Because the pinto beans in this chili are sprouted prior to cooking, they digest as vegetables. That’s a good thing for people who are watching their carbs. For more information on that, and to see other uses for sprouted beans, see 5 Yummy Ways to Use Sprouted Beans.
Rest assured, those who normally shun sprouts won’t know the difference. The beans become part of the soup when barely sprouted and they don’t taste any different.
With the exception of sprouting the beans for about three days prior to making the chili, you can use any favorite chili recipe. This is my general recipe for making sprouted bean chili. Adjust the seasonings however you’d like. This isn’t a spicy chili, so if you use my suggestions, you’ll end up with a mild chili that everyone will like.
I routinely double this amount.
- 2 cups dry pinto beans
- 1 onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, diced
- 1 pound grass-fed ground beef
- 1 can tomato paste
- 4 cups homemade stock or water + additional as desired for consistency
- 2 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon sea salt, plus additional to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, plus additional to taste
- 1-1/2 to 2 tablespoons cumin, or to taste
- 1 tablespoon paprika, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- garnishes: sour cream, diced onions, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, etc.
First through third day (approximately). Soak the dry pinto beans in water overnight, or for 8 to 12 hours. A stainless steel pot with a lid makes a good sprouting container. After 8 to 12 hours, use the lid to help drain the water without spilling the beans. Leave the pot out at room temperature, with the lid partway off, so the beans have plenty of airflow while they begin sprouting. Now for the next two to five days, rinse the beans well each morning and evening. If the temperature is warm (higher than room temperature – 72 degrees), add a mid-day rinse, or additional rinses as necessary to keep beans fresh. Watch for the beans to sprout. When most of them have 1/8″ to 1/4″ sprouts, they’re ready to become part of the chili. If it has been awhile (like half a day) since the last rinse, give them a good final rinse and drain.
When beans are sprouted and ready. Brown together in a medium or large stockpot over medium to medium-high heat: ground beef, onions, and garlic. I leave the meat somewhat chunky – this way everyone gets a few decadent-sized pieces in their bowl, rather than a million miniscule pieces. That’s what we like.
Combine the tomato paste and stock (or water) in a 4-cup measurer, and whisk until smooth. Add to the meat mixture. Add the beans and all spices. Bring to a simmer, then turn down heat and let simmer for 20 to 30 minutes to cook the sprouted beans and develop flavor. Adjust seasonings.
Serve with desired garnishes.
© Copyright 2009 by Wardee Harmon.
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