Sprouting seeds of various plant foods has demonstrated increased health benefits with increased nutrient capacity contained in less bulk with higher digestive absorption. In some cases, it’s been observed to transform the regular food substance of a plant and remove its negative qualities. Broccoli sprouts in particular make regular broccoli’s health benefits seem miniscule; sprouts offer nearly 1000% more nutrition than their full-grown conterparts.
Numerous studies have established broccoli as an anti-cancer vegetable. But are broccoli sprouts an anti-cancer improvement over regular broccoli? John Hopkins researchers certainly thought so. From 1992 to 1997, a John Hopkins research team searched for broccoli’s cancer fighting compound.
A Broccoli Sprout War Few Know About
The researchers isolated the cancer fighting phytochemical sulforaphane. And they discovered that sprouting delivers more sulforaphane than broccoli alone with 50 times the anti-cancer power.
Well, the boys at John Hopkins decided they should patent their discovery after isolating sulforaphane. And, shades of Monsanto, they started suing existing commercial broccoli sprout cultivators who didn’t pay royalties for their products. The sprouters grouped together and fought back.
Eventually, a Maryland high court ruled in favor of the defendants, stating that finding nutrients did not create the right to patent a food practice that had already been in existence. Chalk one up for the farmers finally!
Avoid Broccoli Sprout Contamination by Sprouting Your Own
There have been actual cases of contaminated commercially sold broccoli sprouts recorded some years ago. And it was discovered that the seeds for sprouting were contaminated. As a result, several commercial sprouters have succumbed to rinsing them in chlorine. Not too healthy.
The solution is simply ensuring seeds you purchase for sprouting are ISGA (International Sprout Growers Association) approved or USDA certified organic.
Besides assuring optimum quality, sprouting your own is much cheaper than buying whole sprouts. You’ll get more bang for the buck with your superfood level broccoli sprouts by sprouting your own. And storing sprouting seeds is one solution for potential food shortages.
Basic Beginning Sprouting Directions
- Buy your organic sprouting seeds (organic). I use Mountain Rose Herbs, an online source.
- Find or purchase a large-mouth one quart (approximately) glass container.
- Buy some cheesecloth and a few thick, strong rubber bands.
- Place around three tablespoons of sprouting seeds with at least three times the amount of purified water into the jar.
- Gently shake the jar with lid until all the seeds are soaked.
- Take off the lid and place the cheesecloth over the mouth, securing with a rubber band.
- Allow the seeds to soak for six to twelve hours, then drain them thoroughly and rinse.
- Leave the jar on its side, exposed to sunlight. Repeat this process three times or so until the sprouts manifest fully and aren’t wet anymore. Refrigerate what isn’t eaten.
You have begun your veggie sprout “kitchen gardening.” You can store seeds and find ways to mechanically make more at a time after this trial run.