Healthy Low Cost Meals

mung-beans-2What’s a cheap trick for yummy, healthy low cost meals? Mung beans!

In writing about healthy low cost meals (My Body, My Vehicle), the first thing to come to my mind was mung beans. Mung beans are a legume native to India and are high in protein, fiber, vitams and minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients. Although they’re less popular in most parts of the world than other beans, such as chickpeas or black beans, they have some major health benefits and they’re really tasty and versatile.

In Ayurveda mung beans are considered  “one of the most cherished foods.” Ayurveda is a science and art and the world’s oldest medicine known to humanity. It’s the ancient Indian practice that’s been a traditional form of medicine since roughly 1,500 B.C. You’ll learn more a Ayurveda on my website and in my workshops.

Recently in the states they have been popping up in protein powders and canned soups and it’s no wonder. They are a little miracle food that are:

  • High in protein and dietary fiber.
  • A good source of nutrients including: B6 and folate, magnesium, manganese, potassium, magnesium, copper, and zinc.
  • Filling (they are so filling they increase satiety and are good for weight loss).
  • Easy to digest, unlike other beans they are not known to cause gas and may actually aid detoxification.
  • Their dried seeds can be eaten raw, cooked (whole or split), fermented, or milled and ground into flour.
  • Considered useful in defending against several chronic diseases, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity because of their high nutrient density.
  • Found in dried powder form, as whole uncooked beans, “split-peeled” form (used in dahls and kicardi’s), as bean noodles, and as sprouts (which are the kind you’d see used on sandwiches or salads).

To me, they are the super food and I love to sprout them and eat them as a snack or in a salad, stir fry, or veggie patty. You can find them bagged in the bean or Asian section of your grocery store. They can also be found in the bulk section of most store and you get just what you need to make sprouts for only pennies.

They are really easy to sprout, here’s how:

2 TBS rinsed and drained mung beans

½ cup water

Put mung beans and water in a bowl (clear glass is best) overnight. Rinse and drain mung beans and put them in a wide mouth glass jar. Turning the jar sideways, shake the beans so they are laying flat against the sides of the jar. Cover with cheese cloth (or a bandana, not the lid), lay the jar as is (on it’s side) in a cool, dark place (bottom of the pantry works great). Rinse the beans every 8-12  hours until they sprout. After 1 day they will be soft and sprouted enough to snack on, you can continue to sprout them for 2-5 days depending on how sprouted you like them. I put mine in the fridge after a couple days (I worry they’ll go bad) and start snacking on them.

2 TBS swell into at least one cup of sprouts. 1 cup of mung beans sprouts has about 31 calories, 3 grams protein and 3 grams fiber. There are so many ways to season and enjoy them in salads, stir fry, veggie patties, snacks, lunches, sandwiches, etc. So, what’s a cheap trick for yummy, healthy low cost meals? Mung beans!

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