DIY: Sprout Your Own Beans

Am I allowed to say that sprouts are my favorite food? Do they count?

Sprouts really are magical (and not just because they seem to be infinite when you're eating them from their tiny store-bought containers). Sprouts are rich in digestible energy: vitamins, minerals, amino acids, proteins, enzymes and phytochemicals—all of which happen to the beans during their sprouting process. These nutritional changes occur as a result of the break down of reserve chemical constituents (like protein, starch and lipids) into simple compounds that can then be used to make new compounds. Because enzymes act as catalysts for the digestion of nutrients, it is the increased activity in the hydrolytic enzymes that improves the value of the bean and allows you to more successfully digest its nutrients.

Translated into simple terms: it’s magic. And nearly effortless.

The Farm to Philly blog posted directions on Sunday for sprouting your own beans from home. Check it out after the jump:

Sprout Your Own Beans:

Not only do sprouted beans pack a great crunch, they are also higher in enzymes, fiber B-vitamins and protein than cooked or canned beans, an easy protein-pick if you’re eating raw, and easy to make yourself. Garbanzo beans (or chickpeas) work especially well and make a wonderful hummus, as do green lentils. Mung beans, adzuki beans are other popular choices.*

1. Place 1 cup of dried beans in a large jar. Fill with water and soak overnight.
2. Drain the beans, leaving them in the jar.
3. Every day, rinse the beans and drain again.
4. When the beans have sprouted long white tales, they are ready to eat and should be kept in the refrigerator.

The beans will “grow” as they sprout, so make sure to leave extra jar room. I like punch holes in a few jar lids with a hammer and nails so I have a permanent straining solution! Enjoy on salad, in curries, as spreads, in pasta - however you usually eat beans!

* Do NOT eat raw sprouted black beans, kidney beans or soya beans as they produce a poison before they are cooked and will likely make you sick. You CAN sprout black beans and then cook them.