Mung Beans and Insight

I have become disgusted with the deplorable quality of mung bean sprouts available for purchase at the local food stores; even the Whole Foods seems to keep them in the back bowels of the store until they achieve a certain brown-edged sliminess that makes my stomach turn and my skin crawl.  So I decided to grow them myself.

Growing sprouts is as easy as falling off a bicycle.  OK, maybe you ride bicycles better than I do.  But anyway, all you need is a fairly large wide mouthed glass jar and a sprouting lid to fit.  A sprouting lid, for the uninitiated, is a plastic jar lid with lots of holes already in it.  I reckon you could make your own with a standard lid and an ice pick.  That would have the bonus of allowing you to work out some aggression.  I prefer the plastic kind because they’re easy and they don’t rust.

Then you get hold of some mung beans, the dry kind, and wash them well.  Be sure to pick them over with a fine tooth comb, because I have found rocks in there of the proper size to cause significant dental trauma: ouch. So pick them over.

Once they’re clean, put them in the jar about an eighth of the way full of dried beans.  Fill the jar with water and leave it at room temperature overnight.  In the morning they will have swelled to about half again their size.  This is good.  Pour out the water, using your sprouting lid as a strainer.  Take the lid off and rinse the beans by filling the jar a little more than half full and swirling them around.  Put the lid back on and strain them.

Now you are ready to sprout in earnest.  Lay the jar on its side and tap the sides to get all the beans lying down at the lowest part.  Set the horizontal jar on a counter or something that is not in direct light.  Some people who are not as ADD as I am like to put them in a dark cupboard, as it is good to keep them out of the light at this stage.  It makes for nice white sprouts, not greenish ones.  I cannot do that.  I have tried.  My poor little beanies die from dehydration as I forget all about them for weeks, then realize in horror what I have done: too late.  So I keep mine out where I can see them.

Twice a day, with loving care and good vibes, take off the lid and rinse the beans.  By the second day they will have swelled so that they pop out of their green skins, and if you look closely you will see tiny white sproutlets beginning!  Yay.  Keep up the twice-daily washing and after four or five days you will have a jar stuffed full of succulent bean sprouts that are fresh and healthy.  To get rid of the green skins that will be laying around and clinging to the sprouts, just put the sprouts into bowl of water and gently rinse as many away as you can, then pop them into a salad spinner and spin away the rest of them.  If there are a few skins hanging around after that, just eat them.  They won’t hurt you.

Now for the insight.  As I watch my little beans soaking up water and beginning their metamorphosis into delicious crunchy bean sprouts, I think about my soul.  What does my soul have to do with bean sprouts?  A lot.  Now, I don’t know about anybody else’s soul.  I only have inklings now and then about my own.  But what I do know is: in order for my soul to grow healthy and sprout delicious things, she needs to soak in the living waters of wisdom.  I believe these waters are always there, being poured upon my soul and giving her the opportunity to soak, to absorb, to transform.  I don’t always take advantage of it.  I’m often not aware of it.

May it be my hope, for myself and for all of you and for all the world that we become aware of the living waters of truth and inspiration that are always there, if we can open our hearts and be aware of them.

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  1. And like alll life – enhancing activities it takes time, care and patience. Not easy tocome across when we’re not doing so good. My kitchen – based soulful activitiy is baking bread.

    • Oh yes….bread! Mmmm, just the thought of homemade bread fills my heart with toothsome aromas! One of the true heartbreaks of my life is that I have become gluten intolerant. Why, oh why should HKBH wish to prevent me from blessing “Ve’achalta ve’savata u’verachta….” And getting to say all the extra psukim for Roshei Chodesh and CHANUKAH fer cryin’ out loud, Al Ha’Nissim!!!! Oy, Tateleh, I don’t understand. Therefore I sometimes write on Shabbat, because the pain of being rejected overwhelms my poor weak soul. Sigh. Happy Chanukah anyway!

  2. One of the things I really like about cooking from scratch and working with raw ingredients is the degree of mindfulness it promotes all by itself.

    Go soak up some of that living water!


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