Crisp and fresh with as slightly sweet, slightly nutty and very moist snappiness; the mung bean sprout is an interesting addition to my morning eggs.
Mung Bean Sprouts are, drum roll please... sprouts from Mung Beans, which are a type of legume. Mung beans seem to have originated in India however have made their way into hot and dry regions around the globe. The sprouts are made by soaking dry beans in water for about four hours and then letting them sit in a dark space until they begin sprouting. Sprouting beans at home is on the one hand quite simple, but on the other hand, one must take great care not to end up with a breeding ground for bacteria. That being said, sprouts are a delicious addition to meals both sweet and savory. They are a common ingredient in Asian cuisine and most of the ‘bean’ sprouts found in stir-fries, spring rolls, and other delicious dishes are from the tasty mung bean. Although, sometimes they are from soy beans so it’s good to ask if you are concerned and avoiding soy. Personally, I like the fresh, young sprouts before they actually grow into the longer version that you find in most dishes. The young sprouts will still have a decent part of the bean attached making them quite fun to chew and imparting greater nutrient density.
From a health perspective, sprouts are typically a really great source of nutrients. Sprouting is similar to cooking in that it decreases the lectin content in legumes, making the nutrients more available for assimilation. Mung bean sprouts are a great source of vitamin K, C, E and B. They have a significant amount of iron and potassium. The phytonutrients in sprouts make them anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal. Interestingly, according to research the highest nutrient density is on day 1 of sprouting, decreasing with each day and amount of growth. The consumption of mung bean sprouts can help balance blood sugar and increase metabolism of nutrients. Studies also show that the young sprouts have antimicrobial qualities that help fight Helicobacter pylori, which is a bacteria that contributes to ulcers and other gastrointestinal issues.
If you haven’t tried sprouts, I highly recommend it, just be mindful to wash them well to avoid any bacterial mishaps.