Teach Your Kids How To Sprout Mung Beans

Ahh…the joys of sprouting your own seeds and eating them as a snack, or in soups, salads, sandwiches, or stir-frys!

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Teaching Your Kids About Sprouting

A great project to share with kids is growing sprouts. Kids will love to water the seeds 2 to 4 times a day ie keep them moist and watch the sprouts grow before their eyes. I would encourage all mothers to get their young ones involved in sprouting seeds with them. Enlist the help of little helpers. They can start around age 2, and they will love that they are helping mom in the kitchen. Children love to eat anything they have helped in cooking, or sprouting or growing. This will get them started on creating their own sprouts and on healthy eating from a very young age.  This will teach them a new way of growing fresh delicious and nutritious sprouts with abundant vitamins and minerals.  

I am always on the lookout for projects to do with my kids. This activity when done together will provide a lot of benefits both to you and your kids. You get to spend time with them, you are teaching them a new way to grow their own sprouts, you get a chance to talk about healthy foods and about nutrition. You can assign making sprouts as a chore to older kids and have fresh sprouts every week or every 15 days for salads, sandwiches, soups, or other recipes.

All you need to grow sprouts is the seed and water.  You do not need soil or sunlight. You do not need any special equipment. Although there are sprouting kits sold in the market, this post will show you how to grow sprouts with equipment you probably already have in the kitchen. If an adult is sprouting seeds, they could use a glass jar or a stainless steel bowl. As this post is about sprouting mung beans with your kids, I would recommend you use a stainless steel bowl for washing the seeds, for soaking and later for sprouting. Since the soaking process makes the seed soak up water and become double in size, and the sprouting process makes the volume 5 to 10 times what you started with, I use a steel bowl with at least a 4 cup capacity when I soak a quarter cup of mung beans.

So what is Sprouting?

Sprouting is the process by which seeds germinate and put out shoots. Sprouting increases the digestibility and nutritional value of what you sprouted. You can sprout certain seeds, beans, legumes, and grains. Sprouting at home is an easy way to get nutritious food at a fraction of the cost of buying it. It is very simple once you learn how to do it.

Project: Make Mung Bean Sprouts With Your Child

What You Need:

  • Mung Beans ¼ cup
  • Filtered water for soaking
  • A stainless steel bowl of 4 cup capacity
  • A stainless steel sieve or strainer
  • Clean kitchen towel

Day 1 

Take the ¼ cup mung beans in the stainless steel bowl. Wash the mung beans 3 or 4 times under running water. Drain all the water, then soak in 1 cup or more filtered water in the same bowl. Cover with any lid and leave on your kitchen counter for 12 hours or longer overnight.  

Day 2 

After about 12 hours, or the next morning you will see that your mung beans have soaked up a lot of the water and are double in size. Drain the soaking water using the strainer or sieve (so you don’t have any beans fall into the drain), then rinse in fresh running water while still in the strainer. Transfer them back into the stainless steel bowl. This time the mung beans are moist and you are not soaking them in water. Take the clean kitchen towel, wet it under running water, squeeze out the excess water and cover the bowl with this moist towel. Our goal is to keep the mung beans and the towel moist at all times for the sprouts to grow.

After 8 hours, you will again rinse the beans in fresh running water. You can do this by taking the bowl to the sink, pour water in the bowl, and then use the strainer to drain all the water so you just have moist beans left. Put them back in the bowl. Now, you will not touch the beans as you do not want to break off the emerging sprouts. Moisten the towel again with running water, squeeze out the excess water, and cover the bowl with the moist towel. Put the bowl back on the counter.

Day 3

You will see small white sprouts coming out of each mung bean.  Yay – you are on your way to successfully sprouting with your child for the first time.

2 to 3 times a day (in the morning, afternoon, and evening) repeat the process of rinsing the sprouts in running water, draining all the water using the strainer, then putting the moist beans back in the bowl. Cover with a moistened towel and put the bowl back on the counter.

Day 4

Same as Day 3

Day 5

Same as Day 3

The longer you continue this process, the longer the sprouts you will get. Actually the sprouts are ready to eat on day 3 or 4. But you can continue to day 5 if you like longer sprouts.

Some people eat the green skin of the sprouts as it is nutritious and does provide fiber. Some people like to remove the green skin or shells.  If you want to remove the green skin, on day 4 or 5 when you are ready to eat the delicious sprouts, you put your sprouts in a big bowl, fill with cold water and the floating green shells can be removed.  Now use the strainer to pour out all the water, and your sprouts will have much less green.  Your sprouts are now ready and you can use them in soup or stir-fry or in any other recipe you like.

If you want to store the sprouts in the refrigerator for a few days to use in a recipe later, you can dry them on a plate or cookie sheet lined with paper towel. We are trying to get the moisture out so they will store better for a few days.  Look at the spread out sprouts on the tray and look through to spot any beans that did not sprout and you pick them out.  They will still be hard. They will be smaller and darker green compared to the sprouted ones as they did not soak the water on Day 1 properly and they did not sprout. 

To store, take a container and line it with a paper towel. Fill your container with the sprouted mung beans, and put another piece of paper towel on top of the container, cover and store in the fridge for a few days. Enjoy your sprouts in any recipe within a few days.  

What Other Beans, Seeds, Nuts Or Grains Can You Sprout?

The top 5 sprouts to grow are:

  • Mung bean sprouts
  • Radish sprouts
  • Broccoli sprouts
  • Crimson clover sprouts
  • Mustard sprouts

Once you master the above 5, there are others you can try.  You can find out which ones your family likes and rotate between the 5 to 10 different ones that are a hit in your family.

  • Fenugreek (methi) seed sprouts 
  • Dill sprouts
  • Alfa-alfa sprouts
  • Amaranth sprouts
  • Barley sprouts
  • Adzuki beans
  • Almond sprouts
  • Black lentil sprouts
  • Black sesame sprouts
  • Black turtle bean sprouts
  • Kala chana sprouts
  • Bown rice sprouts
  • Buckwheat sprouts
  • Chia seed sprouts
  • Garbanzo bean sprouts
  • Flaxseed sporuts
  • Green pea sprouts
  • Millet sprouts
  • Natural sesame sprouts
  • Pinto bean sprouts
  • Soy bean sprouts
  • Sunflower seed sprouts

Sprouting mung beans is the first kitchen project I did with my 2 year old and he thoroughly enjoyed it. The joy on his face when he saw the sprouts grow the first time was priceless.  We continue making sprouts together about once every 2 weeks, and both my kids love them in sandwiches and soups.

I hope you try sprouting mung beans at home with your kids! I highly recommend that you get into a regular routine of making sprouts with your kids every 15 to 30 days and incorporate them in your salads, sandwiches, and soups on a regular basis. Sprouts are a superfood and provide great nutrition. Home-made sprouts cost pennies per serving, and are so nutritionally dense that making them is a no brainer.