bean sprouts

What is bean sprouts? glossary | benefits | uses | recipes with bean sprouts | Viewed 89286 times

What is bean sprouts?

Bean sprouts are obtained from the germination of beans. They are tender edible shoots, which protrude from germination. An assortment of beans can be sprouted. However, moong beans are a common and popular choice to make bean sprouts. Moong bean sprouts find their origins in Asia and are commonly used in Chinese cooking. Bean sprouts have a crunchy and a mildly-sweet flavour, which makes it a popular ingredient that can be used raw or semi-cooked. Cooking destroys some of the heat-sensitive vitamin C in bean sprouts. To save it, follow cooking methods like steaming or stir-frying, or serve raw.

How to select bean sprouts

• If preparing bean sprouts at home, ensure that you use good quality beans.
• If purchasing bean sprouts from a grocery store, check if the sprouts are fresh, free from dirt and not slimy.
• They should look crisp and not limp.
• Avoid mushy and moist sprouts because they have lost moisture and vitamin C.

Culinary Uses of bean sprouts in Indian Cooking

• Bean sprouts are best used raw, so combine with vegetables and dressings of your choice to make salads that will jump-start your day.
• Stir fry with zucchini, broccoli, baby corn and spices to make a crisp accompaniment to main courses. You may also add Chinese flavorings like soya sauce, salt and white pepper to enhance the taste.
• Toss with steamed rice, butter and garlic to make healthy yet delicious rice.
• Add to soups, gravies, stews as required to nutritionally boost the recipe.
• Use chopped bean sprouts to make fillings for steamed wontons, spring rolls, parathas, noodle rosti etc.
• In Chinese and Thai cuisine, it is added to noodles, chopsueys, etc. It is a primary ingredient in Pad Thai, a traditional Thai food that is basically stir-fried rice noodles cooked with fish sauce, tamarind juice, eggs and a combination of shrimps, tofu or chicken and bean sprouts, and garnished with peanuts and coriander.

Healthy Indian Bean Sprouts Recipes 

As mentioned before, bean sprouts are considered to be very healthy. There are many ways to incorporate it in our diet in a controlled manner that benefits our overall health. Bean sprouts and Veggie Wrap is a protein rich recipe coupled with a ton of antioxidants from broccoli, carrots and other vegetables which are stuffed together in a whole wheat roti.

Combining vegetables and fruits together makes for a wonderful combination. Taking that into account we have the Papaya, Cabbage and Bean Sprouts Salad, which is a slightly Asian salad with raw vegetables and the kick of soy sauce that makes it all better!

International Bean Sprouts Recipes 

Chinese cuisine understands the importance of bean sprouts and that’s why uses it in their daily food intake. 5 Spice Tofu and Bean Sprouts Rice is the right example to for this. The delicate rice preparation is flavored with the Chinese 5 spice powder and each ingredient is done justice to.

How to store bean sprouts

• Pack the bean sprouts in zip-lock or plastic containers and refrigerate. Use within two days.

Health benefits of bean sprouts

1. Bean Sprouts are one of the most complete and nutritional of all the foods that exist.

2. Bean Sprouts have greater concentration of vitamins, minerals and proteins.

3. Bean sprouts have content of living enzymes which boost metabolic process and aid in digestion.

4. With lots of dietary fiber to their credit, beans sprouts add bulk to stools and makes the passage of stools through the digestive tract easier. This helps to avoid constipation.

5. With significant amounts of iron, beans sprouts help to maintain the red blood cell (RBC) count. A good RBC count means no sign of anaemia and in turn no symptoms of fatigue, pale skin, tiredness etc.

6. Bean sprouts are a boon for heart patients. They help maintain cholesterol levels in the blood and avoid the formation of plaque. This reduces the chances of heart diseases and strokes.

7. Diabetics can also include these healthy sprouts to their diet. They wouldn’t experience a spike in blood sugar levels with the consumption of these sprouts.

8. This is a super food for mums-to-be also. A good folate count of bean sprouts helps to promote the growth of fetus and prevents neural tube defects.

9. Of course, for athletes and weight watchers too these sprouts are a must. Protein, fiber, minerals, vitamins – all that they need dwells in these sprouts.

Chopped bean sprouts
Place the bean sprouts with tender shoots on a chopping board. Using a knife, finely chop vertically till you get fine pieces. Chopped bean sprouts are used in making fillings for stuffed dumplings, wontons, Chinese spring rolls, Chinese samosa etc.