With Spring comes new life and lightness; and time to start moving away from root vegetables towards the ones that grow upward from the earth. It’s also a great time for sprouting. I’ve been having lots of fun in my kitchen soaking dried mung beans and sprouting them. It’s so beautiful to watch a hard and shriveled bean transform into a delicate sprout.
Sprouting helps beans and legumes to become more digestible and also increases some of their vitamin and mineral content, specifically vitamin A, C and B vitamins.
Mung bean sprouts are one of the most popular types (seen most often in Asian cuisine), and they are also really easy to grow at home. Getting your beans to sprout, or at least grow little tails, is as simple as soak, then drain, rinse and repeat. Here are the directions for creating your own sprouted mung beans.
1. Wash beans under cold, running water. Then transfer to a bowl. Cover with 2 to 3 inches of water and soak for a minimum of 8 to 12 hours.
2. Drain the water, then rinse and drain again.
3. Place beans in a colander, or a basket lined with cheese cloth and place over a bowl to allow drainage. You may also use a sprouting jar, if you have one.
4. Rinse and drain the sprouts every 8 hours (at least 2-3 times per day or whenever they seem particularly dry). They will start to grow tails after 2 or 3 days and can be consumed at this point. If you want longer tails, continue sprouting for longer.
These Sprouted Mung Bean Collard Rolls are great for a weeknight dinner, quick lunch, or an afternoon picnic. You can also skip the collard leaf for a plentiful grain and bean salad.
Sprouted Mung Bean Collard Rolls
½ cup millet
½ cup quinoa
1 ¼ cups water or vegetable stock
6 large collared leaves
½ cup mushrooms, diced
½ cup broccoli florets, chopped into small pieces
½ cup sprouted mung beans
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp curry powder
1/8 tsp cayenne (or more to taste)
½ tsp garam masala
½ tsp turmeric
splash of fresh lemon juice
1. In a medium sauce pan, combine grains, salt and water or stock. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes, or until all the liquid is absorbed. Fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
2. Bring to boil a large pot of water, with a tablespoon of salt. Blanch collards by simmering for 2 minutes, then immediately drain and submerge into an ice bath or under cold running water to quickly cool and stop the cooking process. Set aside.
3. In a large pan, heat olive oil, then add onion and sauté until translucent and starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms, mung beans, broccoli florets and spices and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes, until mushrooms are soft and broccoli is tender.
4. Combine vegetables with the millet, either in the pan if large enough, or in a separate bowl. Add splash of lemon juice, and salt and pepper to taste.
5. Remove the thick stem of each leaf with a knife, dividing each leaf in half (if they are on the smaller side, leave them whole). Spoon about 2-3 tablespoons of the millet mixture along the rib side of the leaves, fold over the sides and roll up tightly. **You may also skip the collard wraps and enjoy the grain and veggie mixture on its own.
More on Sprouting – How to Grow Your Own Sprouts!
Also by Christine: 4 Tips for Spring Cleaning Your Pantry