Beans are considered a healthy eating option to most people. What some people do not realise is that by growing your own bean sprouts, you increase the health benefits even further.
Seeds (in this case beans) go through some quite dramatic changes when they start to sprout. These changes cause some great nutritional properties to the sprout that is produced.
These include increased values of:
Vitamin A and C (Vitamin C can increase from 2% to as much as 59% which boosts our immune system)
Sodium – 4 times more in sprouts than the bean (keeps water in our cells)
Protein is increased by half (keeping muscles fueled for work)
Five times more essential fats in sprouts (giving an emergency energy store for your body when times get hard)
Folic acid by half (reduces likelihood of sickness and stomach pains)
Niacin (reduces likelihood of stomach pains and dizziness)
Chlorine levels (to zero)
They also have fewer calories so if you are trying to lose weight sprouting is a great method to help aid your plight.
There are also financial benefits to sprouting beans. You can buy beans pretty cheaply from most shops. By sprouting them you have free vegetables! This can be particularly useful during winter months when the price of vegetables tends to rise quite considerably.
In a SHTF situation, eating your rice and your canned food can get boring and not provide you with a balanced diet. Being able to sprout beans in a survival situation can keep you healthy and stronger giving you more chance of survival.
How To Sprout
What you will need:
• A mason jar
• Beans that you would like to sprout
• Thoroughly clean your mason jar and make sure the lid fits securely on the top
• Place a thin layer of your beans into the jar (2 – 3 tablespoons should be about right)
• Cover the beans with several inches of lukewarm water. You want to have the water line approximately two inches above the beans
• Place the cloth over the mouth of the jar and screw the ring on top
• Leave the beans to soak overnight (bigger beans will need to be left to soak for up to 24 hours)
• After the beans have soaked, turn the jar over and drain all of the water out. The cloth allows the water to drain out of the jar whilst keeping the beans in.
• Re-fill with fresh water, swish the water around a couple of times and immediately drain again. Shake the jar to make sure as much water as possible has been strained out
• To avoid any water sitting in the bottom of the jar, you may want to leave the jar on its side over a paper towel for a few minutes
• Once all water is out of the jar, put the lid and cloth back on
• Repeat this rinse process twice a day (morning and night) for the next few days (usually 4 – 6) until your sprouts are at the size you wish to eat. This is normally somewhere between 1.5 – 3 inches or when they sprout their first green leaves
• During the sprouting process the jar of beans should be stored in a cool, dark place such as a kitchen cabinet. Only take the jar out of the dark place to complete the twice daily rinses and then return it.
When the bean sprouts are ready to eat, remove them from the jar, rinse them one more time and pat them dry with paper towel. Once they are removed from the jar, keep the sprouts refrigerated and eat within one week.
Best Bean Varieties
There are many varieties of beans you can use for sprouting. Here is a list of some of the common beans used and what you can use the sprouts for:
Low in saturated fat, very low in cholesterol. Good source of protein, vitamin B6, iron and dietary fibre. Used frequently in Oriental dishes and in salads. When you buy bean sprouts from your grocery shop, they’re most likely mung beans
High in protein, vitamin C and fibre. Good for use in stews and casseroles.
Contains nutrients beneficial in the prevention of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis and heart disease. Perfect for use in sandwiches and salads.