Pamela's Corner

This issue's food focus comes from Virginia Redden, a Research Fellow with the School of Chemical Technology, University of South Australia. Ms Redden's current research projects include involve: seed quality and adding value to sorghum, adzuki beans, and, in future, oats, vetch, faba beans and other grain legumes. She is also investigating fruit and meat quality and processing.

Growing your own bean sprouts

(Salads/side dish)


1 pan with sides; 1 clean cloth (muslin or burlap); ½ cup mungbean seeds; 1 plastic bag.


Prepare germination chamber by fitting the cloth to the bottom of the pan. Lay seeds over the cloth and saturate with water (removing excess water). For best results, place the pan in a clean, dark, 20-21°C room and saturate with fresh water daily. When sprouts are ready (5-7 days, about 2.5 cm length), wash, dry, package in plastic bag, and refrigerate the product.

Alternatively, soak the seeds for 12-24 hr and germinate in moist cloth in the dark for 24-48 hr. Germinated seed length (1-6 cm) will depend on personal flavour and texture preference and bean type. Conduct your own taste tests until you find what suits you and your family best. Sprouted beans are eaten raw as a side dish or as an ingredient in salads or in cooked dishes.

In the process of germination, the seeds gain in size, nutrition quality, flavour, bioavailability and digestibility. Bean sprouts are good sources of vitamins (thiamin, riboflavin, niacin) and minerals (especially phosphorus). Substitute for mungbean other grain legumes such as lucerne seed (alfalfa), adzuki, lupin or soybean and enjoy the variety!

And from other 'good nutrition' sources:

Tip 1: Eat grain legumes and cereals and other foods for your daily nutrition.

Tip 2: Lazy sprouters: just tie some stocking over the mouth of a glass jar and keep the sprouting beans in that. Pour water in through the stocking each day, swirl the beans around and tip out the water. Keep in a dark cupboard till sprouted.

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