Sprouting mung beans is relatively easy, but care must be taken to clean the beans and avoid contamination by microorganisms. Mung beans are the ubiquitous sprouts seed on salad bars nationwide and are a favorite bean for their ease and taste. Here's how to get starting sprouting these nutritional powerhouses.
Sprouting Mung Beans Instructions
Many mung bean seeds originate in China or India and are sun dried. They can be dusty, dirty or contain bits of gravel or sand in the bag, depending on where they originate. Before sprouting mung beans, wash and sort the beans, discarding foreign matter.
What You Need
To sprout the beans, you'll need a clean wide mouthed jar, such as a Mason jar or another glass jar. Commercial sprouting jars or trays are fine too and make it even easier to begin sprouting projects. You'll also need a screen or cheesecloth to cover the top of the jar. Even a pair of old panty hose (clean of course) with the foot part snipped out can be used to cover the top of a seed starting jar.
Select the Seeds
You can purchase mung beans seeds at health food stores nationwide or online through health food stores, co ops, or sprouting suppliers. Look for seeds marked organic and non GMO to ensure the most nutritious, least contaminated seeds.
Place about 1/3 of a cup of mung bean seeds into the sprouting tray or jar. Add one full cup of cool water to the jar. Stir up the seeds to completely soak, then let them set in the water for eight to twelve hours. Drain off the water, then rinse under the tap using cool water again. Place the damp mung bean seeds into the sprouter, cover and wait. Rinse twice a day, about twelve hours apart, until sprouts appear. Mung beans start sprouting in about four to five days. You can eat them anytime you like as soon as shoots appear. Refrigerate extra sprouts so they stay fresher longer.
Mung Beans Nutrition
Mung beans pack a lot of nutrition into each small bean. One cup of sprouted mung beans contains just 35 calories, but you'll get almost 23 percent of your daily requirements for vitamin C. You'll also get a nice 7 percent of your daily recommended fiber intake at 2 grams of fiber. They also contain a negligible amount of iron and calcium.
How to Enjoy Mung Beans
You've probably seen mung bean sprouts among the offerings at the salad bar, but how else can you eat mung beans?
- Chinese cuisine - make vegetarian kung pao or a nice vegetable stir fry and add crunchy mung bean sprouts to the mix. A great way to make a quick, easy and healthy Chinese recipe with mung beans is to marinade or sauté tofu, then add it to quick stir fry vegetables. Use water chestnuts, bean pods, peppers, onions, broccoli and mung beans. Use a vegetable broth base, add a bit of corn starch to thicken, and flavor with garlic, ginger and soy sauce. Make some brown rice as a side dish and it's instant Chinese food, vegetarian-style.
- Mung bean casserole - Mike Lewis provides a recipe for mung bean casserole on Veg World. Casseroles are quick, easy one dish meals that you pop into the oven to make.
- Mung beans with mixed vegetables - A nice medley of veggies and mung beans create this healthy dish.
- Mung bean stew - Vegetarian stew never tastes this good! Use some whole grain bread to sop up the stew and you've got a hearty vegetarian meal.
- Vegan mung bean burgers - Make a tasty mung bean burger with this recipe. It's vegan and works alongside eggplant burgers for a tasty treat.
No matter how you slice it, the humble mung bean is easy to sprout, nutritious and tasty. If you're just a beginner when it comes to sprouting, start with mung beans for almost instant sprouting success.