Harvest Mondays, April 2, 2012 – Growing Pinto Bean Sprouts

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Pinto beans sprouts

Pinto bean sprouts like the other sprouts I posted are also very easy grow. But there are differences in the soaking time and the sprouting time.

While chickpeas and lentils need only 8 – 12 hours of soaking and will start sprouting 24 hours after drained, I find pinto beans needed to be soaked for 24 hours and did not start sprouting until the 3rd day after drained and may take longer depending on the room temperature (one of my batches took 4 days because my house was on the cool side).

At the end of the 3rd day when the beans start to sprout (roots are between 1/16 – 1/4 inch in length) I rinse the sprouts and cook them for 10 – 15 minutes (sprouted beans cook a lot faster). Cool the cooked sprouts, package, label and freeze for future use (I like to  prepare a big batch, 2 – 3 cups dry pinto beans at one time).

Like all sprouts they are low fat, high fiber and a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. I read that sprouted beans are more nutritious than dried beans.

If you are an individual who have problem digesting dried beans, try the sprouts. Sprouting changes the dried beans to a vegetable (think mung bean sprouts). Sprouting also changes the indigestible carbs in dried beans to digestible carbs.

To Cook
Place pinto bean sprouts in a pot, add about ¼ – ½ inch of water. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 10 – 15 minutes, gently stirring once or twice. Leave the sprouts in the pot to cool, they will absorb any water leftover from simmering.

To Freeze
Method 1 – Spread cooled pinto bean sprouts on a plastic wrap lined rimmed baking sheet, cover with another sheet of plastic wrap and place in freezer. Once frozen remove to a freezer bag or container. Date, label and return to freezer. This freezing method is known as IQF (individual quick frozen).
Method 2 – Package into individual meal sized portion. Date, label and freeze.

To Use
Uncooked – Add to soups, stews, chilis, rice, etc.
Cooked – Add to salad, substitute for canned pinto beans, and of course can be added to soups, stews, chilis, rice, etc.

My favorite use is to make brown rice and beans (measure brown rice into pot. rinse, add water, toss in some cooked pinto bean sprouts (frozen from the freezer) and cook as usual).

What you will need:
a clean colander
paper towel
pinto beans, picked over carefully to get rid of any debris and broken seeds

1. Rinse pinto beans well in serval changes of water. Place rinsed pinto beans in a container, cover with 3 – 4 inches of warm water, soak for at least 24 hours to rehydrate.

Left, dry pinto beans. Right, soaked pinto beans (after 24 hours)
(Click on photo to enlarge)

2. Drain soaked pinto beans and spread in colander (no need to line), cover beans with a layer of paper towel. Spray with cool water, drain well. Place colander in a warm spot. Do not place in a closed cabinet where there is no air circulation. I keep mine on the kitchen counter.

3. Rinse pinto beans with cool water 2 – 3 times daily, drain well after each rinse. Return colander to warm spot. Do not allow paper towel to dry out between rinses.

This is what the beans look like after 2 days (48 hours), just a very tiny bit of swelling, no sign of sprouts. (Click on photo to enlarge)

This is what the sprouts look like after 3 days, most of the beans have sprouted and the roots are between 1/16 – 1/4 inch in length. This is the stage I rinse and cook them, both the sprouted and the unsprouted ones.

For this post, I started out with 8 ounces (1 cup) of pinto beans and ended with about 1¼ pounds (about 2½ cups) of sprouts.

Related posts you may be interested in:
Click here for Growing Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) Sprouts
Click here for Growing Lentils Sprouts
Click here for Growing Mung Bean Sprouts

Copyright © by Norma Chang

Visit Daphne’s Dandelions http://daphnesdandelions.blogspot.com/ for more Harvest Mondays

About Norma Chang

I am the author/publisher of 2 user-friendly Chinese cookbooks: "My Students' Favorite Chinese Recipes (updated edition)" and "Wokking Your Way to Low Fat Cooking" A gardener who enjoys cooking and eating and loves to think outside the box A garden volunteer at Locust Grove Heritage Vegetable Garden Conduct hands-on cooking workshops for teenagers Conduct cultural programs for children and family Conduct healthy cooking classes for adults
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50 Responses to Harvest Mondays, April 2, 2012 – Growing Pinto Bean Sprouts

  1. Interesting post 🙂 I didn’t know there were so many types of bean sprouts and that you need to soak them hehe ~

  2. Liz says:

    You are the queen of sprouts. I bought a pack of mung beans the other day inspired by your posts – this reminds me that I must plant them.

  3. hotlyspiced says:

    I’m not sure if we can buy pinto beans here in Australia. I’ve never heard of a ‘pinto’ bean. I’m sure we do have them here but they must have a different name. I’ll look it up on google. I hate to sound lazy but I usually buy my beans in cans rather than go through the soaking business – I know, I should be more like you! xx

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Hotlyspiced,
      You most likely have something similar in Australia.
      For someone who “sound lazy” you sure do an awful lot of cooking and baking and involved in so many activities.
      Let face it, you have only 24 hours in a day like the rest of us, no way you can do everything.

  4. maryhysong says:

    well I never even thought about sprouting pinto beans! how fun.

  5. Hi Norma,

    Another new one for me sprouting and then freezing these beans-thanks so much for the informative posts!!

  6. kitsapfg says:

    Once sprouted and cooked, do you use them the same ways that you would used soaked and cooked dried beans in general? The sprouts do not look very big, so I am assuming you are not really focussed on the sprout portion of the finished product or am I off track?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Kitsapfg,
      You are correct, I am focusing on the barely sprouted beans. Yes, I use them the same way as soaked and cooked dried beans or a substitute for canned beans.

  7. Daphne says:

    I’ve never sprouted the common bean before. I’ve done lentils and mung beans. But I usually sprout them more. I like seeing green in my sprouts and usually don’t like the seed coat. But regular beans might be interesting. I love them as dried beans, I might like them more as barely sprouted beans.

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Daphne,
      I don’t mind the seed coats on the barely sprouted beans, actually they are not that much different from the soaked and cooked dried beans. Your dried beans most likely will sprout in a shorter time because they are homegrown. I got into sprouting dried beans because of family member having problem with the indigestible carb in dried beans.

  8. Kristy says:

    This is completely new to me. I’ve never heard of sprouting beans before! What fun. The kids would get a kick out of this for sure. 🙂

  9. Barbie says:

    See, I have this ‘thing’ about the poor beans once they have the root started. I could eat them if someone elase had cooked them and I hadn’t seen them first, but once I see them I have to plant them. LOL>

    I think I might be sick. Is gardening a disease?

  10. ChgoJohn says:

    I’d no idea how to start any kind of sprouts, so, this was very informative. And I didn’t realize that sprouts were more nutritious than their beans. Thanks, Norma, for today’s lesson. 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello John,
      We are learning from each other. I think you will like the chickpeas and lentils sprouts posts. Yes, I read that sprouted beans are more nutritious than their dried form.

  11. pastepants says:

    I had no idea that eating sprouted beans were healthier than dry beans! Thanks for teaching me something new today =)

  12. Eva Taylor says:

    That sprouting changes the nutritional value of the bean surprised me as well; and now I’m reading they are more digestible too, win win. I’m going to have to give these a try, enough procrastination!

  13. zestybeandog says:

    I LOVE this post! I want to sprout some beans right now! It sounds so easy. Thanks for the informative post 🙂

  14. Veggiewitch says:

    This is exactly what I needed to read today! I’d love to start sprouting beans, but hadn’t (until now) found any information I was keen to follow.
    Thank you soooo much! *squishy hugs*
    Veggiewitch ♥

  15. mac says:

    Good to know another bean sprout, have you sprouted soybeans? I have difficulty in sprouting soy, it wants moisture but the beans spoils quickly.

  16. This is great Norma! I have so many different beans in mind that I want to sprout now after this series. P.S. Do you buy sprouted tofu or regular? I have been buying the sprouted and always think of you and have been meaning to ask!

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello lyssa,
      I did not know about sprouted tofu, must look out for it next time I go shopping. Is there a difference in taste? I guess there is a difference in nutritional value.

  17. Pinto beans always look so fun with their spots. Great post!

  18. Norma, after “accidently” I had garbanzo beans sprout, I absolutely fell in love with pre-sprouting all beans before I cook it. Thanks for sharing. I also noticed that pre-sprouted beans are easier to digest. Have you noticed that too?

  19. Juliana says:

    Like the idea of sprouting pinto beans…I’ve tried garbanzo beans and lentil…my husband loved it!
    Again, thank you so such an informative post Norma.
    Hope you are having a wonderful week 🙂

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Juliana,
      I am so glad to learn that your husband loved the garbanzo beans and lentils sprouts. Hope you both like the pinto bean sprouts too. A wonderful week to you too.

  20. So interesting, Norma. You are such a great teacher!

  21. Andrea says:

    Iv’e never tried sprouts, (i do like to soak my beans overnight) i like the sound of these pinto beans so maybe its time i gave sprouting a go……….. ……………..

  22. Charles says:

    As Charlie mentioned earlier, I have to admit to buying most of my beans in cans too – Usually, soaking beans requires a level of planning to a meal and 9 times out of 10 I usually don’t decide what I’m making until almost right before I cook it. I’ve been enjoying your sprout posts a lot though, so I will be soaking up some beans soon! 🙂 Do you know if there are any beans that you can’t / shouldn’t sprout? I guess not, right?

    • Norma Chang says:

      Hello Charles,
      I have the same problem with soaking beans overnight.
      Glad you enjoy my sprout posts. I don’t know of any beans that one shouldn’t sproout. I do have problem trying to sprout soy beans, unsuccessful so far.
      Check out the post I just published.

  23. Linda Lewis says:

    Thanks for this post, Norma. I’m going to save it.

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