Accidental Bean Sprouts

Okay, a really funny thing happened this week.

Remember the other day when I posted about this cool recipe for Crispy Cinnamon Garbanzo Beans? Well, I soaked about twice as many beans as I needed, figuring after that I could try a savory version of the recipe with garlic and parmesan and stuff. But I sort of forgot about them, and never got around to it…

So this morning when I look into the container of soaked but not yet roasted beans, this is what I see:

My first reaction, quite honestly, was “eew.”

Then I looked closer, and I remembered that “bean sprouts” are something generally considered good to eat. And my powers of higher-education deduction kicked in, and I realized that bean sprouts probably occur when, you know, beans sort of, well, sprout.

I tasted one.  Oddly enough, it tasted exactly like a bean sprout. Fairly delicious, actually.

So I started poking around on the internet. And learned that, surprise of surprises, one makes sprouts by soaking beans, nuts, or seeds in water overnight and draining them. Doing it properly then means you rinse and drain them 3 or 4 more times over the next few days.  But clearly the sprouting can still take place without the rinses, because, well, eew, look at my photo.

Nonetheless, this has awakened in me an interest in trying sprouts. Most of them I could take or leave, but alfalfa sprouts on sandwiches are one of my favorite things.  So I checked out a couple of sites: this Growing Sprouts site tells about the different kinds of things you can sprout and how long each kind of sprout will usually be.  The Sprout People site is a veritable encyclopedia of info on sprouting (and check out the picture at the top–look familiar?).  A simple Google search will yield a bunch more possibilities if you’re interested.

But as usual, sometimes the best advice comes from other people who’ve done this stuff themselves.  Any of my readers do any of your own sprouting? I’d love to hear about your adventures!


Posted on April 7, 2011, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. You can still cook the beans after they’ve sprouted, too. Sprouting makes beans more digestable, neutalises enzyme inhibitors, starts the beans producing beneficial enzymes, and breaks down and neutralises a lot of phytic acid. I take the sprouts off before cooking (then rinse them and nibble on them *g*).

    Beans cook a *lot* faster once they’ve sprouted. I had one batch of chickpeas that took only 45 minutes to cook.

    Sprouts from some types of beans are toxic (chickpea sprouts are safe), so check other before eating them.


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