Plants & Prevention – Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are a superfood. Part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, broccoli packs quite a nutritional punch as a cancer prevention, respiratory health enhancer, and decreaser of triglyceride levels. “Sulfaraphane-rich broccoli sprouts may be the key to lowering your risk for heart disease,” says an article at Healthy Eating. “Young broccoli sprouts contain up to 50 times more of the antioxidant sulforaphane than broccoli.

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Five to seven days ago I found an old packet of broccoli sprouting seeds that I’ve had since 2011. I wasn’t sure if the seeds were still viable, but rather than waste them, I put them in water to soak for 24 hours. When the time came to drain the water, I covered the glass with a sprouting lid and drained the water away. For the next few days I rinsed the seeds with water twice a day and let the glass drain upside down at an angle. Even though the seeds were not fresh, most sprouted for me.

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If you don’t have a sprouting lid, there are many other alternatives: cheesecloth, netting, I’ve even used old pieces of lace rubber-banded around the top of a glass or jar.

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To remove the spent seed hulls I soak the sprouts in a bowl of water. The seed hulls float and gather at the sides of the container. I remove these by running a finger around the edge, depositing the hulls in the sink to wash down the drain. Any seeds that don’t sprout usually drop to the bottom of the bowl, making for easy removal.

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If you don’t eat your sprouts immediately please refrigerate them. They will stay fresh for several days stored in a chilly environment. I use my sprouts on sandwiches, in salads…once I even used alfalfa sprouts in a meatloaf, trying to sneak in extra nutrition for my family…problem was the small plantlets stayed a brilliant green…well, you know the story about some people and eating “GREEN FOOD!”

My favorite source of sprouting seeds and microgreens is Pinetree Garden Seeds and Accessories. I find them very reliable, the seeds they sell stay fresh for me for years if stored in a cool, dry place. Give sprouts a try…your immune system will thank you.

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