Sprouting Chickpeas: The Complete Guide
The chickpea is an annual legume that’s believed to have originated from the ancient middle east before spreading eastwards to Asia and later on to Europe. The plant produces pods which house 2 to 3 peas per pod. While the seeds have multiple culinary applications, we will instead focus on how to sprout chickpeas, their health benefits, and how to store them.
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What Is Sprouting?
Sprouting is the process of soaking seeds, legumes, grains, or nuts in water so as to activate the enzymes responsible for the germination process. The seeds are then stored in containers or kits that allow the water to drain out naturally. The seeds are then rinsed on a daily basis until they begin to grow the first shoots.
What Are Chickpea Sprouts?
Chickpea sprouts are 3 to 6-day old shoots that grow after exposing mature chickpeas to wet conditions. The germination process leads to a drastic increase in nutrients such as protein, minerals, and vitamins in the chickpea sprouts. Chickpea sprouts are at their peak nutrient content when they are about a quarter to a half-inch long. The white roots should be crunchy and crispy; the leaves should be light green or yellow.
What Do Chickpea Sprouts Smell Like?
Sprout chickpeas have a strong earthy aroma, which can turn sour if the sprouts are not drained well during the sprouting process.
What Do Chickpea Sprouts Taste Like?
Chickpea sprouts have a nutty, creamy taste making them perfect for a variety of recipes. When stir-fried, the sprouts develop a meaty flavor making them a perfect vegan alternative in stews.
How Long Does It Take Chickpea to Sprout?
Chickpeas take about 2 to 3 days to sprout, and the young shoots will be ready for harvesting in under 6 days.
Why Sprout Chickpeas?
1. Nutrient increase
The germination process increases the concentration of nutrients in the sprouts by about 20% proteins, 500% vitamins, and 30 % nucleic acid. Reference Source.
2. Easy Digestibility
Sprouted chickpeas contain simple sugars and other readily available nutrients, unlike the dry seeds which have complex carbohydrates. The germination process also leads to the breakdown of proteins into amino acids, which are much easier for the digestive system to absorb.
3. Reduced Calorie Intake
The germination process requires energy that gets released when stored carbs get broken down into simple sugars. This results in reduced calorie content in the sprouted chickpeas. Reducing calorie intake plays a critical role in managing weight.
4. Reduced Cooking Time
Sprouted chickpeas take considerably less time to prepare compared to dry chickpeas. This is due to the softening of the cotyledon as it releases the stored nutrients.
Chickpeas Vs. Garbanzo Beans
Garbanzo is just another name for chickpeas; the word is borrowed from Spanish “carob algaroba,” which literally translated to “kind of pea.”
Health Benefits of Eating Chickpea Sprouts
1. Full of Plant-Based Protein
Sprout chickpeas are a great source of plant-based protein with a single ounce serving providing 3 grams of protein. The increased protein intake will help promote fullness and appetite control. Protein also maintains muscle growth and muscle strength.
The germination process results in increased amounts of essential amino acids which are readily absorbed in the digestive system. Reference Source.
2. Blood Sugar Control
Sprout chickpeas have a low glycemic index (GI) - a marker of how fast your blood sugar increases after consuming a meal. Such meals have been shown to regulate blood sugar management. Sprouted chickpeas also provide fiber and protein content, which play a vital role in blood sugar regulation. How? Fiber slows down the rate of carb absorption that promotes a steady rise in blood sugar instead of a drastic spike, which is short-lived. Reference Source.
3. Improved digestion
Sprouted chickpeas are full of fiber, which improves digestive health. The fiber in the sprouts is mostly soluble, which helps in increasing the population of healthy bacteria in the gut. Having a balance in gut bio reduces the risk of overgrowth of unhealthy bacteria. A scientific study on the effect of consuming chickpeas daily showed an improvement in bowel function and overall healthy digestion. Reference Source.
4. May Help in Fighting Cancer
Sprout chickpeas contain saponins, which are plant compounds that prevent the development of specific cancer cells. However, most of this remains to be seen as research is still being done on the role of saponins on the development of cancer. Sprout chickpeas also promote the body’s production of specific fatty acids, which reduce inflammation in colon cells, possibly reducing the chances of developing colon cancer. Reference Source.
5. Increased Nutrient Uptake
The sprouting process results in increased levels of nutrients that had previously been stored in the seeds making them readily available for absorption upon consumption. These include:
Calories: 480 per 1 cup
Calories are used to drive the metabolism processes in all body cells to provide the required energy.
Protein: 36 grams
The body needs healthy amounts of protein to create new cells and replace worn-out ones.
Vitamin C: 5% Daily Value
Ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C is necessary for the development and repair of body tissues.
Iron: 40 % Daily Value
Iron is required in the formation of hemoglobin, which is crucial in the red blood cell’s role in oxygen transportation.
Sprouted chickpeas have increased isoflavone content, by about 100-fold. The compound mimics the role of the estrogen hormone, thus reducing menopausal symptoms.
Choosing The Right Chickpeas For Sprouting
Look For Raw Seeds - The best chickpeas for sprouting are raw, naturally dried mature seeds. While the drying process does effectively stop chemical processes in the seed, it only deactivates them: once the healthy raw seed is put in water for 8- 12 hours, the germination process will be activated, readying the seed to grow into a sprout.
Avoid Cracked Or Roasted Seeds - Cracked chickpeas might be exposed to harmful conditions that would prevent germination from starting. Any form of exposure to high heat such as cooking, roasting, or tasting will also damage the seeds preventing them from growing into sprouts.
Look For Seeds Labeled As “Sproutable” - In order to avoid low germination rates it's recommended to get those that are clearly indicated as “sproutable” or sprout ready seeds on the package or label. The seeds should also be stored in vacuum-sealed packages.
Our Recommended Chickpeas (Garbanzo)
Brand - Todd's Seeds
Price - $11.99
Quantity - 16oz
Overview - The tasty chickpea sprouts, need high quality beans to sprout. We've chosen Todd's 16oz of seeds for their non-gmo quality and high sprouting success rate.
Can You Sprout Canned Chickpeas?
No, the process of canning chickpeas usually requires cooking, which effectively changes the nature of the seeds and breaks down the chemicals responsible for the germination process.
Different Methods For Sprouting Chickpeas
1. In A Mason Jar
Sprouting chickpeas in a mason jar is not only economically viable, but it also gives you a constant supply of fresh chickpea sprouts. The setup process is easy and only relies on items that are available within the kitchen, except for the chickpeas which you will have to buy.
Equipment Required to Sprout Chickpeas
Large glass bowl
1-gallon mason jar
1 cup chickpeas
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or freshly squeezed lemon juice
1. Soak the dry chickpeas in a large glass bowl half-full of water. Add the apple cider vinegar, which mimics the soil’s acidity. While also decreasing the number of raffinose sugars in the sprouts, which serves to reduce the occurrence of gas.
2. Set the dish and its contents aside to activate, for 8- 12 hours.
3. After the seeds absorb the water, they will become quite enlarged, and the coat will be a bit dull. Transfer the seeds into a mason jar and secure it with a sprouting lid.
4. Rinse the seeds and keep the mason jar tilted upside down. The water will freely flow out through the sprouting lid.
5. Rinse and drain the sprouts several times per day, at least twice for the next 3 to 6 days or until when they will have grown to the desired length
6. Harvest the sprout chickpeas and rinse them under cold water before drying them in readiness for cooking or storage
Youtube Sprouting Methods
The video offers a quick DIY setup for sprouting chickpeas at home and what to do with the sprouts after they are ready for harvesting.
The video focuses on how to increase protein content in seeds like chickpeas for the overall benefit of staying healthy and increasing muscle mass
This video concentrates on the need to consume locally produced and unprocessed protein-based protein such as sprouted chickpeas and how to prepare them.
How to Tell if Your Sprouts Have Gone Bad
Smell: when sprouting chickpeas go bad, they usually develop a foul rotten smell
Look: chickpea sprouts which have gone bad will have a leathery texture and may even have black spots with mold growing on the sprout.
Taste: Sprout chickpea will lose their flavor when they go wrong and become sour
Texture: When chickpea sprouts go bad, they lose their springiness and become soggy
What to Do if They’ve Gone Bad
Sprouting chickpeas that have gone bad should be thrown away immediately, and the container cleaned well with soapy water before being used for the next sprouting project.
How to Make Raw Chickpea Sprouts Edible for Low Immunity Groups
The natural sprouting process exposes the sprouts to bacteria and fungi, which might be harmful to low immunity groups.
Who’s at risk:
Pregnant Mothers: pregnancy usually leads to a drop in the overall immunity of the expectant mother; this makes it much easier for bacteria and fungi culture to invade the digestive system when consuming raw chickpea sprouts.
Chemotherapy Patients: chemotherapy leads to a reduction in the population of immune cells; opportunistic bacteria can invade such a system leading to infections
Patients On Immunosuppressants: these are drugs that weaken the immune system making the patients more vulnerable to bacterial infections.
Children And The Elderly: children have a higher risk of contracting a bacterial infection, primarily via what they eat. The elderly, on the other hand, have old and failing immune systems, which increase the chance of developing infections.
Boiling & Steaming Method Of Killing Bacteria In Chickpea Sprouts
Exposing the chickpea sprouts to 160 ºF (71 ºC) will kill most of the bacteria and fungi cultures, thus reducing the risk of foodborne diseases. However, if you are using a recipe that will require the sprouts to be stir-fried or added into stews and soups, then there’s no need to boil the sprouts as they will be disinfected by the heat involved in the cooking process.
Steaming and blanching will also serve the same purpose as boiling but with the added advantage in that the sprouts get to retain their natural texture and flavor.
Wooden steam bucket (optional)
1. Halfway fill a large pot with water and bring to boil over medium heat
2. If you are boiling the sprouts: add the sprouts into the pot of boiling water and allow them to boil for 5 minutes
3. If you are steaming: place the wooden steam bucket in the pot of boiling water and add the sprouts into the bucket and cover it. Allow the sprouts to steam for 10 minutes.
How to Store Chickpea Sprouts
Chickpea sprouts can be stored via a variety of ways with frozen storage lasting the longest- up to 3 months. However, most short-term storage solutions are limited to a few days due to the delicate nature of the sprouts.
1. In the Fridge
How long: 1 week
Freshly harvested chickpea sprouts can be stored in the fridge where the constant low temperature will keep them fresh and hold off the rotting process for up to a week. You will require to seal the chickpea sprouts in airtight fridge bags.
Large glass bowl
1. Rinse and drain the fresh chickpea sprouts and remove any that might be rotten
2. Use paper towels to dry the sprouts, storing them with moisture will make the flavor turn sour.
3. Add the dry chickpea sprouts into the fridge bag and seal it airtight to prevent contamination during storage and preserve the texture
4. Store the sprouts in the refrigerator for up to 1 week,
How long: 3 months
Chickpea sprouts can be frozen and stored for up to 3 months without any noticeable change in flavor. However, the texture can get soggy after thawing; this makes frozen chickpea sprouts perfect for soups and sauces.
Freshly rinsed and drained broccoli sprouts
1. Wrap the freshly rinsed and drained chickpea sprouts in paper towels and gently pat to dry out the sprouts
2. Place the dried sprouts on a cookie sheet and freeze-dry for up to 1hour in the freezer
3. Transfer the frozen sprouts into a freezer bag and seal it airtight
4. Store the bag in a freezer for up to 3 months. Only take out enough amount for a single serving as the frozen sprouts usually get soggy when thawed
Chickpea Sprouts Recipe
Sprouted Chickpea Falafel
Recipe Inspiration Cookstr.com.
2 cups of raw almonds
1 cup sprouted chickpeas
2 garlic cloves
½ cup raw sesame oil
2 tablespoons soy sauce
½ teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
A teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1. Chop the almonds in a food processor until they form a fine powder. Add the remaining ingredients and mix until they are well blended
2. Shape the dough into 1-inch thick balls and place them on the dehydrator screen. Dehydrate the dough balls for 4 hours at 105°F
3. Roll each ball and dehydrate for a similar period or until the falafel reaches the needed crunchiness.
Sprouted Hummus with Chives and Kale
Recipe Inspiration AllTheNourishingThings.com
3 cups cooked chickpea sprouts
1 bunch of kale- steamed for a minute
3 garlic cloves
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh chives
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon white pepper
1. Add the cooked chickpea sprouts into a colander and rinse under running water
2. Put the freshly rinsed sprouts into a high-powered food processor together with the rest of the ingredients and blend on low, medium speed
3. When the hummus becomes completely smooth, serve with organic blue corn chips, sourdough bread, crackers or plantain chips
Roasted Chickpea Sprouts with Turmeric and Chili
Recipe Inspiration VeganRicha.com
2 cups sprouted chickpeas
3 teaspoons organic canola oil
½ teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon red chili powder
Salt to taste
1. Mix the chickpea sprouts, turmeric, salt, and chili in a large bowl and add evenly add the oil while continuously mixing
2. Spread the mixture on a parchment-lined baking sheet
3. Bake in an oven, preheated to 325 ºF (163 ºC) for 25 minutes
4. Turn over the sheet and bake for another 25 minutes
5. Allow the roasted chickpea sprouts to cool before serving
Chickpea Sprouts and Sweet Potato Hummus
Recipe Inspiration YangsNourishingKitchen.com
2 cups chickpea sprouts
3 cloves of garlic
1 teaspoon Himalayan salt
2 tablespoons tahini
1 sweet potato
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1. Use an instant pot for cooking the sprouts and sweet potatoes together. Alternatively, you can cook them separately by boiling the sprouts for 10 minutes and the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes
2. In a food processor, mix the chickpea sprouts, garlic, salt, freshly squeezed lemon juice, and sweet potato- cooked, skin removed and diced
3. Combine the ingredients until the desired consistency is achieved
Sprouted Chickpeas Burgers
Recipe Inspiration FurtherFood.com
3 cups chickpea sprouts
1 diced onion
2 teaspoons ground coriander
3 teaspoons cumin- grounded
1 tablespoon of chia seeds
½ cup of fresh parsley- chopped
¼ teaspoon of sea salt
3 tablespoons almond meal
1. Whisk the chia seeds and 3 tablespoons of water in a bowl and set aside for 10 minutes
2. In a food processor, mix the chickpeas, garlic, onion, coriander, tahini, and parsley
3. Process the mixture until it achieves a smooth consistently
4. Add the almond meal and chia mixture into a bowl and mix thoroughly
5. Roll the mixture into balls and press into burger shapes using the back of a fork. Place the burgers on a dehydrator for 6 hours at 115 degrees Fahrenheit until the burgers form a nice crust
Can Parrots And Birds Eat Chickpea Sprouts?
Yes, chickpea sprouts are perfectly healthy for parrots and other birds, such as chicken. The sprouts provide the required nutrients for the birds and are easy to digest.
Do You Need To Grow Chickpea Sprouts Differently for Parrots?
No, the same raw chickpea sprouts you are growing for your consumption can be used as snacks for your parrots
How Long Does It Take For Chickpeas To Sprout?
Chickpeas will sprout by the third day after the initial soaking; they are usually ready to harvest by the fourth to the sixth day.
Can You Eat Raw Sprouted Chickpeas?
Yes, raw chickpea sprouts are perfectly edible, but they can be contaminated with harmful bacteria which prefer the moist conditions that are required for sprouting,
Can You Sprout Canned Chickpeas?
No, the canning process usually breaks down the chickpeas during the cooking process, and they can not grow after going through the process.
Do You Need to Cook Sprouted Chickpeas?
FDA recommends cooking chickpea sprouts so as to eliminate any harmful bacteria that might have contaminated the sprouts
Can I Grow Chickpeas At Home?
Yes, you can grow chickpeas at home. Ask for the best variety that’s suited for your climatic conditions.
Are Sprouted Garbanzo Beans Toxic?
Sprouted garbanzo beans are not toxic but when they rot harmful fungi may grow on the surface making them toxic
Where Do Chickpeas Grow Best?
India has the best climatic conditions for growing chickpeas, and it is the leading exporter of chickpeas
Should Sprouted Chickpeas Smell?
Yes, sprouted chickpeas should have a pleasant earthy smell
Why Are Sprouted Chickpeas Healthy?
Sprouted chickpeas are rich in protein and other essential nutrients like minerals.
How Many Hours Soak Chickpeas?
The initial soak should be 8 to 12 hours long.
Are Chickpeas Hard to Grow?
No, like other legumes, chickpeas are easy to grow with minimal labor requirement.
Do you have to Cook Sprouted Beans?
No, you can opt to eat raw sprouted beans or prepare them as per the recipe.
Do Sprouted Beans Have More Protein?
Yes, sprouted beans have more protein content compared to dry seeds.