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    SPROUTING LARGE BEANS: PROBLEMS

by Tom Billings

The following was posted on veg-raw, an e-mail list for raw food vegetarians. It is a reply to the question: how can I eat large, crunchy sprouted beans like kidney beans?

A: Raw kidney beans reportedly are toxic when eaten in large amounts; the toxin is eliminated by cooking. As raw kidney bean sprouts have a bitter, highly unpleasant flavor it could be difficult to consume a harmful amount. Some people who have tried to eat them raw, reported to me that they could not keep them down; they involuntarily vomited after eating them! Anyway, if you insist on eating kidney beans the best way is to sprout them for 1-1.5 days and then cook the sprouts - they require less cooking than dry/soaked beans. Cooked large sprouted beans are not bitter - their taste is similar to that of unsprouted, cooked beans - and they generally produce little or no flatulence (a good reason to sprout, then cook, large beans if you wish to eat them).

Most of the large beans contain enzyme inhibitors and are very hard to digest when raw. Further they usually produce large amounts of gas/flatulence, which is not good for you in the long run. The enzyme inhibitors are destroyed by the heat of cooking; because of this some raw food authors suggest that large beans be cooked before eating, if you choose to eat them. (Certainly there are many other seeds that can be sprouted and eaten raw). Another factor that prevents one from eating raw, sprouted large beans is their taste - extremely bad, so bad that most simply cannot tolerate eating them!

There are limited uses for some of the raw, sprouted large beans. Sprouts of black beans, blackeye peas, and small red beans, are sometimes used in small quantities as a flavoring ingredient in sprouting mixtures and/or salads (in effect, used as a condiment). Sprouted garbanzos, peanuts (also a legume - not a nut), and peas can be eaten alone or used as ingredients for recipes such as raw hummus. Soybean sprouts when short are bitter, astringent, and inedible unless cooked; if sprouted long enough they are (theoretically) edible raw, though you may find their taste unpleasant/intolerable.

Keep in mind that there are many other sprouting seeds, including many small beans/legumes (lentils, garbanzos, beans: mung, adzuki, urad, moth, etc.) that are edible when raw. Perhaps you can substitute small sprouted beans for large in your food preparation?

 

 

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