Bean Sprouts and Other Vegetable Seed
Revised 12/94 -- Author Reviewed 3/99
Larry Bass and Douglas C. Sanders
Extension Horticultural Specialists
Department of Horticultural Science
North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service
North Carolina State University
Sprouts from mung bean (Phaseolus
aureus) been used for food since ancient times. These sprouts
have nutrient value similar to asparagus and mushroom, which contain
high quantities of Vitamin A. Sprouts can be canned or frozen in
addition to eating them fresh. Mung bean seeds can be purchased from
mail-order commercial seed companies and health food chain stores.
(Caution: Regardless of the source, do
not use seeds that have been treated with a fungicide. Treated
seeds are not edible and can be recognized by the coating of pink or
green dust on the seed coat.)
Mung beans seeds can be sprouted in
many different containers; glass jars, crocks, plastic pans, or
cement vats are most common. Wooden kegs or metal cans may be used
but these may alter flavor. Sprouts can be grown for various periods
of time ranging from 3 to 10 days depending on the type of seeds
used. Start new seeds at three-day intervals for a continuous fresh
supply of edible sprouts.
The following is a listing of other
kinds of seeds that may be sprouted: alfalfa, cabbage, clover,
fenugreek, mustard, radish, sesame, sunflower, adzuki beans, chick
peas, lentils, mung beans, green peas, wheat, rye and
Procedures for Sprout
- Wash seed (about 2 oz) and soak
in lukewarm water 6 to 8 hours or overnight at room
- Next, put the seeds in a jar
covered with cheese cloth after the soaking process.
- Continue to keep the seeds
sprinkled with water at least 2 to 3 times each day. The
sprinkling may be done once early in morning and again before
retiring to bed at night. It helps to roll the jar (container)
around during each sprinkling to allow for easy lengthening
(growth) of the sprouts until they are 2 1/2
to 4 inches long and ready to eat.
- For best results, use only
non-chlorinated water such as well water, spring water, or
distilled water, because the chlorine in city water can cause poor
sprouting. Sprouting is best done at 70 to 80°F in a dark
place. It will take 3 to 7 days to obtain mature sized sprouts,
depending on the temperature.
- Place mature sprouts in a
water-filled container and wash to remove seed coats and fibrous
roots. The seed sprouts will sink to the bottom and the seed hulls
will float to the top. Gently skim the seed hulls off by hand or
with a small wire strainer. Allow sprouts to drip
- Sprouts are best when used
immediately after washing, but can be stored for several days in
the refrigerator (38 to 50°F) in closed glass and plastic
containers or freezer bags.
- The size of mature sprouts will
vary. Allowing the sprouts to grow too long (over 4 inches) may
cause them to become bitter.
North Carolina Cooperative
furtherance of the Acts of Congress of May 8 and June 30, 1914.
Employment and program opportunities are offered to all people
regardless of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability.
North Carolina State University at Raleigh, North Carolina A&T
State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and local