Beansprouts can make a healthy addition to a plethora of dishes, but not all beansprouts can be eaten raw. You can enjoy the raw crunch of beansprouts if they have been marked as safe to eat.
Having beansprouts handy in your fridge can help you add a nutritious boost to your diet, but you must be careful when you purchase and prepare your beansprouts to ensure you don’t get sick.
What Are Beansprouts?
Beansprouts include sprouts from soybeans and mung beans. Mung beansprouts tend to have a greenish hue, while soy beansprouts have a pale yellow color.
What Do Beansprouts Taste Like?
Beansprouts have a somewhat mild flavor, similar to a lettuce or a cabbage. Beansprouts are known for adding crunch to a dish, as they have a harder texture. That being said, they are easy to bite into.
Can You Eat Beansprouts Raw?
You can eat beansprouts raw, and they are often enjoyed in this form. However, you must ensure you read the label very carefully before deciding how you are going to eat your beansprouts.
You want to be positive that the beansprouts are labeled as safe to eat. It is also recommended that those who can get sicker from contracting a food-borne illness avoid eating any raw beansprouts despite how they are labeled.
Why Can Some Raw Beansprouts Be Dangerous To Eat?
Raw beansprouts have the potential to grow bacteria very quickly. As beansprouts are grown in humid and wet climates, they are breeding grounds for toxic bacteria, such as E.coli and listeria.
Beansprouts have been linked to many cases of food-borne illness. It seems that the area most likely to get infected is the seed on the sprout, so you can remove the seeds to try and prevent any potential risk from safe-to-eat raw beansprouts.
Who Should Avoid Eating Raw Beansprouts?
It is said that anyone who is pregnant or has a weakened immune system should avoid raw beansprouts altogether. They can still enjoy cooked beansprouts, as any bacteria will be cooked off.
Children and elderly folks are also advised to avoid eating beansprouts raw. These vulnerable groups can get extremely sick by catching a food-borne illness, and they are more susceptible to increased complications as a result of these illnesses.
What If I Wash Them Really Well?
Washing your raw beansprouts before consumption will not do anything to remove any risk of food-borne illness. Therefore, it’s also recommended to wash your hands after handling raw beansprouts to avoid any possible cross-contamination.
Can You Eat Beansprouts Cooked?
It is typically recommended that you cook your beansprouts as often as possible. If the label on your beansprouts does not say they can be consumed raw, you want to cook them.
You want to be sure that your beansprouts are cooked thoroughly, especially if they were not labeled as safe to eat raw. You’ll know they are cooked when they are steaming hot.
What Dishes Are Enhanced By Raw Beansprouts?
Raw beansprouts tend to be added to salads, wraps, and sandwiches. They add an element of texture that makes a dish a more pleasant experience to eat. They are also an excellent way to boost the healthiness of each of these dishes.
How Can You Incorporate Cooked Beansprouts Into Dishes?
Beansprouts are widely popular additions to stir fries of any kind. They add a nice crunch to your vegetables that get softer as they cook. They can also work well with stews, tacos, and buddha bowls.
Beansprouts cook pretty quickly, so you want to wait until your dish is almost finished to start cooking them. They are easy to pan fry or saute. It’s recommended to cook them separately and add them to the dish once everything is finished cooking.
Can You Grow Beansprouts At Home?
Beansprouts are actually one of the easiest sprouts to grow at home. They tend to only take two to five days to sprout to the point where you can harvest them. All you need are some beans, such as mung or soy beans, a glass jar, and cheesecloth.
You want to wash your beans thoroughly and put them in a glass jar. Fill the jar with water, and cover the closed jar with cheesecloth. You want to make sure the jar is in a dark place.
Let them sit in the jar overnight, then drain all the water out and rinse the beans again. Place them back in the jar and cover them with the cheesecloth again. You should repeat this process every couple of days until your sprouts are finished growing.
After they are harvested, you want to store them in the fridge in a dry container. They should last about one week.
Where Can You Buy Beansprouts?
Beansprouts are thankfully not very difficult to find, and they are not expensive either. You should be able to find them in any grocery store or health food store in the refrigerated produce section.
Canned beansprouts are also available for a more shelf-stable option.
How Should You Store Beansprouts?
Beansprouts need to be kept in the fridge when you purchase them from the produce section. They unfortunately don’t keep very long, so you want to try and consume them within a couple days of purchasing them.
You should also make sure your beansprouts are sealed up nice and tight. When you notice that your beansprouts are starting to get brown, it’s time to get rid of them. If they start to get a pungent or acidic odor, this is a sign they are spoiled.
What Are The Health Benefits Of Beansprouts?
Sprouts of any kind, including beansprouts, are packed with nutritional and health benefits. Beansprouts are a fantastic, plant-based source of protein, and they are also packed with essential amino acids and antioxidants.
Beansprouts also contain a healthy source of the following:
- Vitamic C
Beansprouts have been used in Asian dishes for many years, as they believe in a plethora of benefits contained in beansprouts. Some of these include anti-inflammatory benefits, as well as the ability to promote good heart health and aid digestion.