino acid
analogue called canavanine which causes problems for a small percentage
of people. It is best to wait until the sprouts have good colour
and the division of the first leaf has occurred. This usually
takes about seven days.