Growing Broccoli Sprouts Right the First Time

growing broccoli sprouts
growing broccoli sprouts

Last week, we wrote about growing garlic for its cold-fighting properties. Since then, we’ve learned that garlic helps us fight colds and other viruses by boosting our natural killer (NK) cell activity.

So today, the focus is on growing broccoli sprouts. These infant broccoli plants are the richest known source of glucoraphanin, which our bodies convert to the NK cell super-activator sulforaphane.

Described in 2016 research as “…one of the most frequently studied plant-derived… compounds,” sulforaphane boasts exceptional disease-fighting properties.

Benefits of Growing Broccoli Sprouts

Besides lowering the risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and neurodegenerative disease, sulforaphane battles obesity and decreases insulin resistance.

It also helps our cells produce the toxin neutralizer and anti-inflammatory glutathione. Sulforaphane’s shown such promise as a treatment for so many conditions that it’s now available in pill form.

Broccoli sprouts produce 10 to 100 times the sulforaphane as mature broccoli plants. Oregon State University  CC BY-SA 2.0

But for anyone who agrees that the veganic concept of “… parts [that function to the benefit of one another and the whole” applies to plant foods, a pill simply won’t do!

The best way to get the glucoraphanin your body needs to make sulforaphane is with whole broccoli sprouts. They s contain hundreds of other phytochemicals that probably work together to provide such an impressive list of benefits!

And consider this: A best-selling brand of sulforaphane pills runs $65 for a one-month supply. Compare that to a one-pound bag of certified organic broccoli sprouting seeds costing less than $10.

Getting a quart of sprouts from two tablespoons of seeds equates to paying $.63 per quart. Growing broccoli sprouts at home is as economical as it is healthy!

Choose Your Seed Supplier Carefully

 In an instant, seeds contaminated with a foodborne illness can undo the potential good of growing broccoli sprouts. Such was the case in the mid-to-late 1990s when commercially grown alfalfa and clover sprouts were responsible for several salmonella or E. coli outbreaks.

The harmful bacteria on or in contaminated seeds multiplies rapidly during the sprouting process. Sanitary measures do not affect them.

To ensure you get safe, pathogen-free seeds, check the supplier’s testing regimen before purchasing. And rinse your seeds religiously, at least two times per day, during sprouting.

Growing Broccoli Sprouts at Home

Everything necessary for growing broccoli sprouts is available either online or at your local big-box or hardware stores.

 Things You’ll Need:

  • Certified, pathogen-free organic broccoli sprouting seeds

    Just 1 ounce of broccoli seeds will fill a 32-ounce jar with sprouts. Southern Foodways Alliance CC BY 2.0
  • 1-quart wide-mouth glass canning jar
  • Measuring spoon
  • Filtered (non-chlorinated) water
  • Household bleach
  • Dish soap
  • Cheesecloth
  • Rubber band
  • Small dish rack
  • Small strainer
  • Large colander

Start sprouting:

  1. Wipe down the surfaces where you’ll be working with a bleach-an s water solution.
  2. Fill your sprouting jar with warm, soapy water and a splash of bleach. Let it sit for two minutes to kill pathogens.
  3. Dry the jar with a clean towel.

    White radicles developing leaves. timlewisnm CC BY-SA 2.0
  4. Place two tablespoons of seeds in the jar. Cover them with two inches of filtered water.
  5. Secure the cheesecloth over the jar’s mouth with the rubber band.
  6. Place the jar in a dark cupboard for eight to 12 hours.
  7. Drain the jar, rinse the seeds and drain again.
  8. Set the jar mouth down in a dish rack at a 45-degree angle, so the excess moisture continues draining.
  9. Keep the dish rack and jar in an area with indirect light,
  10. Rinse the seeds three times a day. Don’t let them dry out.
  11. Watch for white roots, or radicles, to appear. When they’re about 1 inch long and have a few leaves, move them into the sun and green them up a bit.
  12. Rinse the sprouts in a bowl of clean filtered water.
  13. Skim off the hulls with the strainer and drain the sprouts thoroughly in a colander.

Enjoy them right away, or refrigerate them in a covered jar or bowl for up to a week.

 

 

 

 

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