A fun activity to do with the family.. sprouting some beans! Sprouts are very nutritious, some are complete proteins (contain all of the essential amino acids), packed with enzymes, loaded with anti-oxidants and high in vitamins. They are mini nutritional powerhouses that are low in calories. Cooked mung bean sprouts are often found in Chinese/Asian foods. But, as we know.. when cooking the sprouts, the enzymes they worked so hard to produce are destroyed along with the other nutrients.... ...But.. if visiting an Asian restaurant you don't have to get them cooked.... ....When I go to the restaurant I order lightly steamed veggies with raw mung sprouts on a bed of brown rice. You may not always have the opportunity to be raw but you can always ask that they take the veggies off the grill earlier than normal and ask that they they leave the sprouts raw... all restaurants I have been to (not that there have been many since being raw) haven't denied me yet. Anyway... besides the high ezymatic profile in mung beans, they contain pure forms of vitamins A, B, C, and E, in addition to an assortment of minerals including calcium, iron, and potassium. Bean (or other) sprouts can add nutritional value to green smoothies, green juices, soups, salads, sandwiches or enjoyed by themselves as a snack. My children were unknowingly practicing mono eating the other day when enjoying their raw mung bean sprouts.
Making Raw Mung Bean Sprouts
Adopted from the style used in this organic sprouting article, with the help of my 2 1/2 year old daughter, we filled the bottom of our sprouting jar with some organic mung beans (sometimes we also mix in adzuki beans or use adzuki beans alone).
Next we topped it with some fresh water and let it sit in a dry dark cupboard over night.
The next day we drained the jar and poured in some water, then dumped it back out to give them a rinse. Then we set the jar on a 45 degree angle upside down in a bowl to allow it to drain fully throughout the day. We put the bowl on the fridge with a tea towel draped over top.
If you can remember to rinse/drain them a few times a day that's great..also be sure to wash out and dry the bowl on occasion. We usually put a sticky note on the cupboard that says "sprouts" as a reminder to anyone strolling by.
After a couple days of the rinse/drain cycles they should be ready to eat. If they start to grow roots they are still ok to eat... they just taste a little bitter.
We store ours in a bowl in the fridge and continue to rinse and drain them using a colander or other strainer.
My daughter loves to help... she likes to pour in the water and dump it back out.. and is excited to see that the "frouts" are bigger the next time we rinse them together :)
Now.. go make some sprouts!