Saturday, January 22, 2011

Well Grounded

I have found that buying edible sprouts is quite common nowadays. Also, it has become quite trendy to grow your own sprouts. Cool little gadgets, meshes and growers seem to be available to the mass market. In fact, I have personally seen moong (a.k.a. mung) bean growers for sale for an exuberant amount of money. I want to let you in on a secret...

Moong beans are very inexpensive and you do not need any fancy equipment in order to sprout them!

Moong beans can be purchased at any Indian or Chinese grocery store. The average price for these beans is approximately $1.00-$1.50/lb CAD. (That's a whole lot of beans!)

On to the sophisticated and highly technical equipment. I use a glass pie plate. You may also use a shallow bowl. Simply put a handful of moong beans in the plate and cover with cold water. Be sure not to overfill your plate with the beans. They will increase in size considerably.

I usually place the plate where it won't be knocked around and where it can be kept relatively warm. Above the fridge works best for me. You will notice that the beans will start to grow quite quickly. This picture was taken after the beans were soaked overnight.

As the beans grow and the water evaporates, you will need to top your plate with more water.

As a general rule of thumb, your beans are ready once the roots are approximately the size of the bean (or longer). Give them a rinse, using a colander or sieve, under some fresh water and they will be ready to use. Feel free to keep the husks, as they are a great source of fiber.

There are many ways to enjoy sprouted moong beans. One of my favourite ways is by creating a salad with moong bean sprouts, steamed corn, olive oil, lemon juice and sea salt.

Other ways of using these sprouts include:
- creating a sprouted moog bean curry
- adding them to a stir-fry
- steaming them by themselves or with other vegetables
- sprucing up a boring salad by adding a handful

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