Bean sprouts are a staple in many dishes from salads to stir-fry. They are young, sprouted mung beans with a distinctive texture and crunch. Health-conscious foodies know that bean sprouts are packed with vitamins A and C as well as iron. Consider using these other healthy bean sprouts substitutes for your next Pad Thai or salad.
Several other sprouts, greens, and vegetables can be used as bean sprouts substitutes. Some of the options are bok choy, snow peas, bamboo shoots, soybean sprouts, broccoli stems, and sunflower sprouts. These tasty alternatives will also add flavor and crunch to all your healthy entrees and salads.
Best Bean Sprouts Substitutes
Many types of sprouts have similar nutritional properties to bean sprouts. Not all of them, however, have the taste or texture that are compatible with the variety of dishes that often contain bean sprouts.
Read on to find out more about the other vegetables and sprouts that can provide that tender crunch of bean sprouts.
- Bok Choi
Cut these nutrient-rich, leafy greens into thin strips and use them in equal amounts to what you would use of bean sprouts. Bok Choy cooks down at the same rate as bean sprouts. If used in Pad Thai it gives the dish a similar texture.
- Snow Peas
Snow peas have edible pods and seeds that are wide and flat. They also have a delightful crunch that holds up to a little heat when necessary. They also offer similar nutritional value with lots of vitamins, fiber, and protein. Use thinly sliced snow peas in place of bean sprouts for a similar crispy taste in salads and stir-fry.
- Bamboo Shoots
Bamboo shoots are another ultra-healthy bean sprouts substitute. They too contain fiber and protein and have low sugar content. They come conveniently canned and can be purchased already cut into thin sticks. Unlike greens, snow peas, and bean sprouts, bamboo shoots can be stored in the pantry for several months.
- Soybean Sprouts
Soybean sprouts and mung bean sprouts are often confused. They are similar in appearance. Sprouting soybeans have lower phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient that can make the body resistant to absorbing iron. Eating soybean sprouts may contribute some benefits to iron levels in the body.
- Broccoli Stems
Broccoli stems are a super crunchy, and nutritional bean sprouts substitute. If you normally throw away the stems of your broccoli, consider peeling and shredding them to use in place of bean sprouts. Not only do you get more value out of your broccoli purchase, but you also get additional fiber and nutrients.
- Sunflower Sprouts
Sunflower sprouts are larger and thicker than bean sprouts, but they have a similar nutty flavor. They are better used as a bean sprouts substitute in sandwiches and salads because they have a slightly bitter taste that isn’t pleasing to some. Sunflower sprouts have a wealth of vitamins and minerals that are beneficial to a healthy diet.
If you’re willing to be a little creative, there are many other foods you can use as bean sprouts substitutes. The most important thing to look for in a replacement is that delicious crunch.