Are peanut sprouts really toxic? Are they safe to eat?

巨無霸豆芽菜❓我發現一個發芽率高的好方法🥜栽培花生苗 @beanpandacook

Have you heard of peanut sprouts?

It is true that green sprouts on potatoes should not be consumed because potato sprouts release a neurotoxin called solanine, which cannot be completely removed even through cutting or heating. However, peanut sprouts are completely different. After sprouting, peanuts have higher nutritional value than ungerminated ones and offer anti-aging and anti-cancer benefits.

If peanuts are not fresh or stored improperly, they can be susceptible to aflatoxin contamination, which is a potent carcinogen that can lead to liver cancer. Heating does not easily destroy aflatoxins, so it is recommended to discard such peanuts and not consume them for safety. However, sprouting peanuts is different from mold contamination. Peanuts need to be free of aflatoxins in order to successfully sprout and grow, making sprouted peanuts safe to eat.

Peanut sprouts are rich in nutrients and are high in organic selenium, resveratrol, and dietary fiber. They also contain various vitamins, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, amino acids, and trace elements necessary for the body. Peanut sprouts are significantly larger than other sprouts and resemble giant bean sprouts. They have a sweet and crisp taste and lower oil content compared to peanuts. They can be prepared in various ways, such as in soups, stir-fries, salads, and more.

The most distinctive feature of peanut sprouts compared to other sprouts is their high content of the antioxidant compound “resveratrol.” Resveratrol is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and is even used as an ingredient in health supplements and skincare products abroad. Red wine is a well-known dietary source of resveratrol, but peanut sprouts contain tens of times more resveratrol than red wine. They offer antioxidant, anti-aging, anti-cancer, skin whitening, blood pressure regulation, cholesterol reduction, and metabolism promotion benefits.

Last year, I began experimenting with growing peanut sprouts and found that the sprouting process was the most challenging among various sprouts. It involves selecting peanut varieties, soaking times, determining when the sprout tips are long enough for transplantation, when to use moist cotton cloth, when to stop watering, and proper placement. It turns out that there is a lot to learn. This method is a summary based on dozens of failed sprouting attempts, and hopefully, it will be helpful to everyone.


1 pound of sprouting peanuts with shells
2 sprouting trays specifically designed for peanut sprouts


❶ The sprouting peanuts with shells need to be placed in a ziplock bag, spread out to avoid overlapping. You can use your body weight to crack the shells by stepping on them with your feet, allowing for efficient shelling without straining your hands. You don’t need to shell all the peanuts at once, just shell the amount you need. Approximately 1 pound of peanuts with shells can be used for 2 hydroponic trays. Peanuts are prone to mold, so any unused peanuts should be stored in a well-ventilated room.

Soaking Step

❷ First, rinse the sprouting peanuts with clean water 2-3 times until the water runs clear. Then soak them for 16-24 hours, with an option to change the water once during this period. The peanuts should be soaked for at least 24 hours until they are fully hydrated. The peanuts that float to the top and those that sink to the bottom should be separated. The water in the tray with the floating peanuts will remain clear, and some peanuts may even start to show sprouts. On the other hand, the water in the tray with the sinking peanuts will gradually become cloudy and foamy.

❸ After soaking, the sprouting peanuts can be categorized into three types:

1️⃣ Peanuts that have sunk throughout the soaking process cannot sprout and can be used in other recipes (not suitable for sprouting).
2️⃣ Peanuts that have sunk after 12 hours (the sprouts don’t grow tall).
3️⃣ Peanuts that have floated throughout the soaking process (best for sprouting).


❹ Pour the peanuts into a container with good drainage. The bottom of the container should have holes to allow water to drain quickly. Place a damp cotton cloth on top of the peanuts to keep them moist, then cover the container with a black lid to block out light. Water the peanuts every 4 to 6 hours. On the second day, remove any peanuts that haven’t sprouted to avoid infecting the healthy ones. When the sprouts start to grow downward, it’s best to remove them before they become too thick and risk getting stuck in the holes and breaking.

Hydroponic Sprouting

❺ Starting from the third day, switch to hydroponic sprouting. Ensure that the sprouting tray is clean and fill it with fresh water. Place the specialized grid tray for peanut sprouts on top of the water. The water level should be in contact with the roots of the sprouts. Insert the sprouts with the tips facing downward into the holes of the specialized tray. Remove any peanuts with dried or blackened sprout roots.

❻ During the sprouting period, it’s important to place the hydroponic trays in a well-ventilated room. Change the water every 2 days to prevent the water from becoming stagnant. Keep the lid of the tray slightly open to allow for airflow, but avoid wetting the sprouts. Remove any peanuts with black or withered sprout roots. If there is poor ventilation, the non-sprouted peanuts may develop white mold and should be removed promptly.

Water Change

❼ When changing the water, clean any residue or deposits in the tray, and pour in fresh water. You can add organic nutrient solution specifically designed for edible plants to help the peanut sprouts grow thicker, but it’s optional. Avoid watering the sprouts directly; only the roots should be in contact with the water.

Harvesting – Day 6

❻ 2️⃣ Peanuts that have sunk after 12 hours will have sprouts that grow to around 6-10cm. 3️⃣ Peanuts that have floated throughout the soaking period will have the best growth. The lid of the tray will be lifted, indicating high sprouting rates, and the sprouts will be the tallest. From the beginning of sprouting, peanut sprouts grown in hydroponics for 4 days will reach a height of 9-12cm. Once the sprouting is successful and the sprout roots are healthy and white, it’s time to harvest. At this point, the peanut sprouts will not grow taller, and further cultivation may result in branching.

❼ As the peanut sprouts start to develop leaves, their texture becomes tougher. Poorly developed sprouts left in the tray may develop white fuzz, indicating the growth of mold and an increased risk of contamination. When the leaves start to undergo photosynthesis and turn green within 1-2 hours, the nutrients of the peanut sprouts will be absorbed by the leaves. Therefore, it’s important to harvest them quickly. Use scissors to remove the sprout roots and place the sprouts in a perforated plastic container. They can be stored in the refrigerator for 4-7 days for convenient consumption.

❽ This method is a summary of numerous failed attempts at sprouting. I hope it is helpful to everyone. Peanut sprouts have tender, crisp, and sweet stems, while the peanuts themselves have no bitterness. They offer a refreshing and chewy texture with a pleasant aroma.

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