Due to their crisp texture and mild flavors, bean sprouts are a staple in a lot of Asian cooking. These vegetables are a great addition to popular meals such as pho, chow mein, rice noodle stir-fry, and soups. Bean sprouts don’t last very long once they mature, so it’s best to use them when they are fresh. They can be kept in the refrigerator, but that will only give you a couple of days before they go bad, What if you want to store them for months? Can you freeze bean sprouts?
Can You Freeze Bean Sprouts?
Yes, bean sprouts can be frozen and they freeze quite well too. This is due to their high water content.
Bean sprouts are a culinary vegetable grown by sprouting mung beans. This means bean sprouts are the root of mung beans. Keeping them in water, the roots will start growing longer and longer.
With bean sprouts, you can just place them into a bag and store them in the freezer. Doing so will cause the bean sprouts to lose their crisp texture when it thaws.
Bean sprouts should be blanched first to keep their texture and taste intact.
Do Bean Sprouts Freeze Well?
Bean sprouts freeze very well due to their high water content. However, these sprouts are not the easiest to freeze. Not freezing them correctly, they could end up mushy and flavorless.
In order for bean sprouts to freeze well, you’ll need to blanch them first and store them in the proper container.
Prepping them does take some time, but the result you get will be the crunchy texture they are known for.
Why Freeze Bean Sprouts
Not only are do they make food taste better, but bean sprouts are also a good source of nutrients as well.
For those who love that extra nutrition and the crunchiness to their food, bean sprouts aren’t always available for purchase at local grocery stores.
When they are available, bean sprouts will usually come in a package in large quantities. This can make it difficult for you to consume it all at once. These sprouts don’t last very long in the refrigerator. Their shelf life is about 2-3 days before it starts to become wet and soggy.
For that reason, if you enjoy bean sprouts all year long, you definitely should freeze them. Freezing them will not only extend their shelf life but will save you a lot of money by not having to buy it often.
How to Freeze Bean Sprouts
Freezing bean sprouts isn’t an easy task. You can’t just simply place them into a freezer bag and store them in the freezer. If you do so, they’ll last no longer than a month or so. Also, you’ll get watery and bland tasting bean sprouts when it thaws.
In order to keep them fresh and retain their crunchy texture, you’ll need to blanch them first.
Below are the steps to follow to prep and freeze the bean sprouts:
Freezing Fresh Bean Sprouts
Us this method if you’re planning to use iceberg lettuce for making soups, stews, and other meals that require blending and mixing.
- Start by cleaning the iceberg lettuce to remove any dirt and particles.
- Cut the leaves off the stem of each lettuce. It’s best to just use your hand to remove the leaves from the stem. Too much cutting can cause browning of the leaves.
- In a large freezer bag, stack the leaves on top of each other. Make sure to not pack them together too much.
- Squeeze out as much air as you can from the bag and seal the bag tight.
- Label the bag and store them in the freezer.
How Long Can You Freeze Bean Sprouts?
Bean sprouts can stay fresh in the freezer for up to a year. For them to last this long, you’ll need to blanch them first and properly store them in the freezer.
Blanching isn’t required if you’re planning to use all the bean sprouts within a month. They will stay fresh and retain their crunchy texture. After a month, the cold temperature of the freezer will start to break down the cells of the bean sprouts and cause them to go bad. You may not notice this while it’s still frozen. You will notice it after the bean sprouts thaw, which they will become soggy and wet.
As for storage, always store bean sprouts in an airtight container or a resealable freezer bag. These storage items will help prevent air from getting to the bean sprouts.
How Do You Defrost Bean Sprouts?
The great thing about bean sprouts is that they don’t need to thaw. Due to their small size, they will almost instantly melt when removed from the freezer.
For salads or porridge, simply take the amount off bean sprouts you need from the freezer and put them right into your meal. Due to the warmth of the room, they will instantly melt.
If you’re preparing a large meal and need to use bean sprouts as a food topping, thaw them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to use them. By letting them defrost slowly, the bean sprouts will retain their crunchy texture and flavors.
On the other hand, if you need them to thaw quickly, take the number of bean sprouts you need from the freezer and place them into cold water. The coldness of the water will help melt the bean sprouts while keeping them from becoming soft.
Can You Refreeze Bean Sprouts?
You should never refreeze bean sprouts. Once they are frozen and thawed, they will already become soft. By freezing them again, you’ll be freezing bean sprouts that are soft.
If you find yourself having to refreeze bean sprouts, next time, try to grab as much as you need from the freezer and put the rest back.
Can Frozen Bean Sprouts Go Bad?
Bean sprouts are very perishable and go bad quite quickly due to their high water content. They can go bad if they are left in the freezer for too long or it’s left to thaw for a prolonged time.
In the freezer, their shelf is about a year. After that, the bean sprouts can be eaten, but the quality will diminish. They will become soggy and lose their nutrition. Once it’s been in the freezer for that long, you should always check the quality of it before eating or using them in cooking. If they still have a crunchy texture, you can use them.
On the other hand, if they are soft or soggy once they thaw, it’s best to just throw them out. More than likely, they have lost all of their nutritions and it won’t taste good.
Besides the freezer, leaving them out to thaw too long will cause bean sprouts to go bad too. These mung bean roots melt really quickly once it’s removed from the freezer. If left to defrost, once they are completely thawed, they will be left sitting in melted water. After a while, the bean sprouts will start to become soggy.
The good thing about bean sprouts is that you don’t need to thaw them. They can be added to a meal straight from the freezer. If you do need to thaw them, make sure to let them defrost in the refrigerator so they will not lose their crunchiness and flavor when it thaw.
Why do mung bean sprouts turn purple?
If the sprouts are turning purple, it’s a sign that they were exposed to light. Excessive exposure to lights will turn them into a green color. While they turn to purple or even green, it’s safe to eat the bean sprouts.
Why are my bean sprouts bitter?
When the bean sprouts become bitter, this means they are exposed to lights. This can be the sunlight or the lamps in your home. Therefore, while the germination is starting, cover the mung beans with a cloth or paper brown bag to make sure they are not exposed to any lights.