Updated: Oct 28, 2019
All viable seeds can be sprouted, but some sprouts should not be eaten raw. Bean sprouts are a common ingredient across the world. They are particularly common in Eastern Asian cuisine.
There are two types of common bean sprouts:
It typically takes one week for them to become fully grown. The sprouted beans are more nutritious than the original beans and they require much less cooking time.
Other common sprouts used as food include:
Pulses (legumes; pea family):alfalfa, clover, fenugreek, lentil, pea, chickpea, mung bean and soybean (bean sprouts).Cereals:oat, wheat, maize (corn), rice, barley, and ryePseudocereals:quinoa, amaranth, and buckwheatOilseeds:sesame, sunflower, almond, hazelnut, hemp, linseed, and peanut.Brassica (cabbage family)broccoli, cabbage, watercress, mustard, mizuna, radish, and daikon (kaiware sprouts), rocket (arugula), tatsoi, turnip).Umbelliferous vegetables (parsley family) - these may be used more as microgreens than sprouts.carrot, celery, fennel, and parsley.Allium (onions) - cannot distinguish sprouts from microgreens.onion, leek, and green onion (me-negi in Japanese cuisine)Other vegetables and herbs:spinach, lettuce, milk thistle, and lemon grass
Although whole oats can be sprouted, oat groats sold in food stores, which are dehulled and require steaming or roasting to prevent rancidity, will not sprout. Whole oats may have an indigestible hull which makes them difficult or even unfit for human consumption.
In the case of rice, the husk of the paddy is removed before sprouting. Brown rice is widely used for germination in Japan and other countries (GBR - Germinated Brown Rice).
Sprouts of the Solanaceae family (tomato, potato, paprika, aubergine or eggplant) and of rhubarb cannot be eaten raw, as they can be poisonous. Some sprouts can be cooked to remove the toxin, while others cannot.
With all seeds, care should be taken that they are intended for sprouting or human consumption rather than sowing. Seeds intended for sowing may be treated with chemical dressings. Several countries, such as New Zealand, also require that some varieties of imported edible seed be heat-treated, thus making impossible for them to sprout. Quinoa in its natural state is very easy to sprout, but when polished, or pre-cleaned of its saponin coating (becoming whiter), loses its power to germinate.