Why Mung Beans are your Best Friend
Mung beans are perhaps our favorite ingredient here in the Life Foods kitchens. A bold statement, to be sure, but these adorable green beans earn their keep. Mung beans are healthful, versatile, and super delicious. Though this bean is native to the Indian subcontinent, the mung bean is cultivated and enjoyed in India, China, Southeast Asia and around the world. It is also known moong bean or green gram.
Mung beans are terribly cute, but they are beautiful on the inside too: these little beans are bursting with nutrition. Like other legumes, mung beans are super high in fiber; 1 cup of cooked mung beans contains about 15 grams of fiber– about one third of your daily requirement. Mung beans are also super high in protein: at 14 grams/cup, mung beans are one of the highest sources of plant-based protein you can get! Mungs are also a great source of vitamins and minerals– they contain high amounts of calcium, iron, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, folate and magnesium. The high fiber content paired with the low calorie and fat content makes mung beans a great food to add into your diet if you are looking to lose weight. Mung beans are also easier to digest than other beans. But mung beans are also valued for their healing properties. According to Traditional Chinese Medicine mung beans are thought to have a cooling, draining effect on the body, which can help with skin issues like acne and hives, and can clear toxins from the body. And in Ayurvedic medicine, the healing traditions from India, mung beans are thought be balancing and detoxifying for the whole system, and good for all constitutions (body types). These cute little green mung beans are great to have around, and we encourage you to seek them out for home cooking too. You can purchase in bulk at your favorite natural foods store, or find in packages at Asian markets. One of the big selling points for mung beans is their quick cook time. Unlike black beans and pinto beans, mung beans do not need to be soaked overnight, and they cook in only about a half hour. You can, however, soak your mung beans in order to increase their digestibility. Simply soak the desired amount of beans for 8 hours, up to overnight, then cook as directed. In India, mung beans are often used after being skinned and split in a traditional dish called kitchari, a mixture of basmati rice and mung dal. In China, mung beans are often used as sprouts for stir-fry, but they are also used in a classic mung bean soup, but they are also used in desserts. Their simple flavor lends itself well to stir-fries, curries, and soups, and the healthful properties are good for the body year-round. Learn how the magical mung gets soaked, sprouted and cultured to become our Aloha Tempeh.