How to Know When Sprouted Garbanzo Beans Have Spoiled

Garbanzo beans (full frame)

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Delicious additions to stir-fries and hummus, sprouted garbanzo beans are rich sources of macronutrients and micronutrients. They are good sources of digestive enzymes, protein, calcium, magnesium and iron, as well as vitamins A and C. Because the sprouting process breaks down some of the starches in the garbanzo beans, the sprouts are typically more easily digested than regular garbanzos, also known as chick peas. To get the most flavor and nutrition out of your garbanzo bean sprouts, eat them when they are fresh.

Characteristics of Fresh Sprouts

Your garbanzo bean sprouts are at their peak when they are between 1/4-inch and 1/2-inch long. Their white roots should be crispy and crunchy, and the surface of the roots should be slightly moist. If you’ve exposed your roots to sunlight after sprouting, the leaves should be yellow or light green.

Characteristic of Spoiled Sprouts

Garbanzo bean sprouts that are past their prime will have roots that have begun to darken. They will be slimy or mushy to the touch. They might also have a musty odor, and you might find visible mold either on the root or on the bean.

Ideal Growing Conditions

While you are sprouting your garbanzo beans, pay close attention to the air circulation and moisture levels in your sprouter. If you crowd too many beans into the sprouter, the garbanzo beans might spoil or rot while sprouting. Likewise, if you have too much moisture in your sprouter, the beans might become moldy as they sprout. Those sprouts are spoiled and should not be eaten.

Ideal Storage Conditions

Storing your sprouted garbanzo beans properly can keep them fresh longer. As soon as they’re ready -- typically three or four days after you begin the sprouting process -- remove the sprouts from the sprouter. Give them a quick rinse in cold water, and wrap them in paper towels. Then, place the paper towels in a sealable plastic bag in the refrigerator. Store them in the crisper or the coldest part of your refrigerator. They should ideally be stored at just under 32 degrees Fahrenheit. When stored properly, the sprouts will remain fresh for up to five days.