I’d love to grow a little vegetable garden, but my yard is too shady, so I’ve been having a lot of fun sprouting beans in my kitchen. I love sprouted chickpeas, lentils, and mung beans. I eat them raw or lightly sautéed in olive oil with sea salt. I put them on salads or in soups, and they’re great alongside a fried egg. I love the texture, and the sprouting process changes the nutrient value and the way that your body processes the beans. They are a tasty, super-healthy, low-calorie food.
You don’t need any special equipment. I like sprouting the larger beans in a colander covered with a towel, and I sprout the mung beans in a glass jar with plastic netting over the top, secured with a rubber band. They are ready to eat in 2-3 days. You can get beans for sprouting online or locally. I found a great selection in the bulk section at Mom’s Organic Market, and a smaller selection at Whole Foods. Remember that the dried beans you use must be whole — no split lentils or peas. I found a great website that will tell you — and show you — everything you need to know about sprouting: http://sproutpeople.org If you follow their directions about rinsing and airflow, you’ll grow safe and healthy sprouts. Today I started growing a batch of micro-greens. I can’t wait to see how they turn out!
I also like to make homemade hummus. I make several variations, but my latest favorite is beet hummus. Here’s my recipe:
Sandy’s Beet Hummus
2 roasted beets (peel, cut into quarters, and bake at 375 degrees for approx. 25-min. or until tender)
1 can of chick peas, drained and rinsed
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
1 clove of garlic, minced
pinch of salt
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
Process all ingredients in a food processor until very smooth. Refrigerate.
Now let’s put it all together for a great snack:
Spread beet hummus on a celery stalk, and sprinkle with raw sprouted lentils and/or chickpeas. It looks beautiful and tastes great. Your body with thank you!
p.s. This cookbook is full of delicious and interesting recipes with beans and grains. In addition to the savory stuff, there are even recipes that include beans in pizza dough, oatmeal cookies, and brownies. I’ve tried all of them and they are good!