Broccoli sprouts are a nutritious and tasty addition to salads, sandwiches, and more. Let’s look at how to grow broccoli sprouts from seeds, their nutrition benefits, and how to eat them.
While they look like microgreens, broccoli sprouts simply immature broccoli plants, making them a cruciferous vegetable. They have a similar taste and texture to microgreens, but the same vitamins and minerals as broccoli.
You can find broccoli sprouts in many natural foods grocery stores, but sprouting your own seeds is easy and fun. Let’s take a look at broccoli sprouts nutrition, and of course how to sprout and use them.
Broccoli Sprouts Health Benefits
You probably already know that cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are very nutritious. Well, broccoli sprouts may be even better, as they contain anywhere from 10 to 100 times more glucoraphanin (the nutrient that becomes sulforaphane) than mature broccoli.
Broccoli sprouts are also the best sources of the phytochemical sulforaphane. Many studies have indicated that sulforaphane may offer cellular protection from diseases such as cancer. Sulforaphane is also associated with:
Broccoli Sprouts Nutrition
For the amount of calories, broccoli sprouts are high in fiber and protein. According to Leasa and Cronometer, per 1/2 cup (42 grams), broccoli sprouts contain:
- 18 calories
- 1 gram protein
- 1/2 gram carbs
- 8% DV fiber
- 24% Vitamin C
- 11% Vitamin A
- 2% Iron
- 3% Calcium
Broccoli Sprout Seeds
You may be able to find sprouting seeds locally at natural grocery stores, but I usually get them on Amazon, as there are plenty of options. Please note that the links below are affiliate, which means I may earn a small commission if you shop through them.
You’ll want to use broccoli seeds that are specifically meant for sprouting (not the kind from the nursery). They are tiny brown seeds that will germinate and sprout once soaked in water and rinsed for a few days.
How to Grow Broccoli Sprouts
To sprout broccoli seeds you’ll need:
Step 1: Soak the seeds in water overnight.
Step 2: Drain the water and store the jar fitted with a sprouting lid or cheesecloth upside down.
Step 3: Rinse, drain, and repeat twice a day for 3-5 days
Storing Your Sprouts
I usually harvest my broccoli sprouts between days 3 and 5. Drain them well, then store in a lidded container lined with a paper towel to absorb excess moisture. They will last for about one week in the refrigerator.
If you end up with more sprouts than you can use, they can be frozen (the same way we freeze avocados and tomatoes). To freeze sprouts, dry them completely with a paper towel. Spread sprouts over a cookie sheet and freeze for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a freezer bag and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
How to Eat Broccoli Sprouts
- On Avocado Toast
- Tossed in with Salads
- In veggie sandwiches or on burgers – try them with tempeh, lettuce, avocado, and tomato!
- As a garnish on soup
- Add to fresh juices and smoothies
- Cook into a stir fry
A note on safety
The warm humid environment in which sprouts are grown can also be a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, such as E. coli and salmonella. It’s very important to use sterile jars and keep them in a place where they won’t be contaminated. Rinse your sprouts before eating and only consume if they look and smell fresh.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics advises those with compromised immune systems, pregnant women, and children avoid eating all raw sprouts.
- 2 tablespoons broccoli sprout seeds
- filtered water
- Add the broccoli seeds to a quart-sized jar. Fill with about a cup of water. Cover the jar with a seed sprouting jar lid, or with a piece of cheesecloth and then the jar's ring or rubber band. Swirl to combine and let soak overnight (or 6-12 hours).
- Drain the soaking water and rinse the seeds with cool/room temperature water. Turn the jar upside down and shake most of the water off the seeds. Store the jar upside down so that the water can continue to drain.
- Continue to rinse and drain twice a day (about every 8-12 hours) for the next 3 days. You'll notice the seeds begin to sprout around day 3 and they will be fully sprouted by day 5.
- To harvest your sprouts, drain any water and transfer to a paper towel-lined food storage container. Store in the refrigerator for 5-7 days and use in sandwiches, salads, and smoothies.
Keep your sprouting jar at room temperature, out of direct sunlight in between rinses.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 16 Serving Size: 1/2 cup
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 4Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 1mgCarbohydrates: 0gFiber: 0gSugar: 0gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your favorite calculator.