Friday, March 11, 2011
I spent the past 24 hours soaking and making mung beans. This is my first time working with this legume, and I owe it all to my friend Mikey, who inspired me to make them for a St. Paddy's party tomorrow ((okay, it was more of a joke b/c I'm the nutrition girl, but I figured why not make a delicious and very nutritious treat? (I also made an Irish specialty-Irish soda bread- to be discussed next week, as well as a not-super healthy dessert: PB Cheerio bars)).
Most likely you have eaten Mung beans but are just unaware of it. If you have ever eaten "sprouts" (not alfalfa sprouts) you probably have eaten mung beans. Their most common use in the western world is in sprout form, which is used in stir fries, sandwiches, salads, etc. However, over in Asia they have many different uses. In Thailand, they are used in a lot of dessert recipes (custards, puddings, etc.). In China they are used in their sprout form as well as soaked/boiled and used in soups or made into noodles. Indians use Mung beans in dal (Moong dal) recipes with curry, coriander, turmeric, etc.
Just like other beans, mung beans are very high in protein, fiber, and iron. In fact, just one cup of Mung beans contains 14 grams of protein, 15 grams (61% DV) of fiber, and 16% the daily value of iron. You have to be careful with portions though if you are watching your weight, one cup has about 215 calories... but if you are going to eat 1 cup of anything, mung beans (or any beans for that matter) are the way to go (along with veggies!).
For the party tomorrow I made a Mung Bean & Lentil Curry (I merged a few recipes together) recipe which goes something like this:
1/2 cup of lentils
1 tbsp sugar
So, if you are looking to expand your legume repertoire, try eating Mung beans... which can be found in the bulk foods section of Whole Foods (they look like tiny green balls).