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If you’ve never sprouted beans you’re missing out on a lot of fun, yummies, and nutrition!
As gardeners, we don’t expect instant gratification. No, our gratification timetable falls somewhere between the time it takes to grow a Chia Pet to that of aging fine wine.
We wait months for the complete transformation of a tiny lettuce seed to a ready-to-eat stalk or head of lettuce. That’s pretty much the case for any vegetable. However, with sprouts, the seed-to-table time is accelerated exponentially. Of course, that’s only because we’re not waiting for the seed to become a mature plant producing its fruit. Instead, we help the seed START to grow, and then … toss it in our mouth. Pretty sneaky if you ask me. The little seed doesn’t see it comin’.
There are so many beans you can sprout and toss into dishes. Most often you hear of sprouts being used in salads or stir-fry dishes. I love salads loaded with goodies, and sprouts give my salads variety, extra crunch, additional nutrition, and a little whimsical presentation.
5 Reasons to Sprout Beans
- Sprouts Are Nutritious.*
- Sprouting Allows You to Eat the Beans NOW.
- Sprouting Aids in the Digestion of the Beans.
- Sprouting Provides Winter Cabin-Fever Reprieve.
- Sprouting is SO Much Fun!
*You’ll need to do your own research on this. Some believe raw sprouts are a nutrient-dense food; others believe eating raw sprouts may be the cause of some illnesses and death outbreaks.
I’ll have to elaborate on these reasons in a future post. There is so much that can be said about sprouting beans; I just can’t easily fit it all into one post.
How to Sprout Mung Beans
Sprouting beans is incredibly easy to do. It’s so easy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t start sprouting beans 20 years ago.
Mung beans take a few days to sprout, but YOUR part takes LITERALLY SECONDS to do two or three times each day. And some beans, like mung beans, can be sprouted in a Mason jar.
Sprouting Mung Beans Using the Jar Method (Supplies and Steps):
- Mung Beans (for Sprouting) (affiliate link)
- Wide Mouth Mason Jar
- Sprout-Ease – Econo-Sprouter Toppers Set – 3 Piece(s) (affiliate link)
- Shallow, Large Bowl/Dish
- Pour no more than roughly 1/2″ of dry mung beans into a quart size or larger canning jar.
- Pour cool water in the jar, swoosh the beans around in the water, and drain water.
- Refill with water, and soak the beans 8 to 12 hours.
- Drain all water, rinse, drain, and set aside.
- Every 8 to 12 hours rinse the beans, drain the water, and set aside.
- Repeat the rinse/drain/set aside process every 8 to 12 hours for 5 to 7 days.
**Botanical Interests recommends propping the jar at an angle to allow any excess water to continue to drain. What works for me is placing the jar at a 45 degree angle in a very shallow but large bowl. A shallow and large bowl allows air circulation. You don’t want to prop the jar up in such a way that you block off air circulation. If you notice any signs of mold, TOSS the beans!**
When Are Mung Bean Sprouts Ready to Eat?
Some people say you can eat them as early as the end of 2 days of sprouting. I think they taste “beany,” for lack of a better word. Botanical Interests states mung beans are ready to harvest when the sprouts are at least 1/2″ long, roughly between day 5 and 7.
What Do Mung Bean Sprouts Taste Like?
The first time I sprouted mung beans I told John we could have a salad that night with the sprouts. He asked what the sprouts tasted like and wanted to know if they taste like … dirt. (A little background is important here. Years ago, someone gave John some kind of wild root tea to try. According to John, “It tasted like DIRT.”)
I thought the sprouts actually had a slightly sweet taste, so I “comforted” John with that. Then I told him, “Well, maybe sweet dirt.” (Just kidding. They don’t taste like dirt.)
They’re crunchy and slightly sweet, if you wait until at least day 5-ish.
Where Can I Find Mung Beans?
You might find mung beans at your local health food store or possibly even your garden store. The only mung beans I’ve used came from Botanical Interests. (Actually, I came across the seeds at a store, but it’s by no means a convenient stop for me. I’ve since found Botanical Interests online, and now I can conveniently order them while sitting at my computer.)
Botanical Interests is a family owned business selling non-GMO seeds, offering HUNDREDS OF SEEDS, and over 150 varieties of organic seed.
Many (maybe all?) of their seed packets are illustrated by Libby Kyer. They’re loaded with information – on the front, back, and even INSIDE the seed packet.
How Do People Prepare/Eat Mung Bean Sprouts?
I’ve only eaten mung bean sprouts raw, either as sprouts only or in salads. You can also lightly steam them or use in stir-fry dishes.
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