Mung beans, also known as Vigna radiata, green gram or munggo, are small green beans and are a flavourful member of the legume family. Mung beans are native to India and their cultivation dates back to ancient times. They quickly spread from India to China and different parts of Asia.
There are different types of mung beans. You can buy them whole, split or sprouted. Whole mung beans are characterized by a green, fairly tough shell. Split mung beans are also often referred to as moong dal and have an orange interior. It is usually possible to buy these unhulled or hulled. Sprouted mung beans are the result of taking whole mung beans and soaking them to start the germination process.
Mung beans have been a staple of Indian and southeast-Asian cuisines since thousands of years. But recently they have made their way into european and north-american. Especially mung bean sprouts are quickly gaining popularity. They are extremely versatile, taste delicious and are recognized for their high nutritional profile.
Health Benefits of Mung Bean Sprouts
Mung bean sprouts are very high in protein, between 25% – 50% of their dry weight. This makes mung bean sprouts a fantastic alternative to meat and an important food source for vegans and vegetarians. Especially since mung bean sprouts contain a variety of essential amino acids, such as leucine, isoleucine, Phenylalanine, valine, lysine, and arginine.
Sprouted mung beans are also very high in dietary fiber, antioxidants and, vitamin C, folate and other B vitamins, as well as potassium, magnesium, folate and calcium.
Sprouting mung beans changes their nutritional composition. Sprouted mung beans contain fewer calories than unsprouted mung beans but higher amounts of antioxidants and amino acids. Furthermore, the process of sprouting increases the bioavailability of nutrients, whilst simultaneously reducing anti nutrients, making mung bean sprouts very easy to digest.
Health benefits commonly associated with the consumption of sprouted mung beans are:
- Reduced risk of chronic diseases
- Lower LDL cholesterol levels and therefore lower risk of heart disease
- Ability to reduce blood pressure levels
- Improved digestion
- Lower blood sugar levels
- Promotes weight loss
- Supports a healthy pregnancy*
Mung beans are little powerhouses with a high nutritional value and plenty of health promoting antioxidants. They have a variety of powerful health benefits, that you should take advantage of.
*Pregnant women should not consume raw sprouts as they can carry bacteria and cause infections. Cooked beans and sprouts are safe to consume.
How To Grow Mung Bean Sprouts At Home
Growing mung bean sprouts at home is the perfect way to learn about sprouting at home. They grow very quickly and are incredibly simple to grow yourself.
To grow mung bean sprouts at home, you will need a large glass jar with a sprouting lid, some water and a stand for your jar that allows excess water to drain. Mung beans will increase a lot in volume when soaking them, so you will only need a small amount of mung beans to start. Because sprouts are usually eaten raw, it is important to use high-quality organic beans.
Start with filling about 2 tablespoons of mung beans into your glass jar and fill it halfway with water. Leave the beans to soak for 12 hours, then drain the water. Rinse the beans with fresh water a few times and then drain again fully. Now place the jar upside down on the stand, allowing excess water to drain out and air to circulate. Rinse and drain your mung beans twice per day in the morning and in the evening. After just 1-2 days you will see little white tails appearing. This means your sprouts are ready to harvest.
For a complete guide on how to grow sprouts at home, take a look here.
How Do Mung Bean Sprouts Taste?
Mung bean sprouts have a very delicate flavor, similar to fresh green peas. It is very mild with a subtle hint of sweetness. Due to the mild flavour mung bean sprouts won’t overwhelm a dish, quite the opposite, they absorb the surrounding flavors. Mung bean sprouts add some crunch and juiciness to a dish.
Mung bean sprouts taste fantastic in: