I really enjoy watching Dr. Michael Greger’s nutrition videos. Dr. Greger is the founder of a 501(c)3 nonprofit NutritionFacts.org, the first science-based, non-commercial website to provide free daily videos and articles on the latest discoveries in nutrition. The videos are about 1-2 minutes long and he has a pretty entertaining delivery.
A couple of weeks ago Dr. Greger talked up the health benefits of broccoli sprouts in a video. Broccoli sprouts contain very high amounts of the cancer fighting phytonutrient sulforaphane and are high in fiber and vitamin C also. According to Greger in this video broccoli sprouts yield the biggest nutrition bang for the buck. I was definitely intrigued and willing to give them a try! I put them on my shopping list but my grocery store did not carry them. Looking for alternatives, I discovered that broccoli sprouts are simple and fast to grow at home and cost only about 25 cents per cup. I was determined to grow a superfood on my own kitchen counter, I gave it a whirl, and I’m so glad I did! I planted my first crop last Friday and harvested it five days later on Tuesday. They add a slight radish flavor and a nice crisp crunch to a salad and they add a lot of nutrients to boot.
You can make your own sprouter with a mason jar and plastic crochet mesh as shown in this article from Boulder Locavore.
- Soak the seeds for at least 3 hours up to 12 hours to help them germinate.
- Spread the seeds in the trays.
- Rinse with 2 cups of water 2-3 times a day.
- Set them in a cool (70 degrees) dark spot like a cabinet.
- In a couple of days you will begin to see sprouts emerge.
- After about 3-4 days the sprouts will have tiny pale yellow-green leaves on them. At this point you can bring them into light, however don’t put them in direct sunlight as this might “cook” the sprouts!
- After 5 days the sprouts leaves should be greened up like the picture below.
8. Remove the sprouts from the sprouting jar or tray and immerse in a bowl of cool water
9. The seed hulls will float to the surface. You can skim them off with a small colander.
10. Drain the sprouts in a colander.
11. Use a salad spinner to dry the sprouts. Or, you can place them between layers of paper towel to dry off. Drying the sprouts will extend their life in the refrigerator to about 1 week.
12. I lined four small containers with paper toweling (to absorb moisture) and divided the sprouts up into them and stored them in refrigerator.
I have to admit I wondered how we would be able to eat such a large amount of sprouts in one week. A co-worker and I ate half of them at lunch our salads today…I don’t think that eating them will be a problem…Have you tried sprouting beans or seeds at home? What was your experience like?