One evening after eating hummus for lunch, I went to CrossFit and the workout was 10 repeat 200 meter sprints. There are very few times I’ve felt like I was going to loose my lunch during a workout, but this was one of them! The hummus had not digested from lunch. It felt like a ball was just sitting there in my tummy as if it were a 50 pounds. Carrying 5 lbs extra even, outside of my tummy is not how I like my 200 meter sprints so it’s easy to say how miserable I was. However, I managed to keep my lunch in my stomach. Thank you Jesus for the not having to deal with that embarrassment…
Legumes, like garbanzo beans used for hummus, have their own agenda in life, which is to germinate, grow and preserve it’s own species, rather than to go easily into our hummus trays. Armed with anti-nutrients, the legume wreaks painful revenge on any gut that consumes them without proper disarming.
During Riley and I’s random mind numbing times of browsing the web for interesting facts, we found an article that went something like, “10 most dangerous natural foods found in the grocery store.” We learned that symptoms of eating dry kidney beans include extreme nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. And if eaten enough of them death could occur. Sound like painful revenge to you? I think so.
The Nourishing Goodness Of Legumes
We all know that legumes have high a protein content, but they also have impressive stores of minerals like magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and molybdenum as well as B vitamins, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
All those science words may not mean much to you, but to me the legumes contribution of potassium and magnesium to the diet is impressive enough. I’ve read that the standard American diet is critically deficient in these minerals. They are vital for the normal function of the heart and circulatory system to help regulate blood pressure and the electrical impulses of nerves and muscle contractions.
The Importance Of Properly Preparing Legumes
Long ago our ancestors were clever enough to devise ways to coax these stubborn legumes into safe nutritious meals. Since then, we have changed our preparation practices to convenience. Instead, we’ve listened to modern food gurus who promote eating raw and unprocessed “whole foods.” The canned and only slightly soaked legumes eaten in the standard American diet are high in anti-nutrient phytates. What are these? Right? I’m with ya.
Basically they are tightly bonded molecules that don’t allow all those rich minerals I spoke of earlier to be readily available. Hints all the bloating and gas we experience.
So, I know, you’re saying to me, “Margo, but you are always saying to eat less refined foods and more natural foods?!” Here is where the time tested preparation comes into play. Properly preparing legumes like our ancestors is the way to nourishing legume meals without the pain, fatigue and bloating. Raw was not natures way, or God’s design, for these legumes to be eaten.
As soon as I started sprouting my legumes and cooking them thoroughly, I immediately was relieved by the easy digestibility. Sprouting legumes really isn’t that time consuming either. I hardly think of it much different than soaking. The process of nature takes care of the hard work.
Step-By-Step Process of Sprouting Legumes
Each legume is not created equal. They all sprout, however, the soaking time and rinsing time may vary. My best suggestion is to keep doing what you are doing until they simply sprout.
- large bowl
- half gallon jar
- cheese cloth or tea towel
- rubber band
- Soak 1 cup legumes in 4 cups water for 12 hours
- Rinse thoroughly and place in the half gallon jar.
- Place a cheese cloth or tea towel on top of the jar and secure with a rubber band.
- Lay the jar on your counter top on it’s side
- Let the jar sit at room temperature for 4 hours.
- Rinse the legumes and place back in the jar
- Repeat this process until the legumes have sprouted.
- Cook beans at a simmer for 3-4 hours before consuming
Most of my legumes I use such as garbanzo beans, kidney beans, navy beans and pinto beans all sprout within 2-3 days.