Mung beans belong to the legume family. Legumes are seeds of a plant, contained more than one in a pod, such as green beans, peas, soybeans – and peanuts! Mung beans are native to India, but are also cultivated in many southeast Asian countries as well as warmer-climate regions of the US and Europe. Mung beans are about 8mm, or 5/16 of an inch.
Mung beans were first cultivated in the United States in 1835, where 15 to 20 million pounds of mung beans are now consumed annually.
Mung Beans Are Good For You!
Mung beans have an amazing amount of protein – 21%-28%.
Mung beans are brimming with vitamins A, B, pantothenic acid (B5), B6, C, E, K, folate, niacin, riboflavin, and thiamin.
Mung beans are packed with minerals such as calcium, copper, iron, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium.
Mung beans offer an appreciable amount of fiber.
Mung beans can cut cholesterol levels and boost healthy liver functions.
How To Eat Mung Beans
Mung beans can be cooked before eaten or they can be sprouted first. The sprouts can be cooked or eaten raw. The most widely consumed sprout worldwide is the mung bean sprout.
How To Sprout Mung Beans
Sprouting mung beans is easy – and inexpensive! You don’t need any special gear and it takes very little time. It’s simple to always have some sprouted mung beans on hand – so let’s get started!
First, buy some mung beans! A pound is a good start. You’ll need ¾ cup for your first batch, which is about 5.6 oz. by weight. I bought a pound of mung beans at Whole Foods for a mere $3.39, but they can also be purchased online.
Next you’ll need a jar. If you have a mason jar, that’s great, but if you don’t, you can use a large pickle jar. I used a pickle jar that previously contained Vlasic Original Dill Wholes, 46 fl oz. (Btw, I do like these pickles, TY Vlasic!)
A piece of cheesecloth, which can be purchased at most hardware stores. I found a package of cheesecloth in the paint department at Lowes for $2.
OK Let’s Do It!
First measure out ¾ cup of the mung beans. Use a colander or strainer and wash them thoroughly.
Next put them in the jar (duh!).
Put cold water in the jar until it is an inch or so above the mung beans.
Put a double layer of cheesecloth on top of the jar and secure tightly with a rubber band.
Place the jar in a place with subdued light for 8-10 hours or overnight.
After 8-10 hours or overnight you should see a significant expansion of the beans as shown in the photo below.
Next, keeping the jar top covered with the cheesecloth, dump out the water and fill and empty the jar using cold water several times. Finally, drain the water. This is the reason for the cheesecloth. It allows the water to flow in and out of the jar freely without “spilling the beans.”
During the rest of the process you will repeat this rinsing process 2-3 times every 24 hours.
After about 24 hours you should be seeing little sprouts coming out of the beans.
When the sprouts have reached whatever length you desire – from a ¼ inch to an inch – you are finished! Rinse the sprouts one more time and put them in a covered container in the refrigerator. They will keep anywhere from 2-3 days to a week – if you can keep from eating them that long!
The sprouts can be eaten raw with a little olive oil, a dash of lemon juice and some soy sauce or salt and pepper. You can find many recipes online for raw or cooked mung bean sprouts – enjoy!
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