Bean sprouts are rather a neglected
vegetable, used almost carelessly for oriental dishes but otherwise
passed by as being insipid and not very interesting. It's a reputation
they don't deserve. Not only do they have a lovely fresh flavor, but
they are also good for you. All sorts of seeds can be sprouted, but the
bean family are favorites among the sprouted vegetables. The bean
sprouts most commonly available in the shops are sprouted mung beans,
but aduki beans, alfalfa, lentils and soybeans can all be sprouted and
Nutrition : Beans sprouts contain a
significant amount of protein, Vitamin C and many of the B vitamins.
They have an excellent flavor too, best appreciated eaten raw in salads
or sandwiches, and for slimmers they are an ideal food, low in calories,
yet with sufficient substance to be filling, and with a flavor and
texture that can be enjoyed without a dressing.
Buying and Storing : Bean sprouts
should only be bought when absolutely fresh. They don't keep for long
and they will taste sour if past their best. The sprouts should be firm,
not limp, and the tips should be green or yellow; avoid any that are
beginning to turn brown.
Cooking : If stir-frying, add the
bean sprouts at the last minute so they cook for the minimum period to
keep plenty of crunch and retain their nutritional value. Most health
food shops will have instructions on sprouting your own beans. Only buy
seeds intended for sprouting.