How to Grow Broccoli Sprouts: All You Need to Know

Food + Drink Wellness By Emily Leikam

Broccoli sprouts are vibrant micro-greens power-packed with beneficial nutrients our bodies need. They contain high traces of Vitamins A, B6, and C. They also contain sulforaphane, a phytochemical and powerful antioxidant shown to contain anti-cancer properties which boost heart and brain health (wow, so many health benefits in a little micro-green!). 

Beyond the health benefits of broccoli sprouts, these greens are a tasty treat that can be enjoyed in salads, sandwiches, soups and more. They have an earthy taste and add texture and crunch to any meal. Broccoli sprouts are incredibly easy to grow and don’t even need soil! Follow this informative guide to grow your very own broccoli sprouts: 

What’s the Deal with Broccoli Sprouts?

Despite what you might think, broccoli sprouts don’t come from a regular head of broccoli. You have to start with broccoli seeds instead. These can be found at many health food stores, your local farmers market, or through a verified online store. The seeds will be small, and round with various shades of brown. 

Broccoli sprouting seeds in a strainer
Broccoli sprouting seeds. Photo by: Anetlanda.

But why not just buy broccoli instead of small seeds that you need to grow into sprouts? Broccoli is a nutritious vegetable that contains many healthy nutrients, but one jar of sprouts contains 100 times more sulforaphane than a mature head of broccoli.

There are additional benefits to growing your own sprouts instead of buying them from the store:

  1. If you love sprouts, growing your own is incredibly budget-friendly and saves money. Store bought broccoli sprouts cost anywhere from $1 to $2 an ounce. Growing them yourself costs less than $0.10 an ounce. 
  1. You reduce waste by avoiding plastic containers and packaging.
  1.  You learn a new skill that you can use anytime.
  1. You always have delicious and nutritious sprouts on hand to pairs with many different dishes. 

How to Grow Broccoli Sprouts (Step-by-Step)

Materials Needed:

  • Broccoli seeds
  • Quart or half-gallon mason jars
  • Wire mesh mason jar lids
  • Bowls 

Instructions:

  1. Soak your broccoli seeds. Place two tablespoons of seeds into a mason jar. Add a few inches of water and top the jar with a wire mesh lid. Place the jar in a dark place, like a kitchen cabinet, and let the seeds soak for 8-12 hours. Soaking the seeds overnight breaks down compounds within the seed coating that are difficult for our bodies to absorb and digest properly.
  1. Drain and rinse. After 8-12 hours, drain all the water from the jar, and rinse the seeds with fresh water. To remove any excess water, place the jar inside a container, like a bowl, upside down at an angle. Once all the water is drained, place the jar back in a dark area away from sunlight. 
Fresh sprouts seeds isolated on cover plate
Fresh sprout seeds isolated on wire mesh mason jar lid. Photo by: Frolphy.
  1. Repeat the rinsing process. Rinse the seeds two to three times each day with fresh water. Simply add water through the wire mesh lid, swish the water around for a minute, and drain the water. Keep the jar in the same dark location and, after a few days, you should notice the seeds breaking open and beginning to grow. Continue the rinsing routine each day until the sprouts are about an inch long. They should fill the entire jar, and will be pale-yellow.
  1. Place in sunlight. Now that your sprouts have grown, give them access to sunlight. Position the jar near a window for several hours, and let the beautiful process of photosynthesis take place.
  1. Enjoy! When the sprouts turn bright green with small leaves, they are ready to eat. The entire process takes about one full week. 

Broccoli sprouts are best when eaten fresh, but you can store them in an air-tight, sealed container in a refrigerator for up to three days. Make sure they are dry before storing in the fridge. To remove excess moisture, spread the sprouts on paper towels and pat them dry.

Growing Microgreens In Jars
Growing Microgreens at home concept. Photo by: FotoHelin.

How to Eat Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts are best enjoyed raw. They make nice additions to sandwiches, salads, and soups and provide extra crunch and texture. Sprouts can also be cooked in meals like stir-fries and curries.

Broccoli Sprout Recipe Ideas

Blue Bowl With with fried sprouts and fresh broccoli sprouts
Salad with fried sprouts and fresh broccoli sprouts. Photo by: iMarzi.

Avocado Toast

  • Mix avocado, diced onion, cilantro, black pepper and salt in a bowl.
  • Slice cherry tomatoes in half.
  • Toast your bread of choice.
  • Spread avocado mixture on the toast.
  • Add cherry tomatoes.
  • Top off with your homegrown broccoli sprouts.

Fresh Salad

  • Prepare your greens. Choose kale, chard, arugula, lettuce, fresh herbs, and your microgreens.
  • Remove the stems from the kale, and massage the leaves with olive oil.
  • Place all your greens into a bowl, and mix together with a touch of olive oil, salt, black pepper and balsamic vinegar.
  • Add your favorite veggies like red bell pepper, radish, carrot, cucumber, etc.
  • Serve on top of cooked quinoa, if desired.

Green Smoothie

Blend together:

  • 1 cup of your favorite milk
  • 2 cups of spinach
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 green apple
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 cup broccoli sprouts

Go Green

Broccoli sprouts are wonderful microgreens with a light, crunchy and earthy taste. They are power-packed with health benefits and are super simple and inexpensive to grow. Start filling your windowsill with these little sprouts, and start filling your belly with all their amazing goodness!

Featured image by: Marc.

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broccoli sprouts
Emily Leikam
Emily is an avid traveler and has been all around the world from Alaska and Iceland to Peru and Bali. Her home base is Nashville, TN and when not traveling you can find her hiking, practicing yoga or cooking/baking!