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Watch the How to Soak and Sprout Beans video

Have you ever tried to soak and sprout your beans and run into problems?  Well, I’m here to help you troubleshoot!

Are Your Dried Beans Fresh?

The most important thing to ask when it comes to soaking and sprouting beans is: Are your dried beans fresh?  This usually means less than one year old.

If your beans are older than one year, you might have challenges sprouting them, but another factor might play a role as well—the season in which you are trying to sprout them.

How to Sprout Beans in the Warmer Months

If you purchased dry beans in the summer, they should be very fresh.  A soak overnight should result in a quick sprout.  But if the beans didn’t sprout, they may not be fresh.

You can take the next step to try to get your beans to sprout by spreading them out in a colander and keeping them moist with a spray of water twice a day.

If your beans still do not sprout after the second day, they are definitely not fresh!  Chances are that your beans are never going to sprout.  And worse, the longer you try to sprout them in the warm summer months, the more chance you run into mold forming or just having them spoil and smell bad!

How to Sprout Beans in the Cooler Months

Now in winter, the technique for sprouting beans changes up a bit.  It’s like that even if your beans are fresh, an overnight soak during the cooler months will not result in them sprouting.  But not to worry!

Spread your beans out in a colander and keep them moist with a spray of water twice a day. Within four days, your beans they should sprout.  Since your kitchen is cooler in the winter months, you won’t run into a problem with mold forming on your beans or having them develop that “off” smell if they take a few days to sprout.

If your beans still haven’t sprouted after four days, they are not fresh!

Can I cook them anyway?

If you are hoping to sprout your beans, but they won’t budge, you can try and cook them anyway, but chances are they will never soften if they are not fresh.  It’s unfortunate, but you are probably going to have to discard them.  So when you shop for dried beans, make sure you buy them from a reputable source with a good turnover.

But don’t worry. It’s not hard to find fresh beans.  Most grocery stores have good turnover, plus the bags the beans are sold in will usually have an expiration date.  Pay attention to that.

Buying beans in the bulk section of your supermarket is a little trickier.  I generally don’t risk it. But if you like to buy beans in large quantities, which is the most economical way to do it, be sure to check the big box stores.  Where I live in central Texas, it’s not uncommon to find 25-pound bags of pinto beans for under $20!

Why Should I Soak and Sprout Beans?

We go to the trouble to soak and sprout beans to make them easier to digest, but there is another reason too.  Beans, like grains, contain anti-nutrients that can make it difficult for the human digestive systems to absorb the nutrients that the beans contain.  Soaking and sprouting the beans deactivates these anti-nutrients so we can absorb the nutrients, making beans a usable source of food.

Soaking and sprouting beans have been a long-standing practice of traditional cultures. Unfortunately, with the onset of canned beans, we lost these practices.  You can bring these traditional techniques back to your kitchen by purchasing dry beans and taking the extra step to soak and sprout them.  Once you have done this, you can cook the beans any way you like.

Now that you know how to soak and sprout your beans, check out these videos on the best way to cook dried beans, as well as how to make a delicious bean and ham soup.

In addition to beans, you can also soak your oatmeal to help make it more digestible.

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How to Soak and Sprout Beans

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 5 minutes
Soaking Time: 12 hours
Total: 12 hours 5 minutes
Yield: 8
Soaking and sprouting beans can improve the nutritional value of beans, so it is worth the time and effort to do it. However, the technique can vary based on the season. An overnight soak might be sufficient in warmer months to encourage beans to sprout, but in the cooler months, it might take a two-step process and a few days longer.


  • Colander or large strainer


  • 2 cups Beans any variety
  • 1 Filtered water sufficient to cover beans


  • Place the beans in a bowl.
  • Pour water over the beans sufficiently to cover them.
  • Allow the beans to soak in filtered water overnight.
  • In the warmer months, the beans should begin to show sprouts within 12 hours. If not, place beans in a colander and place the colander over a bowl. Moisten beans with filtered water twice per day to keep them moist. If fresh, the beans should sprout within 24 hours. If the beans are not fresh, they may not sprout. Leaving them in the colander longer may result in molding or spoiling due to a warmer kitchen in warmer months. You can try and cook the beans, but they may not soften because they are not fresh.
  • In the cooler months, you can leave the beans in the colander, continuing to moisten them with filtered water twice daily. They should sprout within four days. If not, they are not fresh. As stated above, you can try to cook them, but they may not soften because they are not fresh.
  • Once the beans have sprouted, they are ready to cook.



Soak your sprouted beans a second time before cooking. After the beans have sprouted soak them overnight in a salty brine.  Be sure to rinse them well before cooking.  The salty brine will impart a nice flavor, but will not prevent the beans from softening, as is the case if you salt the water in which the beans are cooked.
Dried beans in the grocery store will only sprout if they are fresh. The longer beans sit in your pantry or grocery store shelf, they lose some of their freshness. This means they may not sprout and when cooked may take longer to soften or they might not soften at all.
The weather affects the outcome of sprouting your beans. Be sure to check for tips for sprouting in different weather conditions above or in the recipe card.
Find this recipe and video at
Copyright © 2020 Mary’s Nest, LLC, All Rights Reserved


Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 8mg | Potassium: 645mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 59IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 3mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Americana
Calories: 180
Keyword: how to sprout beans, Soaked Beans, Sprouted Beans, sprouting beans
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Favorite Equipment and Beans

3 Piece Colander Set – Stainless Steel Mesh Strainer Net Baskets with Handles & Resting Base
Pyrex Glass Mixing Bowl Set (3-Piece)
Bob’s Red Mill Beans, Black Turtle
Bob’s Red Mill Beans Red Kidney
Bob’s Red Mill Garbanzo Beans
Bob’s Red Mill Navy Beans
Bob’s Red Mill Beans Great Northern
Bob’s Red Mill Lentils Beans
Bob’s Red Mill Pinto Beans
Bob’s Red Mill French Green Lentils

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Disclaimer:I am not a medical doctor, a medical professional, a dietician, or a nutritionist. All content found on the website, including text, images, videos, eBooks or eGuides, social media, or other formats, were created solely for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or proper nutritional advice. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have watched in a video or read on this website. Use caution when following the recipe in this video. The creator and publisher of this video and website will not be held responsible for any adverse effects that may arise from the use of this recipe and method or any other recipe and method on this website or corresponding video channel.

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  1. 5 stars
    I enjoy your videos very much. Thank you for the information and your time. Your sweet smile brightens the day. I was watching the video just made in April 2020, about beans, and heard about sprouting beans, so I looked up this one. Again, Thanks!

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