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...
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.
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.
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.
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.