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 Tuesdays, Traditional Tuesdays, Real Food 101, Fat Tuesday, This Chick Cooks, Simple Lives Thursday and Hearth and Soul Blog Hop.