There is no doubt that sprouted seeds and legumes are really good for you. They are an incredibly nutritious and delicious food that can have an amazing impact on your health. I wanted to concentrate on broccoli sprouts because of all the seeds, these are the king. They are also one of the easiest to sprout, taking only a few days, and are a relatively small chore considering the huge benefits you will get. Even if you don’t have green fingers or a garden this is something which ensures you are getting a fresh raw nutrient dense food. It is also a fun activity to do with children!
These little sprouts are giants when it comes to the nutritional compounds and enzymes they contain. Broccoli sprouts contain a chemical called sulforaphane, which is a powerful anti oxidant and is one of the most potent substances for detoxifying the body. When the sprouts are chewed a compound called glucoraphanin produces sulforaphane which enhances the bodies ability to remove pollutants. A study by John Hopkins medical university has shown that broccoli sprouts can detoxify the body of common pollutants such as benzene and acrolein which you will be exposed to in heavily polluted areas such as a the petrol station or being around smokers.
Most of us already know the extraordinary health benefits of broccoli, especially its reputation as one of the great cancer fighting vegetables. What people don’t always realise, is that sprouting broccoli seeds will massively increase their nutritional benefit. This is due to the compounds isothiocynate and sulforaphane which are even more concentrated and potent in the broccoli sprouts. An article in TheNewYorkTimes reports that Scientists have been conducting studies to confirm this. ”Altogether, the results are very encouraging, and very interesting,” said Dr. John W. Erdman, director of nutritional sciences at the University of Illinois in Urbana. ”If you look at the epidemiological data, it’s so clear that consumption of these kinds of vegetables is related to a lower cancer risk. If it turns out that one could consume a small portion of sprouts in the diet instead of large portions of broccoli and cauliflower, and still get the same protection, that could make a difference to a lot of people.”
With this wealth of information and research and the fact that it is so easy to DIY, I can’t help thinking that good old Mother Earth has all the answers. And that nature really is the best healer of all.
To Sprout your Broccoli seeds you will need
- 1-2 tbsp of organic sprouting seeds, remember that a small amount of seeds will give you a lot of sprouts
- A glass jar either with a mesh lid or a piece of netting or muslin
Place your seeds in a clean jar and cover with water. Let them soak for 8-12 hours or over night.
Drain and rinse the seeds a few times and then place the jar at an angle in a bowl or dish so that the seeds can drain. Make sure that the seeds are not sitting in any excess water collected in the bowl.
Keep the seeds out of direct sunlight. maybe in a cupboard or under a tea towel.
Rinse 2-3 times a day and within a day or two you will see the seeds opening up a little. They will begin to sprout and soon they will fill the whole jar.
When they have grown long tails put them in the sunlight to green up.
Give your sprouts a final rinse but make sure they are well drained before refrigerating, a salad spinner works well here and will help keep them fresh for longer.
Add them to salads, sandwiches, green juice or just eat them by the handful.
You can buy broccoli seeds from health food shops or buy on line from skysprouts.co.uk