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Christopher Greaves

Bean Sprouts

Why spend hours lugging water in the form of expensive Boston or Romaine Lettuce home from the store when you can have fresher, tastier salads for mere pennies?

I purchase bags of mung beans at the Bulk Barn in Square One Mississauga.

I use clean tapered tumblers, but any decent-sized tumbler will do. Place a plastic tub lid over the tumbler if you are worried about insects.

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Sunday morning 9:00 a.m. I measure out a capful of mung beans from my tumbler. A capful is about what would fit in a soup spoon.

I add cold tap water to the tumbler, and leave the tumbler on the counter.

I’ll rinse-and-refill the tumbler with cold water in the evening and again the next morning.

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Monday morning. Twenty-four hours have passed. I rinse and drain the seeds.

The mung beans have swollen to about twice their original volume (not diameter!).

I usually place a loose cover over the tumbler or jar to retain moisture. A loose lid or cover retains moisture. The moisture evaporates and then condenses on the underside of the lid, to drop, rain-like, back onto the beans or sprouts.

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I place the tumbler on the shelf above the sink.

You can see white flesh where the green skin of the bean has softened and split away from the bean. A healthy sign!

The cupboard is dark and warm, factors that will promote germination and development.

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Tuesday morning. Our jar is on the left; the jar to the right is one I started last Friday.

In Our Jar you can see that the radicals have developed. They are not pointing down, as radicals should, because I’ve just rinsed the seeds, and they get turned around during the rinsing process.

Not to worry. Nature is pretty good at working out where gravity is going!

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Here is a close-up of the bean sprouts, just 48 hours into the process. (I started on Sunday, today is Tuesday)

Wednesday morning.

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I rinse each morning, around about nine a.m., but the time is flexible. (There’s a joke in there about “Rinse and Shine!”, but it eludes me.)

While I’m rinsing the beans, I take the opportunity to remove any empty husks – the green outer shell of the bean – but I don’t fret. From my point of view they are good healthy roughage if they persist in the sprouts.

You can see the odd husk clinging to the inside of the tumbler.

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Wednesday still. Our Tumbler is in the middle. Three days after starting and the sprouts are well on their way.

On the right is a jar I started on Friday; it is ready to consume, but will stay fresh and ready for another three days in the refrigerator.

On the left is a jar I started Tuesday morning.

I keep a little “production line” going, so that I always have a supply of fresh sprouts on hand.

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Thursday morning, another day, another rinsing!

After taking this photo, I popped the rightmost jar in the fridge; I love chilled bean sprouts for lunch!

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Lunch time! Here are the sprouts after being pulled out of the tumbler. Fresh. Crisp. Tasty. Convenient.

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I chop them into shreds of about two inches; that way they are easier to fork into my mouth. I’m usually reading a book while eating, …

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Add what you’d normally add for a lunchtime salad. In my case raisins, corned beef, home-pickled cucumbers, diced onion. You know the rest of the story ….

See also Acorns . Not for eating, but for fun!

Frequently Asked Questions

What do you do about the green husks that are shed from the seeds?

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In the photo above you can see that during the first two days of soaking, before the seeds are transferred to a germinating jar, the husks float to the surface.

You may also notice small bubbles of air appearing on the sides of the jar.

About twice a day I skim off the husks with my fingers, then replace the water.

Over a couple of days, most of the husks are gone.

Three days later, when the sprouts are “full grown”, I give them a little shake to dislodge most of the remaining husks.

I eat the rest; I figure that they don’t do me any harm.

“Hasn’t made my hair fall out yet!”

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Toronto, Friday, August 14, 2015 1:15 PM

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