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Fighting Disease with Broccoli Sprouts

by Functional Medicine of Idaho

Cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Bok choy, arugula, brussels sprouts, collards, watercress and radishes) are high in sulforaphane, a powerful, disease-fighting phytochemical that provides many positive effects on the body. It assists in the detox process by fighting free radicals (unstable atoms that cause damage in the body and lead to accelerated aging) and minimizes inflammation. Sulforaphane has been linked to improving metabolism as well as other remarkable health benefits that include preventing cancer, chronic disease, neurological issues, and liver toxicity. Broccoli sprouts contain the highest amounts of sulforaphane. 

We recommend growing broccoli sprouts at home because it’s easy and much more affordable than purchasing at the grocery store. 

Ingredients & Supplies Needed to Grow Homemade Broccoli Sprouts:

  • Broccoli seeds (buying in bulk is a great cost-saving tip)
  • Quart or half-gallon wide mason jars
  • Wire sprouting lids or cheesecloth and elastic band for the lids 

Growing Instructions:
1. Place two tablespoons of broccoli seeds in a wide-mouth mason jar and cover with a few inches of filtered water. 
2. Put on a sprouting lid or cheesecloth and elastic band, and place the jar in a slightly warm, dark place for 8-12 hours to enable the seeds to sprout. Place on the counter or place in a cabinet and cover with a towel.
3. Eight (or more) hours later, drain the water and rinse with fresh, filtered water.
4. Rest the mason jar upside down and place at an angle (inside a large bowl works well), so any leftover water can drain out. Continue to keep the mason jar in a warm, dark area.
5. Continue to rinse the sprouts 2-3 times a day and place back in the bowl after each rinse. After a few days, the seeds should be opening and beginning to grow. 
6. Once the sprouts are about an inch long, they can tolerate some indirect sunlight or low light exposure. 
7. The seeds are ready to eat once you see dark green leaves (usually 3-4 days after the initial sprouting). The entire process takes about a week.

Storing the Sprouts:
Wait a minimum of 12 hours from the last rinse to ensure that the leftover moisture drains. Replace the sprouting lid or cheesecloth with a regular mason jar lid or transfer to an airtight container. Place the sprouts in the refrigerator and store for up to 14 days. Enjoy!


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