Bean sprouts are one of the most popular healthy foods today!
A common ingredient in Asian cuisine, but increasingly used elsewhere too, crunchy and crispy bean sprouts provide a nutritious boost to different meals.
And, they’re definitely a favorite among vegans and vegetarians, as well as among people following a plant-based diet!
However, what should you do with bean sprout leftovers? Should you toss them away or can you reheat them and use them in the future? Is reheating sprouts a safe method of food preparation?
Stay tuned to read answers to these and other common questions about reheating bean sprouts!
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With bean sprouts and any other sprouts, it’s recommendable to consume them shortly after you’ve bought or harvested them.
The USDA advises cooking the sprouts before consumption and doing it within a week or ten days from purchasing or from harvest.
If bought much earlier than the consumption date, they may begin to smell musty, become slimy, and their roots will darken. These are all signs of aged sprouts.
If you notice any unusual smell or changed appearance of the sprouts, don’t consume them! They may contain bacteria that could cause foodborne diseases!
When you need to store bean sprouts, follow these tips to preserve their safety, quality, and texture:
- Rinse the bean sprouts with cold water
- Drain the sprouts well after rinsing
- Dry them gently with a clean cloth or a paper towel
- Transfer the bean sprouts into a zipper plastic bag and line them with a paper towel
- It’s best to keep them in the crisper drawer section of the fridge
- The optimal temperature for sprouts is 32 degrees F
- When you store them like this, they will preserve their best quality and freshness for a couple of days
If you don’t plan to consume them within this period, it’s a much smarter choice to freeze them.
This is because they have a short shelf life if not frozen. But remember to prepare them for the freezer first.
If you place them in the freezer, it’s best if you blanch or lightly fry them. By doing this, you will maximize their crunchiness and texture after the freezing process.
When you have leftover bean sprouts that have been cooked, it’s best to store them properly to maintain them tasty and safe for later consumption.
Once they’ve cooled down entirely, place them in a glass or a plastic container, close it, and set it in the fridge. This is the best option if you plan to eat them within several days.
If you don’t, it’s best to place them in a freezer-safe bag or a container and keep them in the freezer. This is a great way to prolong their safety, preserve their texture, and maximize their taste.
Frozen bean sprouts are best when consumed within 10 months. After this period, they remain safe for consumption, but they will probably lose some of their taste and flavor and may have signs of deterioration.
This is why it’s a good idea to label all frozen foods with a date so that you’re sure they haven’t passed their best-by date. When you store leftover foods properly, you also reduce the risk of bacteria and prevent foodborne diseases.
How to Reheat Bean Sprouts?
When reheating bean sprouts, make sure the minimum temperature is 167 degrees F. A great way to check their temperature is with a food thermometer.
And, the good news is that there are various options for reheating, i.e., the microwave, the stove, and the oven.
Whichever method you pick, make sure the sprouts are hot enough before serving them. Below, check out how to reheat bean sprouts in different ways:
- In the microwave
Transfer the leftovers to a bowl suitable for the microwave. Add a bit of water or broth to the bowl to prevent the sprouts from drying out.
Cover them with plastic wrap pierced with a fork. This is a great way for the steam to escape and prevent soggy bean sprouts.
Reheat them for a minute and serve. If they’re not warm enough for your taste, bring them back in the microwave and heat them up for additional 30 seconds.
- On the stove
Reheating leftover bean sprouts on the stove is a quick and efficient method. It’s the best option if you want to use the sprouts in a stir fry along with other veggies.
To do it, you need to heat up a bit of oil in a pan. Turn on the stove on low heat and add the bean sprouts. Stir and cook the bean sprouts for a minute or two until crispy and warm.
- The oven
The oven is great if you want extra crispy bean sprouts. Turn on the oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a tray with parchment paper and spread the sprouts evenly.
Spray them with cooking oil and set them in the oven once it’s heated. Reheat them for ten minutes and serve while warm.
When you’re reheating bean sprouts, these are the must-know tips:
- Avoid overcooking them because they will be soggy instead of crispy
- You can reheat them at the same time with other veggies, which is great for stir-fries
- The microwave may be the fastest option, but the stove gives the best results
You no longer need to throw away precious food when you know how to store and reheat it properly so that it’s safe for future consumption.
The same rule applies to bean sprouts leftovers. They do best when you store them in the freezer or fridge.
There are numerous ways to reheat the leftovers, with the microwave being the quickest option and the stove giving the best results.
Whichever method you choose, make sure you don’t cook them for more than a minute or two. This is essential to prevent the sprouts from overcooking and losing their flavor!
What’s your favorite method of reheating bean sprouts?