How to Sprout Mung Beans – Grow Your Pantry

How to Sprout Mung Beans

by Susan Grey on July 12, 2019
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Mung beans commonly referred to as green grams belongs to the legume family and were first cultivated in East Asia and the Indian subcontinent. This small greenish seed is common in both sweet and savory dishes. However, today, we will focus on what happens to the grain when it sprouts and what that means for your overall diet and health.
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How to Sprout Mung Beans with a Mason Jar

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Ingredients:

  • A mason jar 16oz
  • A net or mesh cloth
  • Kitchen dish
  • A piece string or rubber band
  • Mung beans packet 200g
  • Clean water supply

 

Directions:

Day 1:
Selecting seeds: Use whole mature and dried mung beans. This ensures a maximum germination ratio. Consider using chemical free seeds to avoid contamination. 
Initial 8-16 hours:
Soak: To start off the germination process, you should soak the seeds in a dish overnight. 16oz (approx 475ml) of tap water should be enough to completely submerge the beans. This triggers the enzymes responsible for germination, and the seeds will be noticeably enlarged.
Drain the seeds and place them in the mason jar. By now they should have expanded, and the skin should be tender.
Cover the top with a net or mesh cloth. Use a rubber band or the string to secure it into place. Store the jar in an upside-down position in a dark place; a cupboard will do just fine.
Day 2:
Rinse out the mung beans by simply pouring clean water into the mason jar and draining it out. Do this for a couple of times until the water becomes clear. Place the mason jar back in the dark place.
Repeat the rinsing process at least four times per day. By now the seeds should have started to sprout roots.
Day 3:
By now the sprouts should be at least an inch long. This means that they are ready for consumption. Remove the mesh cloth and rinse the sprouts into a basin filled with water.
The hulls should float at this point, making them easy to remove. Use a colander to drain out the sprouts and transfer them into the fridge to store for the next few days.

How to Sprout Mung Beans with a Tray Seed Sprouter

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Image from @sustainablenewb Instagram

 

Ingredients:

  • Tray seed sprouter 1ft long 
  • Kitchen dish
  • Mung beans 200g
  • Clean water supply

 

Directions:

Day 1:
Submerge the mung beans in a bowl of water so they are completely covered. Leave overnight; this will jump-start the germination process before transferring them onto the sprouter.
Day 2:
Rinse out the mung beans and spread them evenly on to the sprouting tray.
Gently water the tray taking care not to flood it as the drainage holes on the bottom can only drain so much at a time.
Place the tray on a rack in a dark room.
Day 3:
Rinse them. If they have already grown to the desired length, then you should remove them and store for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. If they are not yet long enough, you can allow for another day or two of growth before harvesting.
 
 

What are Sprouted Mung Beans?

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Sprouted mung beans come from the germination of mung beans. Sprouting is the germination process which involves the growth of shoots out of a seed or spore. 
They are therefore seeds which have undergone an artificial triggering of the germination process. This is done by placing the beans in the shade and watering them until the sprouting begins.

Top 5 Health Benefits of Eating Sprouted Foods

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(link)
1. Packed with Nutrients:
They are rich in plant-based nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, and proteins. The sprouting process activates the stored nutrients making them readily available. This is the reason why most of the sprouted seeds can also be eaten raw as they don’t require the cooking process to breakdown stored nutrients.
Sprouted foods also have more essential amino acids by as much as 30% compared to dry seeds. These proteins play a major role in maintaining muscles and other cells. Other nutrients found in them include folate, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamins K and C, and manganese.

 

2. Improve Digestive System
Sprouted grains contain a higher amount of insoluble fiber. This helps inconsistent bowel movement.
Sprouting also reduces the amount of gluten in grains. This makes it a lot easier for those with gluten sensitivity to digest. The sprouting process also softens seeds making them easy to digest.

 

3. Aids in Blood Sugar Control and Weight Loss
The low starch count plays a significant role in weight control as the meal does not contain excess sugar-based nutrients which would otherwise be converted to fat. This combined to the reduced urge to eat induced by the high fiber content will encourage weight loss.
The sprouting process activates enzymes responsible for breaking down stored starch in the grains. The sprouting also reduces the number of calories, making it a much healthier nutritional source.
A recent study found that sprouting seeds have a lower carb count. As a result, any meal based on such will have a low glycemic index. This ensures that the blood sugar won’t rise as quickly as it would be compared to consuming other food varieties. This makes sprouted grains perfect for those with diabetes.

 

4. Rich in Antioxidants
They contain antioxidants that play a vital role in inhibiting oxidation and removing oxidizing agents. This reduces the deterioration of healthy cells in the body which helps with anti-aging. 
Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol accumulation in the body is associated with an increased risk of heart disease. Antioxidants found in the beans help in lowering blood LDL cholesterol as well as preventing the LDL particles from interacting with other unstable free radicals, which usually results in an increased risk of developing cancer.

 

5. Helps in Controlling Blood Pressure
They are rich in potassium and magnesium. The sprouting process leaves these minerals readily available for absorption. Once in the bloodstream, these minerals significantly reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
They also have enzymes which have been proven to suppress other enzymes which naturally raise blood pressure. Their higher dietary fiber content also plays a role in reducing the blood pressure.

Tools Required

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Image from @mummssproutingseeds Instagram

 

For the best sprouting outcomes, you will have to plan ahead and set aside all the equipment that you will require. Usually, this is determined by your sprouting method of choice.
Sprouting Jars:
These are glass jars that are specially designed for sprouting seeds. They feature a plastic mesh screw lid. These have a smooth interior without any sharp edges to prevent the accumulation of gunk along the edges. There are two varieties of sprouting jars: quart and half gallon glass sprouting jar.
Sprouting Lids:
In case you can’t get your hands on specialized sprouting jars you can use regular canning jars that you might have at home. These jars then need to be fitted with lids that allow airflow and easy water drainage during the rinsing and soaking steps. Mesh sprouting lids are convenient and best recommended for wide mouth canning jars. 
Alternatively, you can use a cheesecloth or loose cloth weave fastened to the jar using a piece of string.
Sprouting Sacks:
When dealing with large seeds such as kidney beans and garbanzo seeds sprouting them in a confined jar might constrict the airflow leading to rot. Instead, you should consider using a sprouting sack, which is a loose-weave bag. This allows for free airflow to the seeds in the sack and will come in handy in warm weather where water evaporates fast.
Seed Sprouters:
These are specialized equipment usually made of plastic that is designed to hold seed sprouts while allowing free flow water to pass through to other compartments. Depending on the manufacturer, they can sprout multiple containers of seeds allowing you to sprout various varieties on the go.

Considerations When Sprouting

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Water Flow: 
When sprouting mung beans or any other food variety keep in mind that the sprout’s only other ingredient is the water that you soak it in. It is therefore imperative to use clean, filtered water for both soaking and rinsing stages.
Keep in mind that the sprouting seed requires a constant supply of air in order to grow so you should avoid standing water after the initial soaking period. Ensure that the sprouting container is well drained after each subsequent soaking cycle.
Temperature:
If it gets too hot, chances are that the enzymes involved in the germination process will be denatured and growth will stop leading to stunted sprouts. The other extreme end is also true, to avoid all this instead ensure that your sprouting jars and seed sprouters are kept within room temperature.
High humidity will also encourage the growth of bacteria, which can lead to rot. To counter this problem, you should regularly rinse your sprouting seeds and ensure that proper airflow is maintained at all times.
Light Requirement:
While some sprouts can grow in a relatively dark room, others do require light after the first 3 to 4 days. After all, sprouts are just like other photosynthetic plants, and they do require ultraviolet light rays to produce their food. Of course, for sprouts that require less than a week of sprouting before they are ready then you don’t need to worry about light requirements.
However, for other cases such as wheatgrass, allowing proper lighting will play a significant role in the success of your sprouting project.

Common Questions When Sprouting 

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How long do mung beans take to sprout?
Under proper conditions,  they will sprout within 36 to 72 hours after the initial 8-hour soak. This rate will vary due to current weather conditions such as temperature and humidity.

 

How do you sprout mung beans overnight?
Soak the dry beans in a dish filled with water and allow them to soak overnight. In the morning drain the excess water using a colander and cover the seeds with a mesh cloth. In the evening put the beans in a covered corning dish and place them in the oven with the light turned on (light only not the heat). By the next morning, the seed will have sprouted.

 

Can you eat mung bean sprouts raw?
Yes, raw mung bean sprouts are used to prepare salads and are perfectly fine to eat raw or cooked. However, you should maintain safe food hygiene practices when dealing with raw sprouts as there is a chance that they might get contaminated with bacteria.

 

Do you need to soak sprouted mung beans?
No, after the initial soak which triggers germination you don’t need to soak them again. Instead, you should rinse them often.

 

How can I sprout faster?
To sprout mung beans faster, you need to maintain optimum conditions for germination. This includes a constant airflow, meeting the seeds’ water requirement and maintaining a constant room temperature as fluctuations will negatively affect the enzymes.

 

Can you eat sprouted lentils?
Yes, sprouted lentils are a good source of nutrients. The slightly peppery taste with a hint of earthy flavor makes them perfect for lunch.

 

Recipes

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Chinese Cuisine:
Recipe: (link)
In Chinese cuisine sprouted mung beans have quite a lineup of dishes. From fried rice to spring rolls. The most common preparation method involves stir frying the mung bean sprouts before mixing them into other ingredients. Stir-fried mung sprouts are also served with turnip cake, egg drop soup or hot and sour soup.

 

Japanese Cuisine:
Recipe: (link)
In Japanese cuisine, mung bean sprouts are mostly used as topping on noodle dishes. They can also be stir-fried and added to soups. For a quick but healthy meal ramen is served with stir-fried mung bean sprout topping.

 

Korean Cuisine:
Recipe: (link)
While mung bean sprouts are not as common as soybean sprouts in Korean cuisine, they are at times used interchangeably in a wide range of dishes. Sukjunamul, which refers to seasoned mung bean sprouts, is more common compared to the ojingeo sundae, which is a squid sundae. They are also used in the filling of dumplings.

 

Nepalese Cuisine:
Recipe: (link)
In the Nepalese cuisine, one sprout mung bean dish stands out in a sea of recipes: the Kwati. This soup consists of nine types of sprouted beans and is prepared during the August festival of Janai Purnima. It includes stir-frying onions, mung sprouts, ginger, garlic, spices, and potatoes.
 

Other Types of Sprouts

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Barley Sprout:
Barley happens to be one of the most widely consumed grains in American diets. Apart from being nutrient packed and having lower cholesterol levels, it also has a higher fiber content. Sprouted barley has all of the above benefits but with reduced gluten count thanks to the breakdown of such molecules during the germination process.
Sprouted barley can be consumed in 2 primary forms. 5-day old barley sprouts are dried and milled into flour which is then used to make sprouted barley bread. The other option is to let the sprouted barley grains grow to about 4 inches into what is commonly referred to as barley grass. This is then juiced using a manual grass juicer.
Sprouted Wheat Berries:
Wheat holds the top position as the most consumed grain on earth. When consumed as a whole grain in wholemeal bread, it can provide increased fiber content compared to bleached white wheat flour.
Sprouting the grain increases the nutritional value of wheat. Research has proven that a sprouted wheat grain has over 200% increase in essential amino acids and vitamins compared to dry grain. This plus the reduced amounts of starch make it an excellent nutrient source without any side effects.
Sprouted wheat has a nutty flavor with a chewy texture making them a great addition to soups, pasta, rice, and salads. It can also be milled and used to prepare sprouted grain bread.
Sprouted Lentils:
Lentil is quite the powerhouse legume, being high in protein, minerals, and calories it makes for an all rounded meal. This only gets better when lentils sprout; the calorie count reduces, and the stored proteins get activated. The sprouted legume is also rich in iron, manganese, phosphorus, and thiamin, which play a significant role in the formation of healthy bones and teeth.
Sprouted lentils have a distinctive earthy flavor and a chewy husk. The majority of the sprout usually disintegrates into a tasty puree that’s rather thick. There are a variety of ways to consume this dish including sprouted lentil slaw which requires tomatoes, green onions, and avocados. If you are feeling adventurous, you can try out the sprouted lentil tacos or spicy sprouted lentils.
Radish Sprouts:
Radish has an edible root that’s treated as a vegetable, but this plant has another consumable product that doesn’t get as much attention, its seeds. Radish sprouts have a flavor close to that of a fully-grown radish but with a nutty flavor associated with the seed husk.
Sprouted radishes have a high concentration of vitamins A, B, K, E, and C. the minerals constituents include calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, potassium, and iron. Its consumption is also linked to improved immunity thanks to the antioxidants.
Radish sprouts are best consumed in salads. They will go down well with parsley dressing and creamy basil.
Pea Shoots:
Pea is a protein-rich legume that gets ignored way too often; after all, you are likely to use a bag of frozen peas to do anything other than cooking them. However, our attention is to the young pea shoots, rather than the seed, which are usually harvested at about three weeks while they are around four inches tall.
Unlike other sprouts, pea shoots are allowed to grow for an extended time so that they can develop the delicious springy stems. These are rich in vitamin C and A. They also pack quite a healthy amount of amino acids, and best of all, they are gluten-free. The young shoots are a great source of dietary fiber without the starch associated with mature seeds.

 

 

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