How to sprout and cook beans

Instructions for Cooking Beans

1) Rinse beans and sort out any small stones etc.
2) Soak. For large to medium sized beans, soak for approximately eight hours. Soaking increases digestibility reduces cooking time. Small beans can be cooked without soaking if desired
3) Sprout if desired. Sprouting improves digestibility even more as well as further shortening cooking time. For more information, see instructions below on sprouting beans.
3) Rinse and cook with 2-4 time as much water as beans (less water if soaked or sprouted)
4) Add fennel seeds or kombu seaweed to the water to minimize gas producing potential of the beans.
5) Skim the froth off the top of the water as it forms during cooking.
6) Beans are done when you can easily mush them up against the roof of your mouth
7) Most cooked beans,(except for lentils) freeze well. Use glass mason jars filled 2/3’s full.

Sprouting Beans: Best way to Prepare Easy-to-Digest, Quick-Cook Beans 

Garbanzo, mung beans, lentils, adzuki and whole peas sprout particularly well.


Black, kidney, black eyed pea, Northern and pinto may not but it depends upon your source. If they are pasteurized or irradiated they will for sure not sprout.

Sprouting a combination of different beans at once works best when they are the same size.   If you're just sprouting the one's I mentioned above you can use good ole organic beans bought in bulk from the health food store.

1-Wash then soak beans for 8-12 hours (in a glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl)
2-Drain, rinse and cover.
3-Rinse twice a day until a ‘tail’ emerges from the end of the bean. Use sprouted beans as soon as this ‘tail’ is visible or wait until it grows as long as ¼ the length of the bean.
4-Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. Sprouted beans cook in just a few minutes. Cook them until soft though they don’t need to be AS soft as unsprouted beans need to be. With sprouted beans they are digestible even before this stage-so experiment and see what feels best and tastes best to you.


Cooking times for unsprouted (or lightly soaked beans)

Aduki/Adzuki Beans(ok)
-From Japan -small, oval, dark brown or purple
-Good source of protein, minerals, good for kidney arilments, easily digested
To cook one cup dry beans:
4 cups water, for 60 minutes - yield 3 cups.

Black Turtle Beans (ok)
-From Latin America – very versatile black bean with a soft, creamy texture
-Good source of zinc, lower in fibre than most beans.
To cook one cup dry beans:
4 cups water, for 60 minutes – yield 2 cups

Black Eyed Pea/Bean(ok)
-Originally from China-a bean not a pea- Black spot (eye) identifies this versatile white coloured bean.
-Good source of B-complex vitamins, average protein content

To cook one cup dry beans:
(soaking optional) 4 cups water, for 60 to 90 minutes – yield 2 cups

Broad /Fava Bean (ok in moderation)
-From ancient Egypt – large, light brown bean with tough skin that can be removed after cooking.
-Good source of calcium, iron and phosphorous4 cups water, 90 to 120 minutes- yield 2 cups
To cook one cup dry beans:
4 cups water, 90 to 120 minutes- yield 2 1/4 cups

Chickpea/Garbanzo Bean (ok in moderation)
Cultivated since 5000BC, popular world wide, tan tolour, medium sized and very versatile.
-excellent source of many nutrients, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, iron, vitamins, very high in folic acid.
To cook one cup dry beans:
-4 cups water, 90 to 120 minutes- yield 2 cups

Great Northern Beans(ok)
-Medium sized white bean, famous in baked bean dishes, mild flavour
-Good source of protein and carbohydrates – low in fat
To cook one cup dry beans:
3 cups water, 90-120 minutes- yield 2 cups

Kidney Beans (ok)
-popular bean with distinctive red colour and shape – robust flavour
-very high in minerals, low in fat, high in fibre and protein
To cook one cup dry beans:
3 cups water 60 -90 minutes – yield 2 cups

Lentils(yellow and red-limit, green and brown- ok)
-related to peas, from ancient Asia, easily digested
-high in minerals and vitamins A and B complex – low in fat, high in fibre
To cook one cup dry lentils:
(soaking optional) 3 cups water, 3- -40 minutes, - yield 2.5 cups

Lima/Butter Bean (limit)
-Can be traced back to the Incas – has distinctive flavour and light green colour
-high in protein and minerals – may be more difficult to digest than other beans for some
To cook one cup dry beans:
2 cups water, 60 -90 minutes – yield 2 cups

Mung Beans(ok)
-From India and China – most often seen as ‘bean sprouts’ in Chinese Cuisine
-used therapeutically for their detoxifying properties – high in nutrients, low in fat and calories and easy to digest
To cook one cup dry beans: (soaking and or starting sprouting process – optional) 3 cups water, 45 – 60 minutes – yield 2 cups

Navy Beans (limit)
-Similar to Great Northern but smaller – higher in some minerals than Great Northern
To cook one cup dry bean:
2 cups water, 90-120 minute cooking time – yield 2 cups

Pinto Beans(ok)
Widely used but popular in Mexican dishes
-brown speckled in colour- good source of potassium, iron, calcium and protein, high in folic acid.
To cook one cup dry beans:
3 cups water, 90-120 minutes – yield 2 cups

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