Mung beans may be a legume you already work into your diet. But perhaps this nutritional powerhouse is new to you. If that's the case, allow me to share with you some impressive facts about this tiny bean.
From a nutritional standpoint, they are packed with potassium, magnesium, folate, fiber, and vitamin B6. In just one cup of cooked mung beans, you will get 100% of your daily required folate! This is a big deal because folate is an important vitamin for DNA synthesis, cell and tissue growth, balancing hormones, and boosting cognitive function. Folate also plays an important role in reproduction. In that same 1 cup serving, you will also obtain 14 grams of protein and 15 grams of fiber.
Many people shy away from beans. I think we know why. I just love beans too much to care if I get a little gassy from them. But I honestly don't feel that is a huge issue with me to begin with. Now others in this house, who shall remain nameless, now that's a different story! But the good news with mung beans is that they are a relatively gas-free bean. Yep, no toots from this one. Soaking and sprouting the beans tremendously helps with digestion. You can also buy them sprouted. TruRoots is my go-to brand. "Antinutrients" are commonly present in beans. They are also in mung beans, but on a smaller scale. However, these antinutrients are water soluble and can easily be eliminated by soaking the beans.
Mung beans are a staple in the Ayurvedic diet. One reason for this is they’re considered tri-doshic, which means that they work well for all body types when cooked with correct spices. When cooked with spices such as ginger, cumin, coriander, and turmeric, they are even more digestible. They are most popular and widely grown in India. Mung beans are used in a variety of Indian dishes and are growing in popularity across the world.
Mung beans can have a positive affect on your health too. They are well known to help lower cholesterol and blood pressure. Mung beans contain antioxidants that act like potent free-radical scavengers, which can reverse damage done to blood vessels and lower inflammation. As far as fighting hypertension, it is believed this benefit is due to their high concentration of protein fragments known as peptides. These peptides help to decrease the constricting of blood vessels that raises blood pressure. Mung beans are also known immunity boosters and can protect against viruses and infections because they contain phytonutrients that are anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory.
You can enjoy mung beans in a number of ways. From stews to soups to salads to curry dishes, the possibilities are endless. We have a handful of our favorite recipes here at home that we cook all year long. This mung bean dip is at the top of the list. It's great for gatherings too! This dip goes perfectly with my homemade sweet potato chips. If you can get your hands on some purple sweet potatoes, it makes for a pretty presentation. You can swap out the cashew butter (or cashews) for tahini if you desire. This dip is a lot like hummus so if you are a hummus fan, you will enjoy this twist.
1 cup mung beans
1/2 to 3/4 cup filtered water
2 Tbs cashew butter or raw cashews
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil, plus a little more to drizzle on top
1 tsp cumin
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp garlic powder)
1/2 tsp sea salt (or to taste)
Drizzle with olive oil
Top with pine nuts
Serve with sweet potato chips
1. Soak mung beans for a few hours (optional). Bring mung beans and 3 cups of water to a boil. Reduce heat and allow to gently boil for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from heat, place the lid on the pot, and allow the beans to sit for about 10 minutes. Drain the water.
2. Put the cooked mung beans, cashew butter (or cashews), lemon juice, olive oil, cumin, garlic, salt, and water (start with 1/2 cup and gradually add if necessary) into your high speed blender. Blend until smooth and creamy.
3. Put the dip into a serving bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and top with some pine nuts if desired. Serve with sweet potato chips. Makes about 2 cups of dip. Store in the refrigerator.