Sprouts are wonderful little crunchy treats that are a popular addition to a healthy diet. Bean sprouts of all types are full of potential—they are nutritious, easy to digest, and delicious. They are crunchy and satisfying to eat, as well as easy to prepare and fun to watch grow!
Green mung beans, also known as green moong or green gram, are small green legumes that are commonly used throughout Asia and India. In traditional Indian Ayurvedic cuisine, the use of mung beans dates all the way back to 1500 BC. In modern times, these little green delights are becoming more and more popular in the west as we realize how nutritious and delicious the beans are. Whole green mung beans are the beans used to make sprouts, also called “bean sprouts.”
Nutritious and Versatile
One of the reasons we love mung beans is because they are a delightfully good source of protein and fiber, and they contain natural antioxidants. When these beans are split, their green hull is removed leaving little yellow halves. In this form, they are called yellow mung dal or split mung beans. This is the dal traditionally used in kitchari.
In the cooked form, whole or split, they are used in a wide variety of culinary dishes. The dried form can be ground into flour, but their sprouted form is the easiest to digest. Sprouting helps healthy enzymes become activated during the stages of germination, which means mung bean nutrients become more easily absorbed by the human body. Bean sprouts can be used in salads and sandwiches, made into noodles, or eaten alone by the handful.
At a whopping 12 grams per serving, green mung beans are a super potent source of plant based protein, which makes them a great staple for vegetarian and vegan diets.
In Ayurveda, mung sprouts are generally good for all doshas, but they are said to be best for pitta and kapha. A nice cool sprout salad could be a wonderful pitta pacifying addition to a summer picnic.
Sprouted Mung Beans
Measure out a half-cup of dried green mung beans. Rinse the beans until the water runs clear.
Place the rinsed beans in a clean bowl. If you have a sprouter, you can use that instead. Cover the mung beans with room temperature water (about two inches over beans) and soak for 6–8 hours. Remember the beans will swell to 3 or 4 times their original size!
Drain and rinse the beans.
Put the beans in a large mason jar or sprouting jar. Cover the opening with cheesecloth, and secure with a rubber band.
Let sit in a dark cool place for 2–5 days. Rinse and drain them daily.
When you see the white sprouts are growing long (at least ½ inch), rinse them, dry them, and enjoy!
Korean Style Seasoned Bean Sprout Salad
· ½ teaspoon garlic, minced
· 1 ½ cup mung bean sprouts, fresh
· 1 teaspoon spring onion/scallions, chopped
· ½ teaspoon mineral salt
· 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
· 1 tablespoon sesame oil
· 1 teaspoon salt to add to the water
· 6 cups water
Rinse the mung bean sprouts in cold water and discard any brown beans.
Boil the 6 cups of water in a pot and add the salt. Once the water starts to boil, turn off the heat and plunge the mung bean sprouts into the pot. Leave them for 1–2 minutes.
Drain the water and run cold water on the sprouts for 1–2 minutes.
Squeeze the mung bean sprouts with your hands to remove excess water. Put the mung bean sprouts into a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients. Mix well, serve on a plate, and enjoy.
Makes 4 Servings
Easy Mung Bean Stir Fry
2 cups washed mung bean sprouts, fresh
8-ounce package buckwheat soba noodles
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1 large green onion, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
1 cup green beans, trimmed and cut
½ tablespoon fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons tamari
Dash fresh ground pepper
6 ounces firm tofu, cubed (optional)
2 tablespoons sesame seeds or gomasio
Use approximately one third of an 8-ounce package buckwheat soba noodles. If the package comes divided, use one third. Boil noodles per package directions—usually about 7 minutes. Rinse in cool water and set aside.
In a pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat and sauté green onion, ginger, garlic, and green beans. Add water and cover with a lid, allowing the mixture to steam. Cook until beans become slightly tender. Add sprouts, tamari, tofu (if desired), and pepper. Cook until sprouts are soft and tofu is cooked through. Season to taste.
Add soba noodles and gently stir to incorporate. Top with sesame seeds or gomasio and remaining green onion. Enjoy!
Makes 2–3 Servings