If you're like me, you love bean sprouts! I use them fresh in salads, or throw them in for some added crunch in cooked dishes like home made soup, or couscous.
Lately I have been sprouting my own at home from various types of beans, and it's been such a simple and fun process that I thought I better share with everyone. Bean sprouts are quite the magical little treat, full of protein and vitamins, the bean sprout is actually MORE nutritious than the original bean it sprouted from! There are many benefits to bean sprouts; they have a very fresh flavor and sweet crunch when eaten raw. You can sprout many different kinds of beans, they are easy to digest, and they don't make you gassy like many of their un-sprouted counterparts. There are many different ways to sprout beans, but here is the very simple process that has been working amazingly for me.
The following photos are of one of the most popular sprouting beans, Mung beans (like the ones you typically get with Pad Thai or Pho). You can eat sprouted beans after just a couple of days, but they will continue to grow for up to a week. Keep in mind that larger beans can take longer to sprout, and also sprouting times can vary depending on the temperature of your home.
Start with a clean mason jar, or other food grade container. You can buy sprouting jars, or strainer lids, or simply wrap a cheese cloth around the opening with a rubber band to secure it in place. The cheese cloth or strainer lid make it easier to drain your beans properly every day. You want to rinse them twice a day, but you don't want them to sit in water for extended periods of time, so it's best to store the jar up side down to allow it to drain fully. Add only a small amount of beans as they will expand quite a bit during the sprouting process. The formula to a successful sprout is simple:
- Make sure to sanitize mason jars and cheese cloth
- Keep beans in a cool, dark place during sprouting process
- Rinse and drain beans twice a day (morning and night)
- Keep jar up side down so beans can drain fully every day
- Watch them grow!
Once your beans are sprouted, you can refrigerate them to keep them fresh. They will stay fresh and crunchy for a few days if kept cold. Use sprouted beans in your favorite recipes, including soups, salads, sandwiches, stir fry, rice, noodles, couscous... and much more!
What are your favorite ways to use bean sprouts? Send us your recipes, we'd love to try them out!