Stir-Fry And Freeze Leftover Bean Sprouts To Give Dishes An Extra Pop

With our hard-earned money getting us less at the grocery store these days, there's never been more incentive to cut down on any and all food waste. One of the produce picks notorious for going soggy in your crisper before you have a chance to use them are sprouts. Along with mushrooms and that pesky spinach that turns before you even get a chance to open the bag, bean sprouts can be delightfully crisp one moment, and a soggy, damp mess what seems like mere hours later. What's a zero-waste, sprout-loving foodie to do?

You might not think of something so fresh and delicate as sprouts as a good candidate for freezing, but with a little prep, alfalfa sprouts freeze up well and can be saved from the compost bin. A quick stir-fry is the best approach before freezing sprouts. This prep means they'll be seasoned and ready to enjoy upon thawing and helps maintain texture and taste, versus freezing raw sprouts. Simply toss them for a few minutes in a pan with oil and a splash or two of soy sauce, to taste, then store them in the freezer. Using this method, frozen sprouts can chill alongside the ice cream cartons and frozen pizzas for up to a year — or until you're ready to toss them in a stir-fry or quickly saute them back to life.

Keep sprouts fresh and enjoy their nutritional benefits

Sprouts turn fast partly due to their moisture content — they're grown in wet environments and are sold in bags, where they retain much of their water content. One simple way you can extend their lifespan (aside from freezing, or before you get around to that) is with proper storage. Pat the sprouts dry after you bring them home. Use paper towels to remove as much moisture as possible, then re-store in a sealed container to help stave off the deterioration.

Aside from their contribution of earthy flavor and airy, refreshing crunch, sprouts are something of a superfood. Despite their miniature size, they lend a supersized boost of nutritional benefits to any meal. They're low in calories but high in gut-healthy fiber, vitamins C and B, and antioxidants, all of which can help lower blood pressure and even fight off disease. And, of course, they're delicious. Enjoyed on their own, stir-fried bean sprouts are a delicious, low-carb side dish, traditionally enjoyed in Japanese and Chinese cuisine. Outside of stir-fry dishes, which bean sprouts make the perfect addition to, try adding frozen sprouts to soup, such as a Thai coconut milk soup, a homemade Pho, or any dish where you're craving a little extra greenery and crunch.