Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Growing Bean Sprouts

My family really likes Chinese food.  I mean, YUM!  We could eat it every week.  The only problem is that unless specifically stated that they don't use it, most Chinese restaurants load up their food with MSG.  Yes, that's another word for GLUTEN.  Of which I can not have.

I may or may not  have mentioned that my doctor doesn't want me to eat the stuff.  I obliged her happily at first.  Then, I began to cheat.  Just a little.  However, after having a headache every single day for 2 weeks the light began to shine through the small cracks in my thick cranium and I realized that the gluten could be causing my headaches.  As soon as I cut out all gluten again, the headaches went away.  Yes, I'm a slow learner.  I never claimed to be the sharpest knife in the drawer.  But I digress... Back to the Chinese food.

Since we love Chinese food and Chinese restaurants are out of the question, I'm learning to make it at home.  This is where my tip comes in.  Since bean sprouts are a staple in Chinese cuisine, I've learned how to have them on hand as frugally as possible.  I sprout my own.  Want to learn how to sprout some, too?  It's stupid easy.

First you need beans.  Not any will do.  You need Mung beans.  I found mine in the bulk isle at Whole Foods.  This is what they look like.

Put 2 tablespoons of Mung beans in a quart sized mason jar and cover with a little bit of water.  Let it set over night.

The next morning, drain off the water, then cover with a piece of cheese cloth secured with a rubber band.  A coffee filter with may even work.  Just make sure it's something that will let the excess water drain off of the beans.  Place your jar upside down inside of a bowl.  Remember, you want the excess water to drain off.

Now cover it with a towel so that it's nice and dark in there for your beans to do their thang.  They like privacy.

The following morning you should see little tiny tails sprouting from your beans.

Rinse them, put the cheese cloth back on, put upside down in your bowl and re-cover with your towel.  Repeat this process every day.  You'll be amazed at how quickly they grow.

After about 5 days or so they'll be ready and will have filled your quart sized jar.

There really is nothing to growing your own bean sprouts other than giving them a quick rinse every morning, which takes all of 30 seconds.

Now for the frugal break down.  A pack of fresh bean sprouts costs $1.50 at my local supermarket.  It is probably about as much as I just grew in this quart jar, maybe a little less.  When I bought my Mung beans, I just grabbed a portion of a scoop full.  Not very many.  They cost me all of $.83.  I have gotten 5 batches of bean sprouts out of that small scoop.  That breaks down to $.17 per batch of sprouts.  That's a savings of $1.33 per batch.  Here's another way to look at the savings.  If I made Chinese food at home five times, I would spend $7.50 on the bean sprouts alone, not including the other ingredients.  Or, I could sprout my own and spend $.83 for savings of $6.67.  I like the math on that. :0)

The only thing about growing your own bean sprouts is that you have to slightly plan ahead.  Just know that if you start bean sprouts this week you need to plan on making Chinese food one day next week.  Not too hard, huh?  Hope this has inspired you to start growing your own bean sprouts.  And just think how cool your kids will think this is!

I'm linking up with other bloggers at Teach Me TuesdaysTraditional TuesdaysReal Food 101Fat TuesdayThis Chick CooksSimple Lives Thursday and Hearth and Soul Blog Hop.


  1. we love chinese food too! I really should try this. With te two of us there is always wasted bean sprouts, because the packs from the supermarket are to big! Thanks for the hint!

  2. I've sprouted mung beans plenty of times, but mine are always twisted and thin instead of thick and straight like the store bought kind. And they're usually bitter-ish, not mild and slightly sweet like the store bought kind. How are yours?

  3. Thanks for linking your great post to FAT TUESDAY. This was very interesting! Hope to see you next week!

    Be sure to visit RealFoodForager.com on Sunday for Sunday Snippets – your post from Fat Tuesday may be featured there!


  4. Visiting from Hearth and Soul.
    When I saw your picture, I thought: this would be so cool for kids to do! I would have fun doing it too.

  5. We eat sprouts on our salads and sandwiches, but how do you cook them? I have NEVER attempted Chinese Food (other than heating up frozen stuff). My family really misses Chinese. So I need some more direction here. Can you share a favorite Chinese night meal plan complete with recipes?

  6. Wonderful technique, thanks for sharing with the Hearth and Soul hop!

  7. This is awesome! My dumb grocery store never has bean sprouts when I want them, so this would be great for me to do at home. Plus, the kids would think it's pretty darn cool!

  8. I have this cool mesh sprouting top for when I ever decide to sprout. I think you have inspired me to start. This way the sprouts will always be fresh! Besides, my store randomly has them in stock. :(

  9. Wonderful post, thanks for sharing with Hearth and soul blog hop.

  10. Did you know you can grow these beans in your garden, just like green beans? They are bush beans, not climbers, and they grow very well. They were, in fact, about the ONLY thing that grew well for me during our terrible Oklahoma drought this summer. When I make my sprouts for eating, I weigh them down. This makes them grow fatter.

    I'm enjoying reading your blog, don't remember how I got here but glad I did.

  11. Ilene,

    I did NOT know that I could plant them! That is stinkin' brilliant! Guess what's going in my garden next summer? Also, thanks for the tip about weighing the sprouts down to make them grow fatter. You've been a wealth of knowledge. :0) BTW, I'm glad you made you're way here, too!

  12. Since when is MSG Gluten?

    1. For clarification:

  13. Thanks, appreciate it.
    I'd like to invite you watch my video how to grow mung bean sprouts at home


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