I am about to make (or at least try to) my own chickpea flour. Having had a good look around, my understanding is that I need to sprout my chickpeas first. My question(s) therefore: Why do I have to sprout my chickpeas? Do I have to sprout my chickpeas? What happens if I don't sprout them? And lastly any other help...

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    Hey dougal, nice question. The title was a bit too generic though, I edited it to fit the body so others will know what the question is about.
    – rumtscho
    Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 9:53
  • Not a problem, I agree - thanks for your effort. Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 10:00
  • The chickpeas are currently doing their 'thing' - so let's see what happens! Commented Feb 4, 2017 at 14:45
  • There are chickpeas and there are chickpeas. If you're planning to use this flour for Indian recipes, ensure that your chickpeas are Bengal gram and not garbanzo beans. They're both varieties of chickpea, but not the same thing.
    – verbose
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 5:08
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    To see the differences, take a look at this photo. tce-live2.s3.amazonaws.com/media/media/…
    – Jude
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 8:52

3 Answers 3


You don't need to sprout your chickpeas, but there are benefits when you do, as sprouting substantially increases nutritional value. By allowing the legume (or seed or grain) to germinate, the phytic acid within it is neutralized, as are enzyme inhibitors.

The Nourishing Gourmet Kimi Harris describes:

Phytic acid binds with calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, and zinc, making it hard to impossible for you to absorb those nutrients. It’s also irritating to your digestive system. By sprouting your grains, legumes or seeds, you are neutralizing phytic acid very effectively. You will also be neutralizing enzyme inhibitors, which unfortunately not only inhibit enzymes in the actual seed, but can also inhibit your own valuable enzymes once they have been eaten. Beyond even anti-nutrients that are neutralized by sprouting, there are other changes that take place during sprouting that make it easier for us to digest our seeds/legumes/grains.

In Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon writes that:

The process of germination not only produces vitamin C, but also changes the composition of grains and seeds in numerous beneficial ways. Sprouting increases vitamin B content, especially B2, B5, and B6. Carotene increases dramatically-sometimes even eightfold.

Sprout People offers comprehensive nutrition information and a chart listing the proteins, vitamins, amino acids, and minerals.

As a side note, while chickpeas are gluten free, sprouting grains that do contain it breaks down the gluten, a benefit to those with gluten intolerance.

  • Wow Dorothy, all of that is amazing - even though I am currently sprouting my chickpeas I see that I don't really have to, if say for example I want to make some flour straight away. So, what I will do is do two different types, one sprouted and one not sprouted. The added nutritional benefits really aren't an issue for me, but they might be for others, once again you have come to my rescue. Many thanks. Commented Feb 5, 2017 at 4:46

What a great idea! I bought my chickpea flour (called channa flour) from the Indian ( Punjabi) section in a grocery store which 'm pretty certain isn't sprouted.

Any problem with gas will be reduced by sprouting. Sprouting converts indigestible oligosaccharides (complex sugars) to simpler sugars easily digested. It's bacteria in our gut metabolizing these oligosaccharides that gives us flatulence. I couldn't find verified data on how much these oligosaccharides are reduced but I found a number of references saying beyond 48 hours, the difference isn't significant. Chickpea prouts start becoming bitter after that.

You'll not just get decreased gas formation but a significant increase in protein and protein bioavailability (i.e. how well you digest it). Bonus all around! (So guess who's going to buy some chickpeas and try making sprouted chickpea flour too?) I already knew all that about sprouted seeds and grains but never thought of using sprouted legumes as flour before. I plan on trying soy beans too now.

  • Well the peas are sprouted and dried, and today is d-day for grinding, will also grind some non-sprouted and see what happens. I wouldn't normally go to all this palaver, but can't buy it here. Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 5:12
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    Yes, good reason but admit it. It's fun to experiment, isn't it? You not only learn more but this way you can share what you learn with others who might not be so adventurous. Bet that your sprouted bean flour is the one you prefer. I can't do much now as we're having a lot of snow and I don't have winter tires. Normally, we'd be having early sprig bulbs starting to flower not, not 2 feet of snow!
    – Jude
    Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 8:22
  • Aw, sorry about the snow - hot sunshine here (and it's only 8.30am)! Didn't get round to grinding yesterday, so doing it today. And OK OK, experimenting is fun - and I do have a tendency to get carried away with it sometimes - fortunately we have strong constitutions here! Commented Feb 7, 2017 at 8:31
  • I've been busy with other things so just checked in today. How did your sprouted chick-pea flour turn out? I'd like to learn more from someone else's experience before I try spouting soy beans to make a similar flour.
    – Jude
    Commented Feb 21, 2017 at 5:44
  • Sorry, forgot to answer your comment before! I gave up in the end - some things are just easier to buy! Also living on a boat means that I have to limit my experiments - so this one eventually went in the bin. Commented Apr 10, 2017 at 7:31

Legumes in their raw form contain different kinds of toxins (trypsin inhibitor, goiterogenic factors, cyanogenetic glucosides, saponins and alkaloids). Those toxins can be broken down when the legumes are soaked/sprouted. Soaking them release enzymes that hydrolyze nutrients and other compounds that are essential for the soon-to-sprout plant.

Source: http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/11/4/281.abstract

  • Yes, but chickpea flour is cooked anyway, at least when used in eg traditional indian recipes - it is rather bitter and unpalatable raw :) Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 8:35
  • @rackandboneman - I am no expert on this but once I tried to make bean crisps out of raw beans and that went very bad for me so I don't mess with raw beans anymore ;-)
    – FlukyFood
    Commented Feb 6, 2017 at 12:55

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