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15 Mar 2010

Mung Beans - Nutritious and Tasty

Fresh uncooked bean sprouts on a dishImage via Wikipedia

We all know of bean sprouts, having seen them in supermarkets or in Chinese and Thai food, but not everyone knows that they are sprouted mung beans. Mung beans are seeds of the pods of the Vigna radiata plant which is part of the legume family. They are native to Asia. In the West mung beans were originally grown as animal feed. 

Mung beans are small and dark green in colour and in many places also known as moong and green gram.  They are sweet, and soft, and they are easily digested. They are sprouted,  split and hulled (mung dal), or ground and their starch extracted and made into cellophane noodles. Mung dal,  is referred to as the "queen of lentils"  in Asia, is light yellow in colour and is used in many Ayurvedic dishes.

Mung dal and mung beans are a source of protein, dietary fiber,  B vitamins, magnesium, phosphorous, folic acid (folate), iron, manganese, zinc, copper and aminos. Sprouting the whole beans improves on their nutritious content and adds vitamin C.  They are low in sodium and a cup of bean sprouts contains 3 grams of protein and a cup of boiled mung beans contains 14 grams of protein.

Enjoy the sprouts in stir frys, salads and added to sandwich fillings.  Neither whole mung beans not mung dal needs soaking before cooking and have a butter soft consistency once cooked and are used in soups, stews, and salads.  Due to it's energy and strength giving benefits mung dal is part of a popular Ayurvedic dish called Kicharee. It is eaten during cleansing and detoxification programs, when recovering from illness, by the elderly, and also to balance one at the change of seasons. 

So pick up a packet of mung dal or a packet of mung beans to cook and to sprout today.  Inexpensive, tasty and nutritious!

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Kicharee 
From Pukka Herbs' Ayurvedic Recipes
Try eating kicharee regularly: it is easy to digest, very nourishing and delicious.

1/3 cup split mung dal 
2/3 cup basmati rice (or other grain)
3-4 cups of water (a ratio of 1:3 or 1:4).
1/2 tsp each of organic turmeric, ginger, roasted cumin and coriander. Adjust flavour to your preference.
seasonal vegetables like spinach, peas, seaweeds, shitake mushrooms.

Simmer the mung dal and rice in the water. Add all the herbs and then the vegetables. The best practice is to cook it on a very low heat in a covered saucepan and DO NOT stir it after all the ingredients are added or it will go mushy. Stir in a teaspoon of hemp seed oil at the end.

Rockin' Pumkin Soup (Raw)
From Raw Pleasure, created by Jenergy      
For a long time I believed that raw pumpkin soup was not possible. 'Tis! This is one of my favourite raw dishes. Easy on the tummy, easy on the eye and a treat for the taste-buds!  ~ Jennie

Soup
2 cups diced butternut pumpkin, diced
½ cup of brazil nuts
½ teaspoon of salt
½ clove garlic
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 kaffir lime leaf
1-2 cups of water, depending on how you like your consistency
Croutons
corn kernals, off one cob
1 red or yellow capsicum, diced
1 small cucumber, diced
1 cup of mung bean sprouts

In your high speed blender add the pumpkin, brazil nuts, salt, garlic, cumin, kaffir lime leaf and water. Blend on high until smooth. Pour into a bowl and add your croutons. Jennie's Note: Whenever I make a soup I like to dice in some fresh vegies for the chew factor. When we chew our mouth releases saliva which is the first stage of digestion with our food. This helps our tummy immeasurably. I've used my favourites for this recipe but you can also use carrots, celery, tomato, other greens, finely chopped nuts or seeds, parsnip, cauliflower or broccoli. When it comes to vegetable croutons you are only limited by your imagination. Go for it. Have fun! 

Gingery Mung Bean Sprouts Pancake (Gluten-Free)
From All Recipes By Kaoru   
This is a savory pancake. Make it with plenty of mung bean sprouts! Unlike other bean sprouts, mung sprouts are eaten cooked in Japan. They are economical and nutritious! I created this recipe for my wheat-free diet, but if you like go ahead and use wheat flour for barley flour. It tastes like good old Japan to me!! ~ Kaoru 

2 tbsps / 10 gms minced fresh ginger root
1 tbsp / 15 mls tamari
1/4 tsp sea salt
6 tbsps / 55 gms barley flour
1/4 cup / 60 mls water
1 cup / 105 gms  mung bean sprouts
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp sesame oil
ground cayenne pepper to taste (optional)

In a medium bowl, mix together ginger, tamari, sea salt, barley flour, and water. Stir in mung bean sprouts, coating the sprouts with the batter. You may want to break some sprouts into smaller pieces before adding to the batter. Heat vegetable oil and sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, and pour in batter to make one 6 inch pancake. Cook for about 4 minutes on each side. Serve hot or cool. Sprinkle cayenne pepper or more soy sauce over the cooked pancake if you like!

Mungous Dip (similar to Hummus, but Green)
From Yoga Murrieta    

1 cup mung beans
4 cups Water
2 limes squeezed
2 cloves garlic minced
2 tbsps sesame tahini paste
2 tbsps extra virgin olive oil 
1 tsp salt
squirt Braggs
1/4 tsp black pepper
dash of cayenne pepper
Bring mung beans to boil in water and turn heat to low and continue to boil for 35-40 minutes until done. Or pressure cook for 12 minutes with a quick release. Strain mung beans and smash or blend with the rest of the ingredients. Use as a dip with green vegetable slices for the Green Diet or the Mungs Beans & Rice Diet. Vegetables such as cucumber or zucchini slices, bell pepper squares or celery sticks, etc... Enjoy.

8 comments:

PDM said...

There’s an interesting post over at the Health Journal Club that makes the case that people should just not eat anything that wasn’t a food 100 years ago. Gets rid of the aspartame, bleached GM flour, high fructose corn syrup garbage they try to pass off as food these days. If interested you can read on it here,
http://healthjournalclub.blogspot.com/2010/01/100-year-diet.html

Robert Zemekis said...

Great post and photo too.. Interesting facts...
Thanks for sharing and possibility to comment! Welcome to visit Ideal Weight Blog to find some recipes and great articles! Thanks!

Marion said...

I use mung beans in stir fries and soups and salads and pancakes and sandwiches...you could say they are a staple in my house! There is a lot in your post that educates me, however, on these great sprouts!

Mike Foster said...

i admit that while i am a vegetarian, i don't eat as much sprouts as one would imagine...but this post has pointed me in the right directions...


peace,
mike
livelife365.com

LC David said...

Its good Mungs Beans Nice post an interesting blog you always share excellent knowledge.
Chiropractor Saint Paul

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cstone said...

I am glad to know about the nutritional and health benefits of these sprouts. Great recipes too!

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