Seasonal Foods: Mung Bean Sprouting

mung bean 1 Seasonal Foods: Mung Bean Sprouting

Mung beans liven up a boring meal of winter cabbage. Grated beet root gives a wonderful rich color to chicken and garlic stir-fry. This meal is great with a tablespoon of Master Tonic!

Sprouts are a wonderful winter food. When greens at the grocery store are starting to look less than appealing while still costing a small fortune, sprouting can be a great way to get your greens at a reasonable price. Sprouts may not be a superfood like organ meats but sprouts are a very nutritious plant-based food.

Sprouts are full of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. Mung bean sprouts can be eaten raw or cooked. They are nice in salads and will add some crunch to stir-fried winter vegetables.

If you live in Kamloops, BC and are looking for an inexpensive source of organic mung beans, Nature’s Fare can order in 25 pound bags for about $60.00 or you can buy a pound for about $5.00. Deanna Hurstfield from the Kamloops Organic Buying Club turned me on to a wholesaler out in Nelson, BC called Organic Matters. I was seriously impressed with their choice of products and useful re-useable containers.

Simple Mung Bean Sprouts
2T dried organic mung beans
filtered water
Sprouting is very easy. Add 2T mung beans to a 1L mason jar. The beans should be rinsed 2-3 times a day with filtered water. The trick with mung beans is to keep them in the dark to avoid the sprouts getting tough and bitter. Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cheese cloth kept in place with a elastic band. An alternative is to use a metal or plastic sprouting lid. Place the jar on its side in a warm, dark place. After a few days the skins of the mung beans should be removed. Some people find the skins bitter. The skins will float to the top of the water during rinsing which makes removal easier. The mung beans should be ready after 4-6 days depending on the temperature. A good trick is to start a second jar in 2-3 days for a continual supply of sprouts.

When the mung bean sprouts are ready to eat it is better to remove the sprouts from the sprouting jar and transfer the them to a glass container covered with a plastic bag and kept in the fridge. In the fridge, the sprouts should be good for about one week but the sprouts will be much better eaten within a day or two.

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On the right is a stacking sprouting system for small amounts of sprouts. A mason jar with sprouting lid also works very well. On the left, is the bowl pressure method for making up to half a cup of dried mung beans at a time.

Blanched and Pressed Sprouts
1/2c dried organic mung beans
filtered water
If you really get into mung bean sprouting you might like to try growing mung sprouts under a weight which is called the pressure method. This is considered the best way to grow mung bean sprouts. Traditionally, people would bury the sprouts in about one foot of damp, fine sand. After a week they would dig out the sprouts after the surface of the sand expanded and cracked. Being so deep in the sand, the sprouts would be blanched. This process is called horticulture blanching.

mung bean 2 Seasonal Foods: Mung Bean Sprouting

A colander goes on top of the bowl.

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A wet cloth is placed into the colander and the 1-2 day old sprouts are placed on top.

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The mung bean sprouts are covered with the damp cloth and rinsed 2-3 times each day.

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A bowl with enough water to weight a total of 3-5 pounds is carefully placed on top of the sprouts.

Soak the mung beans for 12 hours in a mason jar. Let them sprout for another 1-2 days in the mason jar before transferring to the bowl or tray method.

The two spouting methods that can be used at home during the winter months is the bowl or tray method. The bowl method makes less sprouts but is easier for a beginner. The method uses standard kitchen equipment which avoids extra costs. Look around your kitchen and see what equipment will work in your situation. The first time I made pressed sprouts, I used a large stainless steel bowl that a colander could fit inside. I wet down an old piece of reused, cotton cloth leaving enough cloth to cover the sprouts. I put the 1-2 day old sprouts onto the damp cloth and covered them. Then I filled a second stainless steel bowl with enough water to weight a total of 3-5 pounds. The sprouts and cloth should be rinsed with cold water two or three times a day. The blanched, pressed sprouts will be ready in 3-5 days. Launder the cotton cloth between loads to avoid bacterial build up.

For larger quantities of sprouts the seedling tray method works better. (I will share more about my experiments with seedling trays, microgreens and indoor lights in a later post.) The seedling tray is covered with a damp piece of cotton cloth with the 1-2 day old sprouts on top. The sprouts are covered with another piece of damp cloth and covered with a second tray. A dispersed weight of 3-5 pounds is put top of the second tray to weigh down the sprouts. (I found that a tray half filled with soil works well.) This will give a plump, blanched mung beans with a mild flavor. Launder the cotton cloth between loads to avoid bacterial build up.

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I have become a mung bean convert! Mmmmmm!

Seasonal Foods: White Bean Salad

white bean salad Seasonal Foods: White Bean Salad

White Bean Salad makes a nice winter meal and is good topped with homegrown sprouts.

This recipe is safe for someone on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

Even though some types of beans are allowed on the SCD, I have avoided eating beans for many years. Recently, I have tried to reintroduce a small amount of beans into my diet. I have found that careful soaking and numerous washing of the beans has helped make eating beans possible. If you are on the SCD and find beans difficult to digest you might find these methods useful.

Soaked, Cooked and Rinsed White Beans
2c dried organic white beans or cannelloni beans
6c-8c filtered water for soaking
Soak the beans overnight in enough water to cover them with about 2-3 inches of water above the beans. Pour off the soaking water and rinse the beans very well. A large colander or sieve works well for rinsing. Pour the soaked beans into a large sauce pan and cover with fresh water. Have at least an inch of water above the soaked beans. Bring the soaked beans to a boil and simmer for two hours. After cooking, wash the cooked beans again in fresh, cold water until the cooked beans run clean.

White Bean Salad Dressing
2-3 organic garlic cloves, finely grated
1-2T local raw honey
1tsp sea salt
1tsp dried organic dill weed
1T Homemade Whole Seed Mustard or organic Dijon mustard
1c organic cider vinegar
1c organic extra virgin olive oil
Finely grate the garlic cloves and put into a mason jar. Add the honey, sea salt, dill weed, mustard, cider vinegar and olive oil. Shake well and set aside for later use.

White Bean Salad
1 large onion, sliced thinly
1-2c White Bean Salad Dressing
4c frozen organic green beans, chopped
5-6c cooked white beans, rinsed and drained
Finely slice the onion into thin rings. In a large bowl, add the onions to 1c of White Bean Dressing and stir well. Let the onions soak in the dressing for about an hour to soften them. During this time, lightly cook the green beans in a small amount of water for 5-10 minutes. Cook the green beans less for a crunchier salad. Drain the green beans and add them to onions and dressing and stir well. Add the drained white beans and stir well. Taste the salad and add extra dressing, if needed. Chill the bean salad before serving. Any remaining dressing can be used with any salad.

Pantry Foods: Sprouts

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Sprouts are a good winter substitute for lettuce. Here’s some chicken pate, sprouts and dehydrator sesame seed crackers.

“When eating bamboo sprouts remember the man who planted them.”
Chinese Proverb

Sprouts are full of chlorophyll, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes. Broccoli sprouts in particular are a rich source of sulfurophane — a powerful detoxifier — which has been found to lower the risk of developing some types of cancer.

Sprouts are a wonderful winter food when greens at the grocery store are starting to look less than appealing while costing a small fortune. Sprouts can be cooked or eaten raw. This sprouting mix is designed to be eaten raw. The mix can be used as a substitute for lettuce or any other salad green. The fenugreek and radish seeds give the mix a spicy favor.

Winter Sprouting Mix
1 part organic broccoli seeds
1 part organic fenugreek seeds
1 part organic radish seeds
3 parts organic French green lentil seeds or other small lentil

Sprouting is very easy. Add 4T of the sprouting mix to a 2L mason jar. The seeds should be rinsed 2-3 times a day with filtered water. Cover the mouth of the mason jar with a cheese cloth kept in place with a elastic band. An alternative is to use a metal or plastic sprouting lid. Place the jar on its side in a warm place. The sprouts should be ready after 4-6 days depending on the temperature. A good trick is to start a second jar in 2-3 days for a continual supply of sprouts.

When the sprouts are ready to eat it is better to remove the sprouts from the sprouting jar and transfer the them to a glass container covered with a plastic bag and kept in the fridge. In the fridge, sprouts should be good for about one week but the sprouts will be much better eaten within a few days.

sprouting 1 Pantry Foods: Sprouts

Cover the top of the sprouting jar with cheese cloth held in place by a rubber band. Here’s a stainless steel sprouting screen that uses part of a mason jar lid.

Homemade Christmas: Easy Thieves Oil

“The recipe for this blend is believed to have originated from thieves during the 15th century. According to popular theory, the concoction was created by a group of four thieves and grave robbers to protect themselves from contracting the plague while robbing the bodies of the gravely ill and deceased. When apprehended, the thieves admitted to using the formula and disclosed the recipe in order to receive a less severe punishment for their crimes.”
Mountain Rose Herbs: Thieves Oil

ek thieves oil Homemade Christmas: Easy Thieves Oil

Thieves Oil is a multipurpose antibacterial agent. You can dilute Thieves Oil with water, vinegar, or any oil of your choice. I diluted the Thieves Oil with witch hazel extract and jojoba oil. The girls particularly likely the Thieves Oil with witch hazel extract. Thieves Oil makes a great gift!

Thieves Oil has long been used as a multipurpose, anti-bacterial agent. There are many versions of Thieves Oil but this version is from Mountain Rose Herbs.

4.0 parts Clove Bud essential oil
3.5 parts Lemon essential oil
2.0 parts Cinnamon Bark essential oil
1.5 parts Eucalyptus essential oil
1.0 part Rosemary essential oil
Don’t worry too much about getting the ratios just right because the Thieves Oil will still work well. When I made my blend, I mistakenly added too much lemon essential oil but the resulting Thieves Oil was very pleasant.

Label this bottle as undiluted or pure Thieves Oil. Essential oils are very powerful agents. Thieves Oil should be diluted before using. You can dilute with water, cider vinegar, alcohol, witch hazel extract, or any oil. For a 1% dilution add 6 drops of Thieves Oil to 1oz (30mL) of the carrier of your choice. For a 2% dilution at 12 drops of Thieves Oil to 1oz (30mL) of the carrier of your choice. For more information please see Mountain Rose Blog: Dilutions and Conversions Guide.

Once the Thieves Oil is diluted it can be used directly on the skin. Remember to shake the dilution before using. Some people put a few drops of the pure Thieves Oil in a spray bottle for disinfecting the kitchen or bathroom. Others use a few drops of the pure Thieves Oil in a essential oil diffuser to kill germs in their household.

thieves oil 2 Homemade Christmas: Easy Thieves Oil

Remember to label your Thieves Oil with the type of carrier used for dilution.

MERRY CHRISTMAS and HAPPY NEW YEAR! May your family be blessed with health and happiness in the new year!