There is no doubt that bean sprouts are more nutritious than beans themselves. We refer to bean sprouts as the mung beans that are already germinated/sprouted. Other legumes can also be sprouted but not all are edible. Bean sprouts are shoots that are tiny and crunchy. They are mostly used in stir fry dishes and salads to add crunchiness. It is very hard to find a substitute for bean sprouts that matches the delicate flavor and crunchy texture from mung beans. However, there are few available alternatives that you can use depending on the recipe.
Bean sprouts are popular for preparing dishes like pho and pad Thai. However, they have a lot to offer when it comes to nutritional values. For instance, they are rich in bloat-busting fiber. Besides, they are also a good source for folic acid, vitamin C and protein. You may have come across them in spring rolls but they mostly shine when served raw. Mung beans and bean sprouts have almost the same medicinal properties but the sprouts are more nutritious.
Some examples of the medicinal values that you can get from these two ingredients are Good heart health, more vitamin K, and they are low in calories. Follow these steps to sprout mung beans successfully. First, you should wash, drain and soak your beans in a mason jar overnight. On the next day, make sure to drain and change the water at least two times. You can add a cup of peroxide to the drain water to kill microbes. Lastly, your sprouts will plump up after several days, rinse drain and refrigerate them.
1. Thin slices of snow peas
Snow peas are entirely edible together with the pods that contain flat seeds inside them. You should slice the snow Pease into strips of your preferred size. Next use them to any recipe that requires bean sprouts following the same recipe. You will get the same texture and shape to bean sprouts but with a different herbal flavor. Apart from the crunchiness and good taste, snow peas are well known for their medicinal and nutritional advantages. For instance, they are rich in minerals, vitamins C, B1, B2, B4, and K. Besides, they also contain folate and dietary fiber. Snow peas are good at regulating blood pressure since they contain minerals such as iron, calcium, and potassium.
Thin slices of snow peas make a good alternative for bean sprouts. You will get the same crunchiness and texture. Besides, you will also gain more nutritional value. The only downside is that you will get a slightly different flavour.
2. Soybean sprouts
The, best choice to look for as an alternative for bean sprouts. However, they have a strong bean flavor more than mung bean sprouts. Soybean sprouts are best when used to prepare stir-fries and other fully cooked dishes. You can opt for young sprouts with tails that are emerging from the soybeans. If you use longer sprouts from soybeans, your dish will have a bitter taste. Just like the beans soya sprouts contain vitamin K and other minerals such as tryptophan, copper, and manganese. Besides, they possess an average of 40% and 20% protein and oil. They pose health benefits, such as lowering the chances of getting cardiovascular cancer.
If you are looking for a nutritious substitute then soybean sprouts are the best. They have similar properties with mung beans when it comes to texture and crunchiness. However, the flavour may be a bit different than that of beans
Enoki refers to an edible mushroom that hails from Japan. It has size and color similar to that of bean sprouts. Furthermore, the have a cap that resembles the bean sprouts and stems resembling the bean sprouts tails. You can find the Enoki mushrooms at supermarkets or grocery in the fresh produce section next to other mushrooms. The only downside is that these mushrooms do not stand up for the heat. However, they will give you a crispy texture in sandwiches and raw salads. These mushrooms have a peppery finish and a mild flavor. Apart from being a good substitute for bean sprouts, Enoki is very nutritious. It is rich in many minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients. For instance, it is a good source of vitamin B1, B2, B3, D, and B5. Also, it has major health benefits such as normalizing bowel movements and preventing constipation.
Enoki is a good substitute for bean sprouts especially when it comes to size and colour. Apart from those two properties, Enoki mushrooms are very nutritious and pose a lot of health benefits to our bodies. However, they do not stand up well for cooking so they are best served with sand witches and raw salads.
Bok Choi, green or Napa cabbage can all stand up for bean sprouts when thinly sliced. These greens are good because they contain the crunch similar to bean sprouts. You can substitute your sprouts with an equal amount of cut greens such as green cabbage, julienne cut bok choi and napa cabbage to your recipe. They are best served when cooking to half initial volume in the same way as the bean sprouts do. Besides, they will also substitute sprouts when it comes to raw salads and sandwiches. You can easily find these greens in the Asian markets or at the supermarket in the produce section. Greens are highly nutritious and are very beneficial to our health.
Greens such as the Bok Choi and Napa cabbage are good alternatives because they have a crunchy and crispy taste. Furthermore, they don’t need any extra work apart from slicing them. Also, they are very nutritious and easy to find in the produce section at the supermarket.
5. Sunflower sprouts
Sunflower sprouts are very nutritious and contain a taste like sunflower seeds. Although they differ in color and size, sunflower sprouts can be an alternative in green smoothies and sandwiches. They are quite small with a sharp edge flavor. You should use sunflower sprouts if you run out of the above options. Like bean sprouts the sunflower sprouts contain more than five types of vitamins. Besides, they contain minerals such as Iron, Calcium, Phosphorus, copper manganese and zinc. Use them in your recipe following the same procedure as bean sprouts. They don’t require to be sliced because they are small.
Sunflower sprouts make a good last option for replacing bean sprouts. They have a sharp flavour and crispiness which is good for smoothies, salads and sandwiches. Alternatively, if you don’t have any of the above replacements, you can try using shredded carrots or the alfalfa sprouts. Both will be useful but they will not replace bean sprouts 100%.
|Item||Calories (per 100g)||Total Fats (g)||Carbohydrates (g)||Proteins (g)||Source||Works Best In|
|Thin slices of snow peas||42||0.2||7.6||2.8||Edible pod peas||Salads, stir-fries, garnishes|
|Soybean sprouts||122||5.3||9.6||11.1||Germinated soybeans||Stir-fries, soups, salads|
|Enoki||37||0.4||7||3.6||Mushroom variety||Asian dishes, soups, garnishes|
|Greens||23||0.4||3.8||3.2||Leafy vegetables||Salads, sautéing, smoothies|
|Sunflower sprouts||35||0.6||5.4||4.2||Germinated sunflower seeds||Salads, sandwiches, wraps|
Can I substitute bean sprouts for alfalfa sprouts?
You can generally substitute bean sprouts for alfalfa sprouts in many dishes. However, keep in mind that they have slightly different flavors and textures. Bean sprouts are more substantial and have a milder flavor than alfalfa sprouts’ delicate and slightly nutty taste.
What kind of bean is in canned bean sprouts?
Canned bean sprouts are often made from mung bean sprouts, commonly used in Asian cuisine. Mung bean sprouts are the most popular sprout used for cooking due to their crisp texture and mild flavor.
How to make your bean sprouts?
To make your bean sprouts at home, follow these steps:
- Choose Beans: Start with beans suitable for sprouting, such as mung beans or lentils.
- Rinse and Soak: Rinse the beans thoroughly and soak them in water for about 8-12 hours or overnight.
- Drain and Rinse: Drain the soaked beans and rinse them well. Place them in a clean sprouting container or jar.
- Sprout: Cover the jar or container with a breathable lid or cloth secured with a rubber band. Rinse and drain the beans twice daily, gently shaking or rotating the container to distribute them evenly.
- Watch for Growth: In a few days, tiny sprouts emerge. Allow them to grow to the desired length, usually about 2-3 inches.
- Harvest and Store: Once the sprouts are ready, give them a final rinse, drain well, and store them in the refrigerator. Use them within a few days.