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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sprouts and Wishful Thinking

I'm taking another stab at sprouts.  I did some more reading, and found that for beans, the primary sprout is obtained from the mung bean.

Now, I'd heard of these, but I've never seen nor eaten any, until today.

I also read that lentils are good for sprouts so I'm trying them as well.  I have TONS of lentils in my prep storage.  I really like the taste of lentils, and they cook much more quickly than other legumes (thus requiring less fuel to prepare).

This picture is of the two one-quart jars I'm using for the sprouts.  Mung on the left, lentil on the right.  They're in the soaking stage right now -

I was able to find the mung beans in the bulk section of my store.  As I noted, I'd never seen them before.  Here's what they look like - mung on the bottom, lentils on the top -

To me, they kind of look like #7 1/2 bird shot.... only they're green (DUDE, does EVERYTHING have to revolve around guns and gold?)!

I was given a tip in the comments section of the last sprout post to try the sprouts as they're growing.  In this way, I can determine at which stage I like them the best.  Sounds like good advice.

I'll try and post some pix of the progress as each of them starts sprouting.

When I was at the checkout stand at the store, the checker (an Asian lady) commented that mung beans are a large part of their diet.  They supposedly cook up very quickly and can be combined with a lot of different foods. 

She specifically mentioned pork and fish as her favorites.  She also noted that they can be cooked with condensed milk.  This was a bit difficult for me to envision.  Beans for breakfast?!  She said they're great.

I dunno.

They're a bit on the pricey side, costing a little over $2 a pound.  I think I'll look for some preparation recipes and try some with some corned beef I have in the fridge.  I don't see me having them instead of Coco Puffs, but you never know...

A glimmer of economic hope?

I was reading an article somewhere (sorry, I have no idea where I saw this) that was talking about the Japanese economy over the past 20 years.

It noted that their national debt is 2 times their GDP.  The debt is also 20 times their annual tax intake.

When compared to the US, we're in much better shape.  Our Debt to GDP ratio is now 1:1 and our Debt to Tax receipts (around $2.2 trillion) is a bit over 6:1.

Now, I don't think we'll ever be able to pay off this debt, but it gives me a glimmer of hope that we'll have a bit more time to squirrel away PMs and acquire additional tangible assets before everything goes belly up.

Japan has managed to limp along in a sort of economic haze for the past 20 years.  Maybe we can eek out a few more before everything goes sideways on us.

Hey, a guy's got to have dreams, right?

Accept The Challenge

I've started doing the sprout thing because of the news we had that the Mexican and South American veggie crops were negatively impacted by weather.  I haven't seen any horrible prices or shortages, but being a prepper for life, I figured I needed to gain the skills to get fresh veggies in case the winter crops from around the world stopped showing up at the store.

Plus, I've gotta tell ya, I like doing as much as I can from scratch.  It just tastes better and I know exactly what's in it.  No, it's not as easy as buying a bag-o-sprouts from the store, but then again, I'm certain no one took a leak on my veggies of their freshness. ;-)

Hey, are you still putting food up?  I still make it a habit of buying a bit of extra dry or canned food each and every time I go to the store.  A bag of sugar, a few pounds of pasta, some instant pudding and a couple cans of spam were added yesterday.

It only sets you back a couple of extra bucks, but you're moving closer and closer to independence should things go sideways.

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Andrea said...

Beans for breakfast isn't so strange to me. My grandma used to take leftover pinto beans, add some diced onion, salt and pepper and enough flour to make a battery-dough then drop it in bacon grease and fry til golden brown. Yum. And besides, we've all read the recipe for black bean brownies, right?

STill stocking up here...really concentrating on sugar, coffee, flour, etc.

Anonymous said...

I was in my mid twenties when I found out people ate pizza for breakfast-I was told it soaked up a lot of beer from the night before! Later on I found a little truth to that. But I would have a hard time with beans for breakfast,too.


Chief Instructor said...

Andrea, well, I guess savory beans might be a decent b-fast, but this thing is with milk! It just doesn't sound right.

Those things you're talking about sound kinda good. Kind of like a hush puppy made from beans.

Black bean brownies? Nope - I must lead a sheltered life ;-)

Cat, pizza the morning after? Hell, that's the Breakfast of Champions. It was almost a staple back in the day!

suek said...

>>pizza the morning after>>

Hey...the early bird gets the pick of the leftovers!! (That includes pumpkin pie after Thanksgiving, if there _is_ any!)

The only beans for breakfast I remember is my Dad eating leftover baked beans. We always had baked beans, franks and brown bread for Saturday night dinner. (No, I don't know why. My parents were from Massachusetts and I think it was a tradition of sorts. I usually have spaghetti on Thursday nights. That's because I used to shop on Thursdays because it was the least crowded day at the commissary, and the boys had Scouts on Thursdays. That meant I needed something quick. Get home, unload groceries, start water boiling, start the spaghetti sauce - package type - put groceries away while the water boiled and spaghetti cooked, put dinner on the table, clear while the boys changed into uniforms and GO! rest of the groceries in the AM)
Sundays were big breakfast days - sit at the dining room table, popovers, bacon and scrambled eggs. We only had two meals on Sundays - late breakfast and early dinner.

Monday mornings, Dad ate left over baked beans and eggs. And toast. In the kitchen.

I'm trying to learn new things to do with beans. Not much luck so far. Most recipes seem to use the beans as filler type stuff, not the main ingredient. Cuban black beans and rice went over well - but it's hard making a small enough batch that it doesn't last all week and then some! Next time, I'll freeze half of it, I think.

Anonymous said...

I live in Texas now but grew up on the west coast we used to go to Chinatown to a Japanese store to buy some things once in a while..they had these delicious bean cakes..I think they were made with some sort of cake stuff on the outside but the middle had a sweet filling that was made of beans I think..sweet..I loved them and very good for you..wish I had some now..I use black beans mashed up in the blender in place of oil for choc cake recipes..try in same amount of beans as oil.Makes the cake moist and stays moist for days..try it out..good...

Andrea said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Terrie said...

Soory I forgot my name on the post and forgot to mention to use canned black beans need the juice

Andrea said...

Chief-you simply must read this discussion and post your thoughts. Me personally, I want to bang my head against the wall....but that's just me.

Anonymous said...

I grew up just North of Boston in the 40's and 50's and we had baked beans hot dogs and brown bread every Saturday too. Still my favorite meal.

I often ate rice for breakfast. When my mother made rice for dinner I would eat the leftover rice with a few raisins and milk the next morning.

Sprouting is a good way to get more vitamins from seeds and to make them more edible (as opposed to cooking). Wheat sprouts soften the wheat and change the taste and make it useful for something other then just bread.

I don't personally "like" sprouts. I can eat them but I could live without them too. I'll tame my beans and lentils cooked and my wheat ground into flour.

Dandelion greens are a better choice for needed vitamins. Where I live now (not in Boston) dandelions stay green all year. Canned fruit/preserves are another good choice. I actually had to stop myself from picking blacberries last year they were so abundant. Plant dwarf and semi-dwarf Apple, pear, peach trees and can or eat them fresh.

Chief Instructor said...

Sue, I've never been a big fan of baked beans. My mom supposedly makes a mean batch of baked beans, but I can barely eat them. Go figure, as I LOVE beans!

The checker I was talking about discussed making egg rolls with the beans. A slice of green onion, beans, a piece of pork and fry them up. I think I'll be giving them a try.

Anon 9:22, yeah, there's some sort of sweet bean cake I've had at Din Sum restaurants. I think I'm seeing a pattern here. I'm not crazy about them - my guess is because they're sweet. I guess I'm a savory bean kinda guy!

Terrie, I think you deleted your recipe as well! Or were you commenting on Anon's cake recipe?

Andrea, I read the post, and I'll drop by and give my two cents worth. Thanks for the heads up.

Anon 8:59, I like rice and milk "pudding" as well. When I was a kid, my grandma used to make it the next morning. Very good memories!

I need to give dandelions a try. They're green here in Ca all year round as well.

For the past two years, I've gotten my fill of blackberries as well. In fact, I've still got some in the freezer from last year.

suek said...

>>The checker I was talking about discussed making egg rolls with the beans. A slice of green onion, beans, a piece of pork and fry them up. I think I'll be giving them a try.>>

Of course...Chinese burritos!

Terrie said...

Chief, No it was my recipe..I just forgot my name and it came up as ann.sorry