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This past spring, we purchased the seeds for our garden from SeedsNow. I love this company because all their seeds are non-GMO as well as being raw, untreated, pure heirloom, non-hybridized varieties. This means you can save all your seeds from the plants you grow for next season!
But anyway, while I was there, I noticed that they also sell seeds for growing sprouts. I had just finished reading The Elimination Diet, where the praise the benefits of broccoli sprouts, so I thought I would check it out. I picked up a bag of the sprouts and anxiously awaited my delivery. Remember, I was waiting for my garden seeds AND the broccoli sprouts! It was an exciting day at the mailbox.
Why Eat Broccoli Sprouts
So, what’s so great about broccoli sprouts? I had never had any type of sprout before, so this was new territory to me.
Cruciferous vegetables contain a compound called sulforaphane, which assists in the manufacture of antioxidant and detoxification proteins. It supports our cells as they protect our bodies from damaging chemicals such as air pollution, heavy metals, pesticides, etc. Very good news in the toxic world we live in.
Broccoli sprouts are particularly high in this compound, and even have 20x the amount of sulforaphane that regular broccoli has. Check out Tom Malterre’s TEDx talk for more information about the power of broccoli.
Through my GAPS experience, I realized that my body needs help supporting detoxification. Broccoli sprouts seemed like a great and tasty way to do so.
(Worried about goitrogens? While the jury is out on whether broccoli sprouts contain goitrogens (I have see claims both ways), you may not need to be that worried about them after all.)
Growing Broccoli Sprouts at Home
If you want to try out broccoli sprouts, the best way to do that is to grow them yourself. I have never seen them in the store. Based on the prices of the sprouts there, I’m sure that they would not be cheap if I were to find them. I was able to purchase a half cup of seeds for sprouting $5. These will turn into 4 quarts of sprouts.
Plus, they are really fun to watch grow. Simple, too. All you need are the seeds, a mason jar, and a sprouting lid. You can buy sprouting lids, but I just made one myself out of scrap I found in the house.
Add 2 tablespoons of broccoli sprouting seeds to a widemouthed quart jar. Cover with a few inches of filtered water and cap with the sprouting lid. Store in a warm, dark place overnight. I use a kitchen cabinet for this.
The next morning, drain the liquid off and rinse with fresh water. Be sure to drain all the water off. Repeat this 3-4 times a day. Continue to store your seeds in a warm, dark place.
After a few days, the seeds will start to break open and grow. The biology major in me is absolutely enamored with this process!
Eventually, the sprouts will be an inch or so long and have yellow leaves. Now you can move the sprouts out into the sunlight. Continue to rinse them 3-4 times a day until the leaves are dark green. Now they are ready to eat!
This whole process will take about a week. Patience is key! Once they are ready, replace the sprouting lid with a standard mason jar lid and store in the refrigerator. Serve on top of salads, stirred into soups, or however strikes your fancy. They have almost a spicy flavor, so I really enjoy it in my Lentil Stew or my Chicken Curry Soup.
If you are the only one eating your sprouts, you may want to make smaller batches. The same process will work just fine in a pint sized jar. If you don’t eat them fast enough, they get kinda slimy. The sprouts will hold up for a week or two in the refrigerator.
Have you ever tried growing broccoli sprouts?
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