Occasionally when I go to the grocery store, I pick up a bag of bean sprouts with the best of intentions. I enjoy eating bean sprouts, but once I get home they go straight in the fridge. The next time I get them out, they have invariably gone bad. It could be a few hours or days, but I rarely get to eat them.
Besides tasting good, mung beans are a natural source of vitamins A, B, C, and E and minerals including Calcium, Iron, and Potassium. They are high in fiber and are easily digestible. They are very low in calories and make a great snack or an addition to a meal.
A few weeks ago I picked up a bean sprouter from Freecycle, complete with a half bag of mung beans. I brought it home and started some sprouts. They are very easy to grow and taste great fresh. The best part is that if I forget about them, they just keep growing instead of going bad!
Although you don’t need a sprouter to grow them, it does make it easier. To start, you soak the beans in water. I usually soak them overnight, but I have told it does not need to be that long. The bean plump up in that time, and occasionally you find a bean that doesn’t get bigger or begins to look funny. Those beans head to the compost bin, while the other ones get rinsed and placed into a sprouter tray.
Before soaking overnight and after!
Once the beans are in the tray, water is added to the water reservoir. In a bean sprouter, the water slowly trickles down from one tray to the other until it ends up in the bottom. Twice a day, you empty the bottom tray which is filled with drained water, and then fill up the reservoir. In about 3 -4 days, you have tasty bean sprouts!
The beans after a day and a half of growth
The beans after two and a half days of growth
After four days, these beans are a bit overgrown and ready…
I like to start sprouts 2-3 days apart, so I have a fresh batch about every other day.