Pinto beans are a versatile, inexpensive legume, delicious in soups and stews, tacos and burritos. But they can be a bit difficult to digest. Sprouting the beans makes them easier to digest. As a bonus, sprouting also makes beans more nutrient dense and helps them to cook faster.
Pinto beans do not sprout as reliably as some other beans. Because of their lower germination rate, pinto sprouts can be considered done even if only 50% of them have sprouted. Like other beans, one quarter inch of sprout is enough to get all the benefit.
PREPARING TO SPROUT PINTO BEANS
Before you get started sprouting pinto beans, read through these tips:
- Large beans sprout better in cooler temperatures. Keep sprouting beans around 68-70°F, if possible.
- Large beans require a longer soaking period and more frequent rinsing and draining, especially in warmer temperatures.
- Large beans may not get enough air during draining. Make sure your sprouting container allows plenty of ventilation during draining periods.
- It is normal for the skins to loosen and come off the beans. Either pick the skins out or leave them in as they do not affect the flavor.
- Sprouted beans require cooking before consuming.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR SPROUTING PINTO BEANS
- Rinse ½-¾ cup pinto beans, remove any stones or other debris, and place in a quart-size sprouting jar or other sprouting container.
- Add 2-3 cups water, filling the jar three-quarters full, cover with a sprouting screen or mesh sprouting lid. Soak pinto beans at least 8 hours or overnight.
- Drain and rinse pinto beans thoroughly. Invert the jar over a bowl at an angle so that the beans will drain and still allow air to circulate.
- Repeat rinsing and draining 3-4 times per day until sprout tails appear. Taste sprouts (not beans) daily; discontinue rinsing and draining when sprouts have reached desired length and flavor.
- Allow beans to drain for several hours before cooking or transferring to a covered container.
Store sprouts in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
Pinto beans and other large seeds also sprout well in a bag. Learn more in our article How to Sprout Seeds in a Sack.