Mung bean is a type of legume that usually grows in the warm season. But because it’s not weather-sensitive, you can plant them even during winter. So this means you can enjoy them fresh regardless of the season! The flavor is mildly sweet and it has a bit of crunch in it.
Surprisingly, mung beans are not that popular in the United States, so you can’t find them in the grocery stores but you can find them in health food stores. While they may not be that popular in the US, they certainly are delicacies in the East and some parts in Southeast Asia.
They are extremely healthy and they contain nutrients and vitamins such as Vitamin B1, Fiber, Iron, Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6 and selenium. The health benefits mung beans provide are reduced blood pressure, aid in digestion, lower blood sugar levels, and reduces heart disease risk. In areas were meat is quite expensive, mung beans are a good alternative for source of protein
Mung beans grow upright but they don’t usually climb high as other legumes do. It comes with pods that contain up to 15 seeds inside. These beans are rich in phytic acid, which can be reduced by sprouting your beans. Soaking and cooking your beans also reduces the phytate in mung beans.
If you’re looking for a plant that is easy to grow and can thrive indoors or outdoor, go for mung beans. They are beginner-friendly because they don’t require a lot of attention. The question is, how to grow mung beans indoors or in jars? Here’s the mung bean planting guide.
How to Grow Mung Beans Indoors
Step 1: From a packet of beans you bought from the supermarket or nursery, rinse and choose the whole beans. The mung beans you need for planting should not be chemically treated ones. In order to know which one is chemically treated and which isn’t, check the label to make sure you only buy untreated beans. Avoid the split ones because they are likely wouldn’t work. Mung beans are good if they don’t have a rancid smell.
Step 2: Soak them in water to allow them to expand for half a day. Soaking the beans allows for faster germination since you’re breaking its natural protective walls. The beans should be soaked in room temperature water, avoid using hot or cold water. You can use up to two tablespoons of beans for a medium-sized jar filled with water. Rinse them and transfer into a pot or a jar. It is important to properly rinse them since they are usually dusty and there may be mites in them.
Note that the yield for mung beans is about 2 to 1, meaning to say that if you have planted a pound of mung bean seeds two pounds of mung beans will sprout up.
Step 3: Store the beans in a jar covered with cheesecloth to allow air to pass through. You can place them in a dark area while waiting for them to sprout. Store them in the dark area for 12 hours, it doesn’t have to be the darkest area, a shadowy area will suffice. Why do mung beans grow faster in the dark? Because light can inhibit the growth of some plants, including mung beans. But that does not mean the beans will grow healthy. They still need some light to thrive.
Repeat the step 2 and 3 for 2-5 days, during this time the mung beans will grow in size and sprout thin white tails.
Step 4: Take the sprouted beans and plant them in soil. Prior to planting your mung beans into the soil, till the soil to remove weeds, large rocks, and clods. You can use any medium but it’s best to use sandy loam soils for beans. The soil should be slightly acidic, ranging from 6-7 pH in the soil test kit. If you don’t have the test kit, you can combine water and baking soda then pour it in soil. Bubbling indicates that it is acidic and will be good for your beans. PH testing kits can be found in online shops, and in your local agricultural shops.
Tips in Caring for Mung Beans
You might be wondering why do mung beans grow faster in the dark. Some plants, especially legumes, do not really need ample amounts of light to germinate. However, they still need to be placed in a warm area for optimal growth.
You may also add some fertilizer in your mung beans. Use fertilizers that have low nitrogen content, apply the fertilizer at the rate of 2 pounds (1 kg) per 100 square feet (30.5 square m.).The beans begin to appear when the plant is 15-18 inches (38-46 cm.) tall and the bean pods continue to darken as they mature. The mung beans reach their maturity after 100 days after sowing.
While they only require little care, you should keep an eye on your mung beans because they are prone to pest infestation. When the soil does not have enough nitrogen and potassium, it becomes more susceptible to fungus.
How to Harvest Your Mung Beans
You can start harvesting your mung beans as soon as you see them sprout. They grow after just two months. It’s safe to eat the sprouted mung beans. You can enjoy them raw or cook them slightly. It’s not advisable to overcook them especially if you want the fresh taste of your mung beans.
When harvesting fully matured mung beans, pull out the entire plant itself and hang it up. Place a bowl with some fabric or towel in it to catch any dried pods that may fall. The pods do not mature altogether at the same time, but you can harvest them when at least 60% of them are mature.
When you store the mung beans seeds, wrap them around with a newspaper or a paper towel to ensure that they are completely dry when stored. You can also use a jar for storing. If there is any moisture when storing the mung beans seeds, it will cause rot and spoil in the seeds. If stored properly, the seeds can last up to several years. Storing the seeds in the refrigerator is also a viable option.
Adding sprouts in your diet is fine. You can include them in your regular diet if you want to improve digestion and reduce the risks of chronic disease. As sources of antioxidants, you can use mung beans to protect your cells from free radicals.
The maturity of mung beans is three to four months on average. If you want to get the beans, don’t pull them or you will end up damaging the plant. Use shears or a pair of small scissors to cut pole beans from the plant. But don’t worry too much because you can easily grow them back. You only need a good quality of beans at home.
Benefits of Eating Mung Beans
These beans may be small but they are big in terms of nutrition. They can be used to help reduce weight, manage cholesterol, and boost your immunity. Aside from controlling calories, mung beans can help improve eye vision and lower cholesterol.
For every 1/4 cup serving size of mung beans, you will get as much as 10 grams of protein, 16 grams of dietary fiber, 52 mg calcium, 3 mg iron, and 720 mg of potassium. That’s roughly 180 calories per serving. If you’re trying to manage weight, you can include mung beans in your diet.
Mung beans have a fresh taste when they sprout. The raw ones are the best for salads so toss some of them on your vegetable salad. When cooked, the beans are hearty. They can adopt the flavor of the dish you’re trying to create so they do well in both sweet and savory recipes.
Mung beans are easy to grow regardless if you expose them to sunlight or not. Because they are not complicated to grow, you can plant them in small pots or jars in your kitchen. Mung beans do not take up a lot of space so you can grow them even in restricted spaces.
These beans sprout fast and you can get them as soon as eight weeks since planting them. The sprouts are just as good as the beans. If you have a lot of mung beans, you can ground them and turn them into flour. You can use it in place for recipes that need wheat flour.
Learning how to grow mung beans indoors offers plenty of benefits. Aside from saving you money having to buy them, you can be creative in using them. Mung beans are best for stews and soups. The sprouted beans can be used for cooking stir-fry vegetables. We hope this mung bean planting guide inspired you to grow your beans.