“Bean sprouts” don’t sound like a Paleo food at all: after all, aren’t they legumes? If you personally have a problem with bean sprouts, don’t eat them. But here’s the case for why you might consider them, even though they technically come from legumes:
- First of all, “Bean sprouts” are not the same thing as “sprouted beans.” Sprouted beans are what you get when you soak legumes and then let them sprout, and then eat the whole thing (the soaked beans and the sprouts growing from them). When you eat bean sprouts, you’re getting only the sprout, not the entire bean. Think of the difference between pumpkin seeds (high in antinutrients) and pumpkin itself (low in antinutrients): the beans are like the “seeds” for the sprouts.
- By volume, bean sprouts are primarily fiber and water. Any bean-style antinutrients in them will be incredibly diluted (bear in mind that no plant food will be entirely free of antinutrients; going on a crusade for total elimination is silly). If you’re going to worry about antinutrients, look at nuts and seeds before you start worrying about bean sprouts.
- Bean sprouts contain important nutrients, notably Vitamin C.
Essentially, bean sprouts are vegetables, just like green beans (another vegetable that technically comes from a plant in the legume family). They’re nutrient-dense and low in antinutrients . If you personally have trouble with them, by all means avoid them, but for the majority of people they should be totally fine.
Enough with the science talk? Here’s the recipe – it’s a lot more fun than all the talk about antinutrients. Sweet papaya slices are delicious with crunchy sprouts and a spicy, garlicky vinaigrette, and pre-cooked shrimp let you add protein without having to cook anything extra.
Crunchy Papaya Salad With Shrimp Recipe
Protein: 28g / %
Carbs: 40g / %
Fat: 29g / %
Values are per portion. These are for information only & are not meant to be exact calculations.
- 4 cup papaya, cut into small chunks;
- 4 green onions, thinly sliced;
- 1 bell pepper, thinly sliced;
- 1 bunch fresh coriander;
- 1½ cups fresh bean sprouts;
- 1 lb cooked shrimp;
Ingredients for the vinaigrette
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil;
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon;
- 2 garlic cloves, minced;
- 2 tbsp. coconut aminos;
- 1 tsp. sriracha sauce; (optional)
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper;
- Add ½ cup of water to a saucepan, and add in the bean sprouts.
- Cover and cook over a med-high heat for 6 minutes. Strain out the beans and discard the liquid.
- In a bowl, combine all the ingredients for the vinaigrette. Season to taste and give everything a good stir.
- In a large salad bowl, mix all remaining ingredients for the salad. Pour in the vinaigrette, stir everything together, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.