I recently learned about the thrilling health benefits of broccoli sprouts from Joe Rogan of all people. Well, really, it was a guest he had on named Dr. Rhonda Patrick who runs a popular nutrition podcast called Found My Fitness. Her intensity and passion on the subject, as well as highly detailed technical knowledge of all the food science lingo, which I will not attempt to fully repeat, really captivated me. Just a few short weeks later I gave this whole sprouted broccoli thing a try for myself and grew a lovely and delicious batch.
Broccoli sprouts have plenty of micro nutrients like a lot of other green leafy veggies. They have fiber, vitamin C, and even calcium. But what people are so excited about is their extremely high levels of sulforaphane. This is found to be 10 to 20 more sulforaphane than is found in regular broccoli itself or the other cruciferous vegetables, just inside the sprouts.
Why is this so exciting? Well, many studies have linked sulforaphane to kicking cancer in the butt. It can help to prevent and treat many forms of cancer growth throughout the body and is especially helpful for lungs because it can clear passage ways in the lungs of tissue damage. This helps with asthma and lung cancer, a risk to all of us given the high levels of air pollution we experience in the city, even if you aren’t a smoker.
I’d recommend adding broccoli sprouts to your diet no matter what, but especially if you are or were a heavy smoker or lived with one, were working in the construction industry where you breath in a lot of strange things, or were exposed to toxic emissions or polluted water. These sprouts will help clearing out tiny micro toxic junk from your body that could transform into active cancer cells later on.
I’m not here to judge if you currently smoke, it can be a hard habit to break. I’m just saying at least adding a sprouty smoothie might help. You should definitely quit though, just saying.
It took about 3 days to mature to sprout-hood and then lasted for a few days of sandwiches and salads, smoothies, and even on top of a couple soups as fancy looking garnish through the week.
She said you can make a batch and then freeze them to add to smoothies later. This makes it very convenient for people who don’t have tons of time to be self-sprouting. You could in theory make a big tray or multiple jars at once that you freeze up and use over a few months. That said, sprouting is much easier than you might think and the fresh greens taste so good in a sandwich.
The process that has worked well for me for sprouting broccoli, lentils, alfalfa and many other beans and seeds was using a can-be-used-for-everything mason jar and a mesh cover. Sprouts are full of so many more nutrients than the seed or gain has while dormant so it is a wonderful habit to get into if you can take that tiny bit of time to do it right.
You add about 2 tablespoons of broccoli seeds to your jar and a good amount of water so they can soak overnight. Then strain out the water and give them a rinse and drain again. Come back a few hours later to rinse off and then strain repeatedly over the next few days. 2-3 times per day is perfect. All you are trying to do is keep any bacteria from growing and that quick rinse cleans it up. Make sure you drain really well for best results. If you think of it as the same amount of time as you spend brushing your teeth it really isn’t that big of a deal or that hard to remember when it’s next to the sink.
After a few days you’ll really see those tiny seeds explode into long sprouts. Use some in your food and keep rinsing periodically to keep them clean. If you live in a warm climate I’d pop them in the fridge. If you decide to freeze them I’d rinse them and let them dry on some paper towel for a bit to keep them from getting crazy ice crystals on them. Then use them in smoothies only. No one likes frozen sprouts in a salad. 😛
A lovely sprout mix is a combo of broccoli, alfalfa, clover and radish which you can get on Amazon inexpensively especially considering how much volume you can grow from one bag. Regular old broccoli is awesome too. The flavor is very subtle and enjoyable.
I tried a sprouting machine recently and was very disappointed with the way it worked, but feel free to try out other techniques, the mesh cover and mason jar technique is just what worked best for me.
Have you tried sprouting before? Let us know in the comments below.
Happy sprouting. 🙂