Now 5! – Four (4) Yummy Ways to Use Sprouted Beans

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sprouted pinto bean chili

Come winter time, we do quite a bit of bean sprouting. This is due in part to less availability of local produce. Sprouting gives us fresh vegetables during those darker, leaner months. Also, beans and winter  go together – but I like to sprout them not only because of the nutritious burst that sprouting gives (increase in enzymes and vitamins) but because sprouted beans digest as vegetables. According to Janie Quinn in Sprouted Baking,

“During the sprouting process, the starch molecules, or complex carbohydrates, are broken down into smaller parts, referred to as simple sugars. Simple sugars are the building blocks that make up complex carbohydrates but in a form that the body absorbs more easily. The body recognizes and readily digests simple sugars for quick energy, as opposed to starches that can be stored as fat. The [seed] sprouts, transforming itself into a plant, and we know that plants consist primarily of simple sugars that easily digest in the body in the form of vegetables.”

Even though she’s addressing sprouting grains, we get the same benefits from sprouting beans. Want to know how to sprout beans? Read Sprouting Beans.

Here the four five main ways I use sprouted beans. When used raw, the sprouted beans offer enzymes, increased vitamins, and vegetable digestibilty. Even though the enzymes are lost due to cooking when you cook sprouted beans, they do still offer the benefit of digesting as vegetables.

1. In Salads (Raw)

Toss a handful of sprouted beans atop your salad greens. They add nutrition, crunch and flavor. Here’s one such salad: Sprout Salad. More mature or less mature sprouts can be used here – the only thing that matters is your preference or what is available.

2. As Salads (Raw)

Run out of greens or other salad fixings? Toss a variety of sprouted beans together with your favorite dressing, nuts, and cheese. Other things to add: olives, diced sweet onions, and crushed garlic. Like a bean salad, only better! If you want to pass it off as a bean salad, use younger sprouted beans that are barely sporting a sprout. But older sprouts can be used in this salad as well.

3. In Dips and Spreads (Raw or Cooked, Depending on Recipe)

You can use barely sprouted beans – either raw or cooked – as a substitute for cooked beans in any bean dip/spread recipe. The flavor may be a little different (if used raw), but I’ve always found these bean dips to be very tasty!

4. In Soups and Stews (Cooked)

Like the pictured pinto bean stew, sprouted beans (just a few days old, with barely a sprout peeking out) make a great addition to a soup or stew. They take only about a half hour to cook and you’ll get the benefit of beans that digest as vegetables, without anyone being any the wiser that they’re eating sprouts. If your sprouts are a little older, you can still use them in stews, but people may be able to see the difference. 😉 See Basic Sprouted Chili.

5. As Sprouted Flour (Raw or Cooked, Depending on Recipe)

Sprout, then dehydrate beans, and grind beans into sprouted bean flour. Then use as a substitute in recipes calling for bean flour. I have not done this – so it is just an idea. But I think it would be awesome. Anyone tried it?

How do you use sprouted beans? Feel free to share more uses or a favorite recipe that follows one of the uses I listed.

Coming up! A Thanksgiving-themed “Gallery of… “ like the Gallery of Soups. More details to come on Monday, November 2!

This post is part of Pennywise Platter Thursday at The Nourishing Gourmet.

This post may contain affiliate links. We only recommend products and services we wholeheartedly endorse. Thank you for supporting Traditional Cooking School by GNOWFGLINS with your purchases. Our family thanks you!


  1. says

    I don’t usually eat beans, but I always make a batch of sprouted chickpea hummus for family gatherings. I take dried chickpeas, soak them overnight, rinse them, and lay them out on a cookie sheet that I’ve covered with a kitchen towel. Then I dampen another towel and drape it on top. Twice a day, usually when I wake up and right before I go to bed, I’ll remove the top towel, rinse the chickpeas, place them back on the cookie sheet, and re-dampen the top towel. I do this for several days until the chickpeas have started to grow tails. At that point I boil them until tender and then sit down with a nice movie and pick all the skins off. I guess skinning isn’t *entirely* necessary, but it makes a noticable difference in the smoothness of the finished product. To make the hummus, I start out using about 2 cups of the skinned chickpeas, 1 clove of garlic, the juice of 1 big or 2 little lemons, 1/3 cup tahini, 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil, and a big pinch of sea salt. Put it all in the food processor and let it go. And go. And go. It will start to get warm, but you want it super smooth. Taste as you go and adjust flavors as necessary. I usually end up adding a little water too, for texture. This hummus always gets absolutely rave reviews and I am ordered to make it every time my family gets together.
    .-= Elizabeth´s last blog post… Apple glazed turkey breast =-.

    • says

      Elizabeth – Thanks for sharing how you do sprouted hummus. I especially like hearing how you handle the skins, which I have never bothered to remove. I wondered if it was really necessary!

  2. Kelli says

    I loved this post. Sprouted lentils in salad are great! So gratifying to watch them sprout. I wonder what sprouted hummus would taste like?

    • says

      Kelli – I’ve had it once and it was really good. Once I tried to make it and it was really bad. But that’s because my sesame seeds had gone rancid. :(

    • Amy says

      I have tried sprouting red lentils recently (in the colander). When I used to sprout some in a Mason jar, they sprouted nicely in a couple days. This time, in the colander, they never sprouted. What am I doing wrong? I can get the other beans, chickpeas, black and white, to sprout that way fine. I had used the lentils in a crunchy roasted lentil recipe (eat them like chips) and they were really good.

  3. Leesie says

    Thanks, Wardee, for the great tutorial on bean sprouting! Sounds like something I want to try now that fall is here and with winter fast approaching. I haven’t been online much (been very busy with my son’s college apps, visits, and all that good stuff!) but finally got to watch your little welcome video! – *sweet* ;o)

  4. Rachel says

    I almost always make my hummus with sprouted garbanzos. I don’t notice any difference in the flavor or consistency. I usually let the tails get about 1/4 inch long before cooking. I’ve peeled the skins off before and it does make for a nicer finished product but it makes the final quantity so much smaller and is so much work that I don’t do it very often. I like to do a really big batch of beans, and then throw the leftovers in the freezer for more hummus, falafel, soups, etc.

    I’ll have to try the other sprouted bean options, particularly lentils. That sounds really good. I’m glad to know that sprouted beans digest like veggies. I don’t do so well with beans but love the frugal, healthy addition that they make to so many meals.

    • says

      Rachel – I’m glad you said you don’t notice a difference in flavor or consistency. When sprouted beans are cooked, I don’t notice any difference either. But if I use raw (sprouted) beans in dips/spreads, then I notice a little difference. I guess I could edit that use up there to be for either cooked or raw sprouted beans. Thanks for bringing that to my attention!

  5. says

    I have never sprouted beans before so this was very informative for me. I have sprouted buckwheat groats, which I love. Has anyone ever sprouted them? I’m interested to see if you do it differently than I do.

    • says

      Amy – I’m glad you asked that, because sprouting buckwheat is different from any other beans or grains.

      I have done it before, and this is how I did it:
      Part 1 –
      Part 2 –

      Basically, I soak them only for 5 minutes, otherwise they get gelatinous (slimy). Then sprout for about a day or so. They grow really fast! We’ve really only had them for breakfast; they make a good cereal topped with cinnamon, honey, raisins, coconut and milk.

      Edit: I have heard of people dehydrating the spouts and using them as breakfast cereal – this way they’d be a bit crunchy and granola like. I might try that soon!

      How do you do yours? How do you eat yours? Thanks for bringing this up, Amy. I’m eager to hear how/what you do with buckwheat.

  6. Kelli says

    I sprouted buckwheat by soaking it for a couple hours, rinsing it really well, it is so slimy, and putting it in a collander on top of a plate (I learned this in Rejuvinate Your Life from and rinsing a couple of times a day until the tail is about the size of the buckwheat. I made the buckwheat granola recipe in a dehydrator, which I suppose would be good if you were raw, but I am not and didn’t love it, its alright. Then I made a cereal, cocoa or cinnamon from Raw Food Real World, which you can get at the library, but beware that you’ll have a big agave mess to clean up in your dehydrator. I really like the cocoa version.

  7. says

    Great post. We don’t eat a lot of raw sprouted beans as we don’t like how they taste that well and Sally Fallon Morell recommends that you lightly steam sprouted beans before eating, but we do like them in recipes. I like your idea about sprouted bean flour too!
    .-= Kimi @ The Nourishing Gourmet´s last blog post… The Healthy Dollar Menu & Gift Carnival =-.

    • says

      Hi, Kimi – Thanks for mentioning that. I didn’t know Sally Fallon Morell recommended a light steam. Good to know – so thanks for pointing it out. :)

  8. says

    I do sprouted buckwheat sometimes and dehydrate with cinnamon and agave or raw cacao powder, sometimes with maple syrup or raw honey. We call them “buckwheaties” and we have them for breakfast just like any cold cereal. It takes some time though, so this isn’t a regular thing. Next time I do it, I’ll try to blog about it.
    Also, plain or flavored dehydrated buckwheat adds an interesting crunch to desert things and as a sundae topping, a little like a candy bar crunch. I bet it’d be good in your coconut bark!
    And a savory spiced or garlic variation might be equally interesting in a salad as a sub for croutons, especially if dehydrated with the buckwheat thickly forming a sheet you break apart when dried. Hmmm… haven’t tried that one yet, but it sounds yummy.
    .-= Faith´s last blog post… The Vegan B12 Discussion =-.

  9. says

    Do you have any recipes for breads etc yet with sprouted beans or sprouted bean flours? With dyour dehydrating ecourse and my local classes I’m getting really excited lol. We have done storage and some on sourdough just finished sprouting and are doing soaking next. (March 4th)

    I have some sprouted whole red wheat and some sprouted chick peas in a borrowed dehydrator right now! :-)

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