Recently I've given sprouting a try in an attempt to decrease the amount of time it takes to cook dried beans. I came across this suggestion in one of the solar cooking cookbooks and it does seem to help. It also seems to give the beans a nutty flavor which is pleasant.
I follow the jar sprouting directions in Carla Emery's Encyclopedia of Country Living and they seem to be right on target. Best of all, you only need a canning jar, cheesecloth and a canning band.