Are you scared? You should be because I love beans, but let's just say they don't always love me. Nor does anyone else after I have eaten them. How's that for brutal honesty? Seriously, though, the dietary benefits of legumes are undeniable, and we eat tons of small lentil-type legumes several days a week in our house without a hitch. It's those other larger beans, however, that are so great if you're trying to eat more meatless meals that wreak some record-breaking havoc on the intestines...even if you eat them all the time. Yes, theoretically, your body is supposed to better tolerate them the more often you eat them, but I've eaten a ton of beans over the past 8 years overseas and my family would argue that nothing has changed. :) So, if you're like me, do you cut out this economical, power-packed nutrition altogether? I haven't given up, and I think I've finally found a solution that everyone around me can live with--sprouting. Not horns, but miniature plants.
There is a ton of very technical research on the internet about the benefits of sprouting which people can get a little cuckoo about, but here's the reason I tried it: The body breaks down sprouts more like a vegetable so it reduces the war that happens in the body afterward. Other research suggests that not pairing beans with meat sources can also help, which I have found to be true. The verdict is that after we tried sprouting in our house this extra step in bean prep seems to make a significant difference. I ate a massive amount of mixed beans in chili and felt great the next day!
|Beauties sprouting in my kitchen|
- Soak your dried beans overnight then drain them.
- Place them on a cookie sheet lined with a lightly dampened towel.
- Cover the beans with another lightly dampened towel.
- Every evening and morning, give the beans a good rinse in a colander, redampen the towels, and put everything back on the cookie sheet. If your house is hotter than 75F, give them a midday rinse, too.
- Keep letting the beans go through this cycle until they have tiny tails.
- To cook them, start with about half your usual cooking time and check them, as they will cook a good bit faster than other soaked beans.