Something that I rarely (never) get around to doing is sprouting. It’s not hard, takes little hands-on time, and sprouts are just so incredibly good for you (not to mention a million times cheaper when you DIY sprout). Plus, there’s really nothing more hippie-dippy than sprouting! So why don’t I do this more often? (Probably a touch of auto-pilot syndrome and sheer laziness.)
Highly concentrated in health-promoting nutrients, sprouts contain several times the concentration of the unsprouted food’s good-for-you features. For instance, one ounce of broccoli sprouts contains more anticancer sulforaphane than two pounds of mature broccoli. Sprouts also contain greater amounts of protein, enzymes, vitamins C, and B vitamins, than unsprouted beans, grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Like, whoa!
I sprouted mung beans which are a great beginner sprouter’s bean. The process only takes about three days, from soaking to edible sprout.
How to Sprout Mung Beans
1. For 2 cups of mung bean sprouts, soak 1 cup of dry mung beans in water overnight.
2. Drain, rinse, and place in a salad spinner colander. Cover and place out of direct sunlight (not like I have in the photo above–”do as I say, not as I do”…)
3. Rinse the sprouts twice a day, for two to three days.
4. Store sprouts in a glass container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
You can use mung beans in many recipes. I’ve been tossing them on salads, in wraps, sprinkling them on pasta, zucchini noodles, and more. Easy, fresh protein that’s full of green goodness. They taste a bit like a green pea, which isn’t a bad thing at all.
I used on of my favourite everyday ingredients, tahini, to make a creamy, mayo-free mustard dressing to toss the pasta in. And of course, since it’s picnic season, putting the works in mason jars makes it taste that much better. I hope you enjoy this green-packed sproutilicious salad as much as I did!
- Pasta Salad:
- 8 oz. (2 cups) gluten-free brown rice fusilli pasta, or bite-sized pasta of choice
- ½ lb asparagus, cut on the diagonal into a similar size as the pasta
- ½ english cucumber, cubed into a similar size as the pasta
- ½ cup sprouted mung beans or cooked chickpeas
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh chives or scallions
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 2 tbsp flaxseed oil or extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp sea salt, plus more to taste
- ½ tsp kelp or dulse granules (optional)
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- ⅓ cup water
- To Prepare the Pasta Salad: Place sliced asparagus in the colander you are using to drain the pasta. Cook pasta according to package directions in well-salted water (about 8 minutes), drain into sink over colander filled with sliced asparagus (this will cook them slightly), let sit for 1 minute. Rinse with very cold water, drain well. Mix the remaining ingredients for the salad in a large bowl. Add the pasta and asparagus. Set aside.
- To Make the Dressing: In a small bowl, whisk all ingredients together, except water. Slowly whisk in water.
- To Assemble the Salad: Pour dressing over salad, toss, cover, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Once chilled, have a taste and season with more salt, if desired.
- Will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. (You may need to perk it up with a little lemon juice after a day as the pasta will absorb quite a bit of the dressing.)