When it comes to plant-based protein, the mighty mung bean, or moong bean, is king.
The small green legume is one of the highest sources of plant protein and is full of essential amino acids. One cup of cooked mung beans contains 14 grams of protein, 15 grams of fiber and less than one gram of fat. They are high in many nutrients, especially folate, manganese, magnesium, iron, and Vitamin B.
Mung beans are the beans that bean sprouts grow from.
Bean sprouts are even higher in nutrition and antioxidants than the un-sprouted bean because the sprouting process releases enzymes that allow nutrients to be more digestible. You often find bean sprouts on salads, in sandwiches and atop Asian dishes.
This article focuses on ways to use the whole, un-sprouted bean.
Mung beans originated in India and Asia, and are used in both sweet and savory dishes. The beans can be cooked from dry to done in about 30 minutes, without pre-soaking.
Mung beans can be easily substituted in any recipe calling for beans or peas. The flavor and texture is most similar to green peas and black-eyed peas.
You can find mung beans in the dried bean section of the grocery store, or in the bulk food aisle. If you don’t find them at your neighborhood grocery, try a health food store or Asian or Indian market. Bob’s Red Mill sells packaged mung beans in stores and online.
Here are six ways to use mung beans, complete with recipes from some awesome food bloggers.
1. SOUP: Throw mung beans into your favorite vegetable, pasta, or bean soup, or try this recipe from the T Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.
2. SALAD: Add a protein punch to any salad with a sprinkling of mung beans, or make this mung bean salad from foodnheal.com.
3. CURRIES OR STEWS: Mung beans can replace chickpeas, tofu, meat, or seafood in any curry or stew recipe. Here’s a mung bean and coconut curry from heynutritionlady.com.
4. DIPS AND SPREADS: Use mung beans in your favorite hummus or guacamole recipe for dipping or spreading on toast. This mung bean hummus from cleanfooddirtygirl.com makes a great sandwich spread.
5. FRITTERS, PANCAKES OR BURGERS: Mung beans work great as a base for fritters, pancakes and burgers. These mung bean fritters from veganricha.com are simple and filling.
6. PUDDING OR PORRIDGE: Start or end your day with something sweeten, guilt-free, with a hearty mung bean pudding or porridge. Try this mung bean pudding from thaitable.com.