February 18, 2012

Sprouted beans

About two years ago I wrote a humorous post about going to Costco for the first time and spending $100 on crazily big sizes of foods we may or may not have needed — or been able to consume. Well, it seems especially appropriate for a food blogger to eat her words when she has a big change of heart about something, and I solemnly do eat my words about Costco. We joined. And now we routinely run out of things we buy there and go back. On purpose.

This won't be a post about all the stuff we get there (even things like organic hemp seeds!) but specifically about a three-pound bag of something called truRoots sprouted beans that I bought on a whim, and really like. Note the words in the top right hand corner. Yes, my friends, these dried, sprouted beans are supposed to cook in 15 minutes. And they taste good, too. Notice I didn't say they were cheap. On their Web page it says:

"TruRoots Organic Sprouted Bean Trio is a unique colorful and delicious blend of nutritious sprouted lentils, mung, and adzuki beans. Sprouting is a technique of traditional cultures that boosts the nutritional profile–increasing vitamins and micronutrients. The process results in pre-digestion of complex proteins, starches and lipids, converting them into simple and essential components that make these beans much easier to digest. We sprout and dehydrate the highest-quality beans and lentils, awakening their flavor and preserving healthful benefits. truRoots low-temperature drying keeps them packed with power. Lower in sodium and higher in nutrition than canned beans, truRoots Organic Sprouted Bean Trio is a healthy choice. Versatile, convenient, and quick, truRoots Organic Sprouted Bean Trio is ready in 15 minutes. Or slowly simmer in a soup or stew. Try it in salads, grain dishes, burritos, casseroles, stuffings or your favorite bean dish."

Are the beans really more nutritious and easier to digest? I don't know, but I do know I can cook these beans quickly, they taste great, and they don't come in a can. Here's what I did with them.

First, of course, I followed the directions on the bag and cooked them in a pot, adding a cube of Rapunzel no-salt-added bouillon to the cooking water. Then, when they were done, inspired by this post by Zoa, I put them into a casserole dish, and layered some red salsa on top. Next came lots of fresh spinach. Then I added a layer a homemade corn chips (Mine were seasoned with the leftover crumbs from a bag of kale chips.) and a coating of pine nut crema (without the tofu) loosely based on the one in Viva Vegan. The whole thing was then baked in the oven for about 40 minutes.

Out of the oven, all hot and gooey (kind of gooey, anyway), it was deliciously satisfying. (And gluten-free.) If this sort of layered casserole interests you, I highly recommend checking out Zoa's much more exciting version. And I can't recommend the pine nut crema highly enough — it was great! (And now I have something to make with the giant bag of pine nuts I got at Costco. Hohoho.)

All joking and word-eating aside, we do find a lot of good deals on staples (kalamata olives are staples, right?) and veggies at Costco. Here's a tasty something made from baby bok choy, grape tomatoes, baby bella mushrooms, olives and soy curls. The soy curls are the only food in the dish not from Costco. Mostly we shop at the co-op or Whole Foods, but about once every month or two, Costco beckons.

Lest you wonder if either Costco or truRoots had any monetary influence on my commentary, they did not. No samples or free memberships were exchanged in the writing of this post. Darn.


Top 31
Just in case you voted for me in the Circle of Mom's top 25, and are wondering how it all turned out, I didn't make it into the top 25, but I did manage the top 31! Thanks for your votes, and congratulations to the top 25 winners! They all deserved to have a top spot.


  1. I haven't had a Costco membership in about 2 years, but it was such a dangerous thing! I always found about 10 items that I absolutely NEEDED to have when I went into that place. Apparently at one point they stocked Gardein crispy tenders in a huge bag at their SoCal locations. It's a shame that it didn't catch on!

  2. Tierney,
    There is that little issue, but I'm pretty good about only buying what I really need and will use. They don't carry enough tempting items that are vegan to cause too big a problem. And I'm cautious about too-large bags of things we don't use a quickly enough. The one thing I shouldn't have bought was a bag of pine nuts, but oh well.

  3. Ahhh.. We don't have a Costco in my (capital) city yet, but, we will soon.. I'm prone to buying two of everything, so it's probably not a good idea for me!! :P

    Those sprouted beans look great, I wish we could get that sort of thing here. I've bought a sprouter jar, but it's been so hot, i'm afraid they'll grow mould.

    That overall dish looks fantastic, too - so fresh, and healthy but tangy and saucy. Will look it up. Thanks!

  4. We visited Costco once and I got overwhelmed by it pretty fast. So much stuff and so many people! It does sound like a great place to save money on things you eat often, though.

    The casserole looks & sounds fantastic. :)

  5. The casserole sounds great! I've heard raves about the pine nut crema and it seems super versatile. I'm so curious about Costco but kind of afraid to get caught up in it. Although I did buy a box of bars today rather than my usual one at a time and am smiling over having saved money for bulk.
    Congratulations on the Circle of moms ranking; I did vote for you but I probably kept forgetting. Anyway, surely your sons think you're tops.

  6. Matt,
    I doubt you'd be tempted to buy two of everything at Costco. Even one is a stretch sometimes. Three pounds of beans is fine, but three pounds of peanut butter is BIG. You should see the size of the bag of chocolate chips. The only thing that saves me from that is they're not vegan. I check the label every time.

    I was overwhelmed the first time, but now I love to go there. I don't know why since I can't even stand a large grocery store.

    The casserole was yummy — partly because of the pine nut crema. It just had pine nuts, garlic, lemon and water but it was amazing.

    Thanks for voting for me.

  7. I like shopping at Costco but I don't really get too many food items there. Although the sprouted beans looks like a great find. Although not cheap, isn't it cheaper at Costco than a regular store?

    Congratulations on being in the top 31! You're in good company. :-)

  8. Oh no, all your images! Poor you. What happened Andrea?

    That does look like a good mix and I do like what you did with them :)

  9. Costco is so dangerous for me; they're the main reason I find myself with so many leftovers. One person does not need Costco-sized bags of asparagus, brussel sprouts, bell peppers, bok choy, and sugar snap peas all at once...but I fail to learn my lesson.

    Also got some really great vegan burgers (not Boca) there a couple of weeks ago.

    Oh, and I too have the pignolis but they are used solely for cookies (I use almonds for my pesto).

  10. Chow vegan,
    I don't really remember what we paid for the beans and I haven't seen them locally, so I don't know how the Costco price compares, but most (not all) foods seem cheaper at Costco, provided we eat them and not compost them. We're very careful to buy what we'll eat. We go through the tubs of baby bok choy and $3.99 organic mix, no problem.

    I know. Sob, sob. I did a post about what happened and I can't bear to repeat it. :(

    Shopping at Costco for one person would be a hazard; we have two people and have to be very careful. Some weeks we eat a LOT of bok choy and mushrooms. My husband loves the Dr. Praeger's vegan burgers so we usually have a case in the freezer, and I might eat one or two from the case. We also never run out of toilet paper.

  11. That sort of casserole DOES interest me! Yum. I buy the truroots sprouted lentils, rice, etc. - haven't seen the beans so good to know they have those.

    Wow, how did you delete your photos. Sounds terrible.

    Sorry I've been away so long!

  12. Your nacho casserole bake looks fabulous. Fabulous! Darn Costco and their regional differences...they don't have those in the Costcos around me. The sprouted beans look like such a great find!


  13. PS--I voted for you...You deserved to be in the top 25 too :-)

  14. Jenny!
    Things must be really exciting at your house these days. I hope you'll do a post soon and catch everyone up.

    I've never seen the sprouted rice or the separate bags of beans, which I'd prefer instead of the combo. It's amazing how quickly they cook.

    I thought all Costco stores were the same, but I guess not. I really meant to use black beans in the casserole but I didn't get around to soaking and cooking them, so I used the sprouted beans. They were really good!

    Thanks for you vote Courtney!

  15. Not going to lie, when I saw the title I was so hoping you were going to do a Bean Sprouting 101 post, because I can't eat beans without them being sprouted. And I really need to find a reliable resource to figure out how to do it. Anyway, I'm stoked you found sprouted beans at Costco - I'm a member and am making a trip Monday. Fingers crossed the Denver location has these. I've really, really, really missed eating beans.

  16. It's not hard to sprout beans as long as you remember to rinse them once or twice a day. Soak them for 24 hours, rinse and drain, and place in a glass jar or ceramic bowl. Cover loosely with cheesecloth. Rinse and drain morning and night. They should sprout in one or two days. Fresh beans work best. (Fresh meaning fresh, dried beans as opposed to 5-year-old dried beans.) Or, buy sprouted beans from truRoots. They sell smaller quantities of lentils, mung beans, quinoa and rice.

    You can buy mesh lids that fit mason jars and allow you to rinse the beans right in the jar.

    I just soaked chickpeas, and they looked like they were beginning to sprout after eight hours. I wasn't trying to sprout them so I cooked them in my slow cooker overnight.

  17. Hmm.

    On the bright side, at least you don't *need* to buy multiple containers of things?? I suppose that means things can spoil quickly.

    I buy my choc chips in 2.5kg bags!

  18. We are Costco members, too, but mine doesn't carry those sprouted beans. Seattle must be deemed more sprouted bean favorable than Sacto. That dish is so inspired! Love it. Kind of nacho-y.

    Sorry about the comment leaving frustrations. I hope that doesn't deter you from still relentlessly trying to comment on my intoxicating posts. :-) I'd miss you.

  19. Matt,
    Yes, it reduces excess packaging. I'd probably buy the chips, too, if I could find vegan ones in a large bag, but it would definitely be excessive since I don't bake often. I make ice cream, though, and I like chocolate chips in my frozen desserts.

    I've never seen anyone but me pick up those beans. I hope they keep carrying them.

    I just thought you were deleting my comments because you were mad at me. :D

  20. I am SO happy that you posting about sprouted beans!! I have been reading a lot about sprouting and seeing that I love {obesssed} with beans, I knew that I should be trying this. BUT finding out that someone has already done the sprouting work for me??? *just left for CostCo*

  21. Well, thankfully for you, I'm such a forgiving soul!

  22. Ah, the joys of buying in bulk... Those sprouted beans are really an awesome find! Makes me want to reconsider a membership the local BJ's, since we don't have Costco nearby, sadly. However, I have a sneaking suspicion that I'd just use it as an excuse to buy much more food than we really need...

  23. Wow! This is so yummy, but expensive, eh. But I think these beans are worth their price. btw, congratulations for the honor of being in the Circle of Mom's top 31, eh.

    Cathy@Foods that are not Good for Your Heart

  24. Ah, Andrea, you have to look for the 11-pound *box* of Kirkland chocolate chips. They only come in an 11-pound box and they *are* vegan. Now aren't you sorry you know that?

    Costco. Man, I love it there. Since I don't have a car, it's always a kind of piggyback trip with one of my kind relatives. Luckily for me. Or not, as I always feel dangerously pressured to stock up. I'll watch out for those sprouted beans; they sound great, and your casserole looks wonderful, gooey and crunchy all at the same time!

  25. I love Costco but we don't have one close to our rural city. I only wish.

  26. Bad news - couldn't find the beans at Costco. Let's hope I can find them on Amazon :)

  27. Cara,
    I hope you can find the beans at your Costco. Apparently not all stores have them. On the truRoots Web page there's a store finder, but I think they were a lot less expensive at Costco. Next time I go I'm going to check the price.

    Blessedmama, So you forgive me?

    Buying too much is a downside, but I think we have it under control now. I especially appreciate Costco when we have a lot of people coming for dinner and I need to buy a larger quantity.

    Why, thank you. We really like the bean mix, and I plan to try it in different recipes.

  28. Zoa,
    OMG, no! I'm not sure I want to find an 11-pound box of vegan chocolate chips. It's not where the other chips are so I'm not sure where to look, and it's possible our store doesn't carry them. I didn't realize there were so many regional differences among the Costco stores, but from reading the comments I gather different areas have different products. I'll probably look for them next time I'm there. Tsk.

    I love going there and we have two! It's about a 20 minute car ride on the Interstate or I'd probably be there more often.

    You should just sprout your own. It's really not that hard, and it's much cheaper. See my answer to your first comment.

    1. I knooooow. But sometimes I'm azy. And at home sprouted beans hardly have a shelf life. Maybe I'll sprout, then dry?

  29. First off in my book you'll always be number 30! (I mean number 1) I actually tried to vote and the site rejected me, but I'm used to that. (kidding aside I really did try to vote)
    I am a Cosco member for business baking needs and personal dates. Dates I eat from the tub. (crap, you know what I mean)
    Anyway, big stinkeroo on the image loss! And this looks mighty delicious, with soy curls no less!

  30. GiGi
    Hardy har har har. Maybe I'll just pretend I was #30 to protect my self esteem.

    I remember the dates — we both eat those from the tub. (Not the SAME tub, anyone who may be reading. Sheesh.)

    Yes, the loss of images. I was hot on the replacement trail for a while but when I got to 2009, I kind of lost steam. I hope to get those back before summer. Or winter.

  31. Ashlae,
    I soaked and cooked twice this week, and froze some of the beans for later. But that may be it for the year. I'm lazy, too. Last night I made soup with the sprouted beans and it was so easy and fast. I don't know about drying your own sprouted beans — you could try it.

    Here's a really weird but so, so interesting recipe for sprouted garbanzo cheese that you should try. http://cookeasyvegan.blogspot.com/2008/06/garbanzo-cheese.html


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