Tips for Mung Bean Sprouting

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Mung beans

Mung beans

They're alive! How much more healthful and wholesome can you get than eating bean sprouts? But forget those plastic packages containing sprouts at grocery store — those tend to go bad before you ever get them home. Sprouting your own beans is easy, economical and healthful. Fresh bean sprouts are a yummy addition to salad, scrambled eggs, and almost any kind of soup or stir fry. I like them on pizza. They're good cooked or raw on sandwiches and in wraps.

Diet friendly? You bet! Per cup they are just 26 calories with  2.5 grams of protein and 1 gram of fiber.

I wanted to try sprouting for a while, but most directions seem so complicated. Instructions also seemed to contradict each other. Do you need a special mechanism? Cheesecloth? Do you have to keep them in the dark? There might be better ways, but I'm going to share with you a perfectly good way of doing it that is extremely simple and can be done without buying any equipment. By spending about 2 minutes a day I have sprouts constantly available. What a great investment. It's the easiest “gardening” I've ever done.
I sprout mung beans, which are the most commonly sprouted beans.

Four Easy Steps to Mung Bean Sprouting

(Yield at least 1 cup of sprouts, but you can easily double or even triple this.  )
1) Soak 1/3 – 1/2 cup of rinsed beans in a large bowl with about 3 cups of water for 12 to 24 hours.
2) Put them in a colander and rinse. I transfer them back to the big bowl, wet a cloth napkin or paper towel and lay it on the top of the beans.
3) Take the napkin off and rinse the beans two or three times a day. Reapply the wet napkin after each rinse. Do this for at least two days.
4) Do a final rinse and then drain them well and store them in the refrigerator in sealed container. They will sprout quite a bit more after you have done this final rinse and drain.

Mung beans are not the big fat sprouts you see in Asian cuisine. Those are sprouted in huge containers with chemicals; our home sprouts will never get that big. I understand they could be bigger, if you sprouted them longer or in an actual bean sprouting mechanism, but the smaller shoots (1/2 – 1 inch) are sweeter and it's plenty of yield for me.

They keep for 2 – 6 weeks in the refrigerator, so you can sprout bigger batches without worrying they'll spoil and have to be thrown out before you eat them.

Here is a favorite recipe using mung bean sprouts. These have a similar taste, look and texture of salmon patties and are delicious served with roasted potatoes and baked beans. They can be made in less than 30 minutes.
Sprouted Bean Patties
Serves 3
3/4 – 1 cup mung bean sprouts
1/4 cup onion
1 clove garlic
1 each medium egg, beaten
2 Tablespoons milk or soy milk
2 Tablespoons vegetable juice or tomato juice
4-8 drops hot sauce
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon sesame oil, for cooking

Chop sprouts, onion and garlic into a pulp.
Mix eggs and wet ingredients.

Add dry ingredients to wet; mixing until lumps are gone.

Add to pulp. Heat skillet and oil. Brush oil over pan surface. When very hot, near smoking — dip or pour the batter onto the skillet and slightly reduce heat. (Batter for each will be about 1/3 cup.)

Brown on each side.

Nutrition Facts
Nutrition (per serving): 99 calories; 29% calories from fat; 3.3g total fat; 62.0mg cholesterol; 482.4mg sodium; 159.8mg potassium; 13.7g carbohydrates; 2.3g fiber; 2.1g sugar; 4.7g protein.

Cooking Tips
You can substitute more juice for milk or vice versa.
Other oil can be used for frying, but sesame oil is recommended.

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