Here are some reasons sprouting beans is beneficial:
Beans, Beans, the musical fruit,
The more you eat the more you toot.
Ever heard that saying? Well....
1) they don't cause gas. Did you know that? Properly prepared beans (and seeds) don't cause gas. Sprouting neutralizes enzyme inhibitors present in all beans and seeds. These inhibitors also inhibit our own enzymes in the digestive tract causing gas or even stomachache.
2) significantly reduces Phytic Acid. Phytic Acid is that nasty little thing that is known to bind with minerals in the body causing mineral blockers and preventing the body from being able to absorb many of the nutrients that are so beneficial, and necessary. Especially when trying to heal/remineralize teeth. Like, calcium, phosphorous, magnesium, iron, and zinc.
3) sprouting increases the available vitamins A, B's, and C.
It's really not hard to soak and sprout, it's just time consuming. It typically takes 2-3 days to have beans ready to prepare. However, you can easily soak and sprout a large quantity and then can then up in your own jars for future use for that easy open and dump routine that was so alluring for me. With just a little bit of forethought, I could still have that same convenience of just opening a can and using them. Plus, the added benefit of them being healthier.
So, the first thing you want to do is to rinse your beans. Sort them, which just means look for any small pieces of gravel or dirt or anything that looks like it doesn't belong. Then cover them in water. Giving an extra couple inches of water for the beans to expand. Cover them and let them sit for 8-12 hours. I usually do overnight.
Then, you just dump off the water and rinse them. There are actually special sprouting gadgets that you can buy, but I'm not that fancy. I just use a mesh strainer that fits across my sink. Makes it super convenient to rinse occasionally, which should be done every 8-12 hours until you've got the size of sprout on them that you want. This part will typically take 1 1/2 - 2 days.
Anyway, once you've rinsed after dumping off the soak water, leave the beans in whatever you plan to use as your sprouter. It should allow for air circulation, but not so much that it dries them back out. I put a cloth towel or cloth napkin over the top and just let it set on the counter out of the way. Rinsing occasionally.
Once you have sprouts, you can then cook them! I usually wait until I see a good sprout on the majority of my beans.
Add them to your pot, covered in water, and bring to a boil.
Now, I do one extra step that I've never read anywhere, but I do it anyway. Once my beans start simmering and I get just a bit of foam in the water, I then dump that water, and refill the pot one last time.
I don't KNOW that this is a necessary step. However, it just feels right to me. It gets rid of the foam that was forming, and in my mind, I THINK it also helps get rid of just that much more phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors. But I've got nada to back that up. Just a hunch that it helps? Not sure. Though I'd probably do it just to get rid of the foam anyway, even if it proved that nothing else happens. :)
So then I just boil my beans until they are cooked through and soft. You can add anything you want to season and flavor them. Salt, onions, pepper, fresh herbs. Ham? Or beef soup bones? Just add stuff to taste here. I usually just do a bit of minced garlic, chopped onion, salt and pepper. Sometimes I also add some chicken bone broth in place of some of the water for added flavor and goodness.
Now if you were going to preserve the beans by canning, you could do that here instead of fully cooking them. Instead of cooking them first, put the sprouted beans in jars and then cover in boiling water and do a cold pack pressure canning for them. Which just means, the beans are cold and not yet cooked. Pack them in jars, wipe the rims, add the lids, and process in the pressure canner for 1 hour 15 minutes for pints, 1 hour and 30 minutes for quarts. This time should allow for fully cooked beans at the end. Ready to just pop open a can and use them as conveniently as store bought canned beans.
Now, back to the meal I was making with those beans. :) This is as close to a healthy bean and rice meal as I could muster using the ideas from the Cure Tooth Decay book.
I made some white basmati rice cooked in chicken bone broth (that I'd made myself). First measuring out the rice, rinsing it in water and draining it, then adding bone broth. If you can't use the amount of bone broth for the full liquid amount, then use as much as you can and supplement with water for the rest. Then cook the rice like normal. When it's done, it will be kinda yellow looking from the broth.
Then, I topped it with some homemade grass fed butter.
Added some freshly picked and chopped cilantro.
Next the beans, and then topped it with some raw cheddar cheese.
And served with a glass of fresh raw milk on the side. :)
It was so super awesome! Yumm-o!
Now, to add a link to Sprout people so you can search for any kind of bean, nut, or seed you want to see info on how to sprout. :)
This was a fantastically filling meal, it tasted great, and even better, no toots from the musical fruit! :) I guess it's not so musical after all, huh? :)