Simple food often satisfies in heart matters. Plant-foods contain heart protective antioxidants and phytochemicals. Perhaps the best food for heart, and overall, health is the bean, and other legumes.
Most often thought of as poor man’s food, it’s likely that in these times we will think of them as what they are: life saving and life giving.
Today I share a simple thing to do with beans: sprout them. Yes, it’s easy, fun, delicious and nutritious.
Use organic beans of any kind. Get your equipment together. You need a quart glass jar, a jar screen or piece of cheesecloth, and a rubber band. (One student asked about using pantyhose as a jar cover but I don’t know if it works. I have semi-successfully used a paper towel when that’s all I have.)
Put 4 tablespoons of beans in the jar. Fill with clean water, put on your choice of cover, and let sit overnight, or all day. Dump the water out (use it to water houseplants), rinse and now turn the jar at an angle, upside down, and put into a bowl in a dark cabinet where you will remember it.Rinse and drain thoroughly each morning and night for 2 to 4 days, until the beans have a short tail. Taste a bean and if it’s crunchy and delicious, it’s ready to eat.
Recently, I was introduced to the Mini-Sproutmaster three stacking tray system and have found it to be almost as easy as the jar method but the sprouts grow straighter. You do the initial bean soak in a jar, then put them in the sprouter. I keep the Sproutmaster on my countertop and rinse through it. When the sprouts are done, if there are any sprouts in the mix that benefit from sunlight to pull in chlorophyll, I open the sprouter and put it near, but in direct, sunlight. In a few hours, the sprouts turn green, and they are then ready to use or store in the refrigerator.
If the beans smell funky or are slimy, toss them into the compost – they’re bad. This rarely happens, unless you’re in a very warm and humid climate.
Use the bean sprouts as salad or salad toppers, turn them into raw hummus or use them in cooking, which only requires a few minutes.
My favorite legumes to sprout are garbanzo beans and lentils of any kind. Sprout the ones you love.
Simple Sprouted Bean Salad
2-3 cups sprouted beans and/or other sprouts
2tablespoons honey mustard or Dijon mustard plus 2 teaspoons agave syrup
2tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
1tablespoon rice wine vinegar
¼- ½teaspoon salt or reduced sodium tamari
Combine dressing ingredients in a small glass jar and shake. Pour over sprouts and serve.
Jill usually has a jar or Mini-Sproutmaster tray of sprouts going at all times. She varies what she grows according to her whim.You can check out more about Jill at http://www.theveggiequeen.com and more about sprouts and the Veggie Queen sprout blend at Sprout House.