Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sprouts: Easy, quick ,healthy, versatile and yummy

Its rare to get all the qualities in a single food and mung bean sprouts easily qualify for this elite club of foods. Rich in Vitamin A, B and C, proteins and many minerals these sprouts could be your shortcut to getting wholesome nutrition.

Available in any Indian grocery store (and in health food store probably), these beans are super easy to sprout and very light on stomach.

I usually soak about a cup of beans at a time. Keep them in a bowl with 1 cup mung and 2 cups of water, the beans usually get about 1.5 times their initial size after soaking, so the bowl should be big enough to hold them.

Within 48 hours you should be able to see tiny white sprouts from the beans and at that point you can drain the surplus water. The sprouts are ready to eat now, but if you give the sprouts a couple more days to grow ( about 48 hours more) they will be tastier.

Depending on the quality of dry mung beans sometimes there are seeds that just don't sprout and remain hard even after all the soaking. if you see some such seeds you might want to pick them, or they will be hard to eat in whatever you prepare with the sprouts. An easy way to do this is to put all the sprouts in a big plate and then inclining the plate at an angle. Because the sprouted mungs are no longer round they will hang on to their place, but the unsprouted ones are still round in shape and they will slide of to the other end of you plate. From my experience I have seen that the bigger the size of dry mung beans, the better their chance of sprouting.

These sprouts can be eaten in variety of ways, and to me they're yummy in all their avtars.

You can eat them raw, or toss a handful in a salad.

You can microwave them in a bowl and add some lemon juice and salt ( and maybe pepper) and they are good to go. ( I personally love this version).

They can be roasted for a minute in a skillet.

You can stir-fry them with some pepper. Add some cilantro on top as shown in the picture. (BEB loves it)

Whatever you do, you can't go wrong with sprouts. Although mung beans are the easiest to sprout, once you get the hang of the things, you could also try chick-pea, grams and other beans.

This is a very inexpensive and easy way to pack more nutrition in your meals with less effort.

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