My Beans Sprouted While Soaking – Now What?

What To Do With Sprouted Beans

You may have been attempting to shorten the cooking time of your beans by soaking them in water overnight. Now, you’ve noticed some beans have sprouted while soaking.

Although this looks like a cool science experiment, you start to wonder if these beans can still be eaten or if we need to start soaking a new batch of beans.

So are sprouted beans safe to eat?

Beans are a type seed and will naturally sprout in water. Sprouted beans are safe to consume as long as they have not spoiled. Beans that have been soaking in a clean, covered container at room temperature or in the fridge for up to 24 hours will be safe to eat.

Once the soaking beans display signs of spoilage or bacteria – they are not safe to eat.

Sprouting alone will not change whether or not the beans are safe to consume.

Beans Sprouted While Soaking

Beans will typically sprout when soaking in room temperature water. Beans that are soaking in the refrigerator are less likely to sprout, although it can still happen.

Sprouted beans are safe to cook and eat so do not be alarmed if the beans have sprouted during the soak.

Here is a table that shows how long beans can safely soak for:

Bean Soaking LocationSafe Soaking Time
Room Temperature8 to 12 hours
RefrigeratorUp to 24 hours

Keep in mind that beans soaking at room temperature may sprout more when the air is warm due to the outside air or a heater.

Seeds will typically germinate or sprout when they are given water and warmth. So this means beans given a warm soak are more likely to sprout as well.

Signs The Soaked Beans Are Spoiled Or Fermented

If you forget about your beans and accidentally let them soak for a few days then there’s a high chance that they have spoiled.

Some signs that the beans have gone bad are an unpleasant odor or visible signs of bacteria.

If you’re unsure if the soaked beans have spoiled then there’s a decent chance that the beans are still edible.

To verify if the beans are still good and not spoiled or fermented – you can cook one bean on the stovetop as a test. Fermented beans will taste acidic so if the cooked bean tastes sour then that’s fine.

Eating Sprouted Beans

Sprouted beans are not only edible but also easier to digest.

Sprouted beans contain lower amount of antinutrients than regular beans which means it’s easier for the body to absorb nutrients during digestion.

So sprouted beans are actually better for you. Beans that have been safely soaking in clean water are safe to eat whether or not there are any sprouts.

How to Cook Sprouted Beans

Cooking regular or sprouted beans is exactly the same. There is no need to adjust the recipe or cooking time just because some or all of the beans have sprouted.

Simply rinse and drain the beans before cooking them but follow your normal cooking process.

So if you were planning on making a stew or roasting the beans then follow the same steps as you would with soaked beans that have not sprouted.

Storing Dry Beans Safely

Dried beans should be stored in airtight containers or their original plastic packaging at room temperature in the pantry. So a cool, dark location is the ideal spot to store dry beans.

It is not a good idea to store dry beans in the fridge because condensation can occur inside the bag which will cause the beans to absorb the water. This can lead to bacteria growth and spoilage if you are not watching the beans closely.

How Long Beans Last in the Fridge

After the beans have been cooked – be sure to eat cooked beans within 3 to 5 days when properly stored in the refrigerator.

Beans are best kept in an air tight container or zip lock bag for short term storage.

What Happens If You Eat Spoiled Beans

Soaked beans with sprouts are not spoiled beans. However, if you notice a foul odor in your beans and then consume them anyway you’re at risk for a few negative side effects.

If you eat spoiled beans, the consequences are the same as with most food poisonings. Be on the lookout for typical symptoms like nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea. Seek the appropriate medical care if symptoms worsen.

How to Sprout Beans

Sprouted beans are high in fiber, protein, and antioxidants. They’re even easier to digest than regular beans.

If you want to intentionally sprout your beans then follow these simple steps.

Materials Needed To Sprout Beans

  1. Jar
  2. Cotton kitchen towel
  3. Rubber band

Steps To Sprouting Beans

To sprout beans, all you need to do is grab your favorite legume of choice and follow these steps:

  1. Place a few tablespoons of beans into the jar
  2. Fill jar with three times as much cool water as beans
  3. Cover jar with cloth and seal with rubber band
  4. Drain and rinse twice a day
  5. Refill the jar after draining and rinsing
  6. Enjoy sprouted beans within 5 to 6 days

If you have a special lid for sprouting beans, you can tip the jar upside down and let it sit on an angle over a small bowl. The bowl will catch water as it drains and tipping the jar helps with the germination process.

Cook or use the sprouted beans within 2 to 3 days of sprouting.

Final Thoughts

Sprouted beans are completely safe to eat and, in fact, more beneficial than regular beans. So if you spot some little sprouts after soaking your bean then know they are completely safe to eat.

Many people sprout beans intentionally for the health benefits and easy digestion.

So don’t let your soaked and sprouted beans go to waste! Enjoy the delicious meal you planned and cook these sprouted beans as you normally would.

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I'm learning how to catch, grow, and cook my own natural food and my goal is to help others eat more food from nature. Eating natural food can taste great, be affordable and accessible with a little planning. Don't get me wrong, I still eat taco bell and pizzas every so often, but I'm trying to eat more dank food from nature! So let's eat tasty natural food together.

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