Unexpectedly Delicious: Bean Sprouts

Sprouts may not look like much, but they have a long medical and nutritional history! In fact, ancient Chinese physicians used to prescribe sprouts to assist in managing a variety of health conditions. Although bean sprouts have been a staple in many different areas of the world, they didn’t become popular in the west until about 30 years ago. There are a variety of sprouts available, from broccoli sprouts, to alfalfa sprouts, to bean sprouts! They vary in texture and taste, and can provide a spicy or sweet flavour depending on the variety. Today, the main producers of bean sprouts are China and India.

Why Should You Eat Them?

The most common bean sprout is made from mung beans, and can be identified by its yellow end and white tail. The sprouted variety actually contains more nutrients than the original beans, and they also require less cooking time! These sprouts are low in calories, but are high in essential nutrients. Aside from being low in fat, bean sprouts also provide a source of plant-based protein, along with fibre. They offer a good dose of essential nutrients including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, copper and manganese, which all play an important role in maintaining our health.

Nutrition Value of 1 cup (~130 g) of cooked Bean Sprouts: 

  • 3 grams of protein
  • 1 grams of fat
  • 1 gram of fibre
  • 17% of daily recommended folate intake
  • 38% of daily vitamin K needs
  • 25% of daily vitamin C requirements

 

The Wonders of How to Enjoy Them

The crunchy texture and slight sweetness of bean sprouts can enhance any dish, from stir-fries to salads to sandwiches; however, be sure to wash your bean sprouts well and cook them thoroughly prior to eating! Given that bean sprouts grow in a warm environment, they have a higher risk of contamination and have been linked to incidences of food borne illness. Due to this fact, pregnant women and those with weakened immune systems should avoid sprouts. In order to reap the nutritional benefits of bean sprouts, ensure you are consuming them in a safe way! Bean sprouts can be purchased year round. When shopping for bean sprouts, ensure they are fresh by looking for ones that are white, crisp and do not appear stringy. Try to use your bean sprouts as soon as possible. If that’s not an option, they can be stored for a short time in the vegetable crisper of your refrigerator. Rinsing them with cold water may help to extend their shelf life. Bean sprouts can also be frozen and will last longer when stored this way! Bean sprouts can be cooked in a variety of ways – blanched, steamed or sautéed, then added to your meal.

Recipe Ideas 

  • Thai Coconut Buddha Bowl with Peanut Sauce (this month’s feature recipe)
  • Asian Pasta Salad
  • Bean Sprout Stirfry
  • Sprouted Mung Bean Burgers
  • Spicy Thai Peanut Noodles
  • Vietnamese Summer Rolls
  • Laksa Coconut Curry Soup
  • Togu Guisadu (Sautéed Bean Sprouts)
  • Vegetable Chow Mein Noodle Bake

Did You Know That… 

In the 1700’s, sprouts were grown and used along with lemons and oranges to treat sailors with scurvy, as they are an excellent source of vitamin C! Today, bean sprouts are mainly used in Asian cuisine, but can be incorporated into any dish.

March 31, 2016
Revive Wellness