Bean sprouts – home gardening at its simplest! Take a few dried beans, add a little water, wait a while, and boom – magic! You can apparently sprout most dried legumes and seeds of all sorts, but we have only experimented with mung beans, the source of standard bean sprouts available at the grocery store.
Sprouting mung beans can take anywhere from 2 to 5 days, depending on how big you want them. The photo above shows them at 2 1/2 days, which we thought was about perfect (though they were tasty when they were smaller as well). You can expect the beans to expand 2 to 4 times their original quantity by the time they are fully sprouted.
We found it a lot of fun to make sprouts at home. While they are easy and cheap enough to purchase at the store, there is something special about watching them grow in your own kitchen (and avoiding processing plants). I generally don’t pay too much attention to the the raw food movement, but it feels wonderfully healthy to eat something that is so alive and and tasty. Enjoy them on salads, in a stir-fry, or just by the handful!
- ½ cup mung beans (or other sprouting start of your choice)
- Rinse ½ cup of mung beans thoroughly, picking out any nasty-looking beans.
- Place the beans in the bottom of a jar and cover with several inches of water. Cover the jar with cheesecloth (or some foil with holes punched in it) and secure the cloth with a rubber band or jar band.
- Place the jar in a dark location at room temperature. Let the beans soak for 8 to 12 hours, or overnight.
- Drain the water from the beans and rinse the beans in the jar. Drain all of the water out of the jar, re-cover with the cheesecloth, and return to the dark location.
- At least twice a day over the next several days, rinse the beans in the jar thoroughly, drain the water completely, and re-cover. This prevents the beans from getting musty or moldy. Remove any suspect sprouts.
- When the sprouts have reached the desired size (around 2 to 4 days), remove them from the jar and rinse well. Eat immediately, or store dry in a container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.