"Self-sufficiency does not mean 'going back' to the acceptance of a lower standard of living. On the contrary, it is the striving for a higher standard of living, for food that is organically grown and good, for the good life in pleasant surroundings... and for the satisfaction that comes from doing difficult and intricate jobs well and successfully." John Seymour ~ Self Sufficiency 2003

Monday, 2 May 2016

Growing mung beans

I always buy dried mung beans in order to sprout them during winter.  Just having those to munch on prevents withdrawals of crispy fresh produce during the colder months of the year.

This year I wanted to grow some more chick peas.

But, I accidentally grabbed a handful of Mung beans from the pantry.  My brain was obviously elsewhere - thank goodness I went to the right cupboard though lol

It was only once I had chucked them in the ground of the one raised bed, and had just covered them with soil, that I realized I had sown the wrong crop lol

Never mind.  I thought I'd let them grow and see what happened.

What a stroke of fortune.
A fortuitous, accidental crop of mung beans is
growing in one of my raised veggie beds
The mung bean plant is roughly 40 - 50cms (15 - 20") high and wide.  Given it's compact shape and size, it would be an ideal plant to grow in pots on a balcony too.  Perfect for using as a companion plant with next summers chard, eggplant, raddish and tomatoes, it will also provide some important shade for the ground at the base of those pants.

It is quite a bushy and compact plant.  I planted these quite late in the season, and the plants didn't send out runners and therefore didn't require bean supports and just got on with what they do best - grow mung beans.
Fresh mung beans in a pod
The pods are about 7 - 8cms long and 3 - 4 mm wide.  

Inside, the fresh mung beans sit snugly in their pod.  They are roughly twice the size of a dried mung bean.

And the taste...?

Almost ethereal lol  They are very delicate tasting and different to rehydrated / sprouted beans.
Fresh mung beans compared to dried beans
Honestly, it is quite fiddly to remove the beans from the small, tight green pod, but is well worth the effort.  The dry, dark brown pods 'crack' open quite easily though.

The beauty is, each mung bean plant grown from a single seed will provide 30 - 40 pods per plant or roughly 150 - 250 individual fresh, or future dried mung beans.  The pods form 4 pods together on the plant.  The mung bean plant can hold both fresh green pods, and dark brown pods (which encase the dried mung bean).

(Don't forget to freeze the shelled, harvested dried beans for 24 hours before storing in an air tight jar in your pantry. This helps to prevent weevils infesting your dried beans.)

Apart from providing that necessary crunch factor, mung beans are good for you too.  Check out their health benefits here.

One less thing to cross off my future shopping lists :)


Vicki said...

I can't recall ever having had mung beans, but you have convinced me to give them a try. And isn't it fun when an "Oops" turn into something really good. :)

Dani said...

Vicki - Mung beans are also known as moong beans, or green gram ;) Yeah, I'm well pleased with my "oops" :D

Bill said...

I've been wanting to try chick peas, but still haven't. Your accidental mung bean crop has me ready to give it a try.

possumqueensa said...

Such a happy accident. I'm definitely going to give it a try. Sprouted mung beans make a brilliant hippie bread.

Dani said...

Bill - Why not try growing both? :D

Dani said...

pqsa - Never used mung beans in bread lol Definitely sounds hippie-ish...

kymber said...

one word - AWESOME! i love being able to take an oops and make something of it. i looooove mung beans....but i love them them the most when sprouted. yummeh sprouts they make!

you hav to check out my latest post - i got a mermaid tail. yep, i just said i got a mermaid tail. yer gonna love it!

sending much love, as always! your friend,

Dani said...

kymber - I, too, love mung beans. But somehow the fresh ones taste even more sublime :)

Love the pink mermaid tail - it suits you :D

Sue said...

Hi Dani
I've never tried mung beans--I shall seek them out to give a try before I grow.
Hope all is well in the garden. Have a good week

Dani said...

Sue - Mung beans are excellent when sprouted and added to a salad :) And, now you know they are excellent fresh as well :D

Kirsty Udall said...

I'm not sure I've ever eaten mung beans, I'll keep an eye out at the next seed swap. Unless they've got another name?!
I mentioned you today on the blog, I nominated you as one of my favourite blogs for others to read, thanks for the inspiration!

Dani said...

Kirsty - Mung beans can be found in the health food / dried bean section of your local supermarket. They are normally sprouted to add to a salad.

Thank you so much for the nomination - I am honoured. Thank you also for your kind words. Actually, I'm not so handy - RMan is the worker. I normally get the idea's which I then get him to translate into action lol

Harry Flashman said...

I never heard of those. I will ask around next time I go to our county farmers market, and if I can buy some we'll cook them up and try them.

Dani said...

Harry - I have never heard of them being cooked - they are more frequently sprouted and added to salads ;) Wonder how they would cook up...?

Diana Studer said...

If they are fiddly to shell ... might they work like snow peas - chopped and stirfried?

Dani said...

Diana - I'm actually not sure. The pod is sort of "hairy" - the same as broad beans, and I have never heard of anyone eating / cooking the broad bean pods...

Diana Studer said...

PS for crispy fresh do you grow spekboom? Those leaves are rather nice to garnish salad.

Dani said...

Diana - Hmmm, I've never heard of eating Spekboom, and I have loads growing in the garden. Time for some research... :) Thanks