Bean Sprouts

By Katrin Koelle
Updated on 28. Sep. 2020

Bean sprouts are often considered one of the healthiest ingredients around. But is this true? Find out below.

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Bean sprouts...

  • ...are easy to grow at home.
    Soybean and mung bean sprouts are easy to grow at home, and seeds are available in most health food stores.
  • ...have a great crunch.
    Really fresh bean sprouts have a delicious crunchy bite that is perfect for salads, sandwiches or anything else that needs healthy texture.
  • ...are a great diet food.
    Bean sprouts are low in calories but rich in satiating fiber, which helps keep you full for a long time, making them perfect for dieters.
  • ...contain valuable nutrients.
    Bean sprouts contain vitamins and minerals including vitamin C, calcium and iron.
  • ...contain purines.
    For most people, the high purine content in bean sprouts won’t be a problem. However, anyone with a history of gout should avoid eating bean sprouts, as purines can aggravate symptoms.
  • ...spoil very quickly.
    Bean sprouts are extremely sensitive; bacteria and molds multiply very quickly on their surface. The sprouts must therefore not have any brown or wilted spots when they are purchased, must be stored in a cool place once bought and should be consumed as soon as possible.
  • ...should be washed thoroughly before eating.
    Washing is mandatory even for very fresh bean sprouts, as dirt can easily collect on them. If you grow bean sprouts yourself at home, you should rinse the seeds and sprouts well once a day during germination. To be on the safe side, bean sprouts can also be briefly boiled before eating.

What You Should Know About Bean Sprouts

When people talk about bean sprouts they're almost always referring to mung bean sprouts, a classic Chinese ingredient which adds nutrients and healthy crunch to a variety of dishes.

Origins

Although the mung bean plays an important role in Chinese cuisine, it originates from India.

Flavor

Bean sprouts have a relatively neutral taste, with a flavor reminiscent of Chinese cabbage.

Season

Bean sprouts can be purchased year round.

Find all our recipes with bean sprouts here.

How Healthy are Bean Sprouts?

Bean sprouts are low in calories and carbs but rich in satiating fiber, making them a great dieting food. They're also rich in nutrients; 100 grams of bean sprouts contain relatively high amounts of vitamin C, several B vitamins, folic acid, iron, calcium, potassium, magnesium, zinc, phosphorus and trace elements. However, an average portion weighs only about 20 grams, so unless you're eating an abnormally large serving of bean sprouts, you won't get much benefit from its nutritional makeup. 

Bean sprouts are extremely sensitive and susceptible to mold, and also can contain unseen dirt. It's important to eat bean sprouts as quickly as possible, and to wash them thoroguhly before eating. You can even boil them quickly in hot water to ensure they're germ-free. 

BEAN SPROUTS NUTRITIONAL INFO (100 g)  
Calories 52
Protein 5.3 g
Fat 1.2 g
Carbohydrates 4.7 g
Fiber 2.3 g

Shopping and Cooking Tips

Purchasing

Never buy bean sprouts that have any brownish discoloration or wilted spots. Instead look out for sprouts with a green tem and white, firm and crunchy and heasd. It's particularly important to pay attention to the use-by or best before date on the packaging for bean sprouts, as they go bad very quickly.

Bean sprouts are also incredibely easy to grow at home.  All you need are seeds, germination glass or equipment, water and about three to seven days of patience.

Storage

Fresh bean sprouts should be consumed as quickly as possible and stored in the refrigerator for a maximum of two days. 

Preparation

Fresh bean sprouts must always be washed thoroughly under running water and then drained well. You can also blanch them in boiling water for about 30 seconds to kill any germs.

Always cook bean sprouts as briefly as possible so that they remain crunchy and retain their nutrients. 

What to Make With Bean Sprouts

Fresh bean sprouts are most well-known in Asian cuisine. They add intense crunch and freshness to a variety of dishes, from salads like this Carrot and Sesame Salad to soups like this Vietnamese Beef Soup With Rice Noodles or this Teriyaki Chicken Noodle Soup. They're also delicious on top of wok dishes, Shrimp Rolls, or any other warm hearty main that needs some brightening up. Bean sprouts even taste delicious on top of sandwiches.

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