Magical Mung Bean Salad

A relative of the pea and lentil family, mung beans are magical because they are nutrient powerhouses! Rich in fiber, protein, potassium, iron, zinc, folate and B vitamins they have been a staple in the cooking traditions of Ayurveda for many..many years. I love bean dishes because they make for a simple, nutritious and cost-effective meal, and a great way to get in tons of nutrition into your body. The only concern is that they sometimes cause belly aches. If this sounds familiar, here are some tips to help you enjoy them with more ease.

If the thought of eating beans makes your belly explode, take baby steps. Make sure to soak them first for at least 12 hours to help release phytates and oligosaccharides into the water. Oligosaccharides, are the carbohydrates responsible for those digestive woes like bloating and flatulence. Since these carbohydrates are water-soluble they will be released into the soaking water. Add some salt halfway through the cooking process and make sure to cook the beans until they soften. Phytates are compounds that bind to minerals and must be released to enable absorption of minerals like zinc and magnesium by the body. Soaking helps release these compounds as well so make sure to rinse the beans thoroughly after you have soaked them. I find that starting with small servings of 1/3-1/4 cup of beans is sufficient until you work up a tolerance..or not. Again beans are not for every body.. Chewing thoroughly will of course facilitate digestion so your intestine doesn’t have to do all the work. If they still give you belly trouble try pureeing them into a soup and see how well you tolerate them.

While I have a sensitive belly I still can enjoy bean dishes every so often and love how tasty and satisfying they are. This dish is simple, filling and is one of those one-pot wonders that has all your macronutrients (fats, carbs, proteins), fiber and tons of other nutrients. It’s hearty enough to satisfy meat lovers and a perfect way to add more plant-based meals into your lifestyle.

Ingredients

3 cups soaked mung beans
9 cups water
handful chopped kale
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup cherry tomatoes sliced in half
1/4 cup chopped pickles
1 Tbsp dried cranberries
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 tsp Himalayan salt + pinch for boiling beans
1/2 tsp curry
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp ground mustard seed
handful chopped parsley
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/8 tsp ground black pepper

Directions
Bring the water to a boil and add the beans. Lower heat to medium-low and simmer for about 15 minutes. The beans will still have a nice bite. Drain the beans into a sieve and place back into pot. Add the olive oil, spices, chopped kale, sliced tomatoes, pickles, parsley, walnuts and dried cranberries. Mix all ingredients thoroughly and enjoy warm or refrigerate for later.

Happy & Healthy Cravings! 🙂

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