Most of us know something about the health and cancer fighting benefits of broccoli. Sprouting increases the digestion and health benefits of whatever is sprouted. Find out about the health benefits of sprouted broccoli and how to avoid the expense and problems from controversial commercially grown sprouts by spouting your own.
Let’s address the controversy first. Since 1996, various outbreaks of salmonella and E coli food poisoning were traced to a few lots of raw bean sprouts. Naturally, the FDA now suggests thoroughly cooking all sprouts. But of course, that kills most of the nutrients. Seems that the FDA wants us on dead food so we can all be on pharmaceuticals.
Nevertheless, those incidents did happen, though some may question the food poisoning outbreak sources. The World’s Healthiest Foods (WHF) site does acknowledge this along with raw sprouts’ high nutritional values.
They explain that sprouts are most likely to be contaminated during the seeding process, not the growing process, by runoff water from animal production facilities, poorly balanced manure fertilizer, or unsanitary seed harvesting.
Because of the bad press, commercial non-organic sprouts are rinsed with chlorine to get rid of offensive bacteria, another reason for sprouting your own. It’s understood that sprouts expand nutrients beyond the normal seeds’, nuts’, or vegetables’ normal nutritional capacity. But the process of sprouting can expand contaminated seed bacteria growth also.
The solution for allaying all concerns is simply ensuring seeds you purchase for sprouting are ISGA approved (International Sprout Growers Association) or better yet, USDA certified organic. Ask your health food store about this or search the internet.
Besides assuring optimum quality, sprouting your own is cheaper than buying whole sprouts. And storing sprouting seeds is one solution to potential food shortages.
The argument that broccoli sprouts don’t contain more nutrients than broccoli doesn’t consider the phytonutrients that fight cancer and other diseases while promoting more antioxidant activity. From 1992 to 1997, a John Hopkins research team searched for broccoli’s cancer fighting compound. They isolated the cancer fighting phytochemical sulforaphane.
By 1997, John Hopkins’ research concluded that broccoli sprouts promoted much more cancer protection and antioxidant activity via sulforaphane than broccoli alone. They even formed a company and patented growing broccoli sprouts after their discoveries!
Then they started suing existing sprout growers who refused to pay royalties. Fortunately, the higher courts 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. Whew, one for the good guys, finally. So let’s get spouting.
Basic Sprouting directions
– Buy your organic sprouting seeds (organic).
– 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 and away from direct sunlight. Repeat this process three times or until the sprouts manifest fully. Refrigerate what isn’t eaten.
You have begun your veggie “kitchen gardening.” You can store seeds and find ways to make more at a time after this trial run.
Sources for this article include