After listening to Rhonda Patrick’s masterclass on broccoli sprouts and then her followup interview with Dr. Fahey I was all-in on broccoli sprouts. I couldn’t wait to start growing my own sprouts to get in on some of that NRF2 action. I mean after learning about all of the potential benefits which include:
- Increased excretion of toxins
- Decreased cancer risk
- Removal of carcinogens
- Reduction of inflammation
- Decreased risk of cardiovascular disease
- Improved blood sugar control
- Potential extension of life span (at least in beetles)
- Protection against neurodegenerative disease
… it almost seems stupid NOT to eat broccoli sprouts.
My hesitation was that I have never grown anything before. When I say never, I mean never. Every plant that I’ve ever tried to take care of has died. I was hopeful nonetheless because there’s a first time for everything right?
Before I pulled out my credit card I did a quick search as to the potential down sides of eating these sprouts and the only thing I came across was the risk of bacterial contamination.
Perhaps the scariest story was an outbreak in Germany where over 3000 people got sick and 30 people actually died from contaminated raw sprouts.
Um ok… that got my attention, I mean what good is a decreased cancer, cardiovascular, and neurodegenerative risk if the damned thing is going to kill me with bacteria right now?!
When addressing the growing populartiy of sprouting in the US this Washington Post article describes where the risk comes from:
Sprouts develop from soaking seeds over several days in a controlled environment indoors. Like other produce harvested in fields, the starter seeds for sprouts risk contamination from a range of sources, animal to human. The growing environment that is used — warm water — can also play a role in breeding bad bacteria.
It turns out the best way to combat this when growing sprouts at home is to rinse, rinse, rinse, rinse, and rinse. And wash your hands all the time.
After searching around, the most reputable source of non-GMO organic broccoli seeds I could find were from Sproutpeople.org where they sell for $29.75 per pound.
Now to find something to grow the sprouts in.
While Rhonda Patrick and Colin Champ both use mason jars to grow their sprouts I kept wondering if there was a better system. On the Sproutpeople site they actually recommend the Easy Sprout:
Our favorite all-purpose sprouting device, the Easy Sprout has: Excellent Drainage, Superior Air-Circulation and is the most forgiving sprouter ever designed. Devoted Sproutpeople everywhere worship it.
What would Jesus sprout (in)? @;~)
We have well over a dozen Easy Sprouts in our home. We have used them, almost exclusively for many years. They’re extremely durable, easy to clean, dishwasher safe, will sprout virtually any seed, compensate for hot, humid conditions with a dynamic air-flow design, and are inexpensive.
I mean, endorsements don’t come any stronger than this do they? Jesus’ name was actually invoked in reference to this sprouter.
Sproutpeople sells the Easy Sprout for $13.95 each or you can get a set of 2 on Amazon for $26.99.
I decided to start slow by picking up 1 lb of broccoli sprouts, the smallest amount I could get, and 3 Easy Sprouts. Why did I buy 3 sprouters? Sproutpeople offers free shipping on orders up to $60, and free shipping is something I can never refuse. A friend of mine had a birthday coming up and he too was also interested in sprouting broccoli, so I figured I this sprouter would be the perfect gift for him.
A few days later, the package arrived and I was off and running.
When I tore open the box and unpacked the Easy Sprouts I was overwhelmed. There were so many parts… ok 6. There were only 6 parts. But they were still overwhelming.
Included was a folded piece of paper with typed instructions and diagrams on how to properly use the Easy Sprout and all of its six overwhelming pieces, but I crumpled it up and threw it into the recycling bin.
I’m a man of the 21st century and men of the 21st century don’t read stupid little instruction manuals.
We go to YouTube!
The folks at Sproutpeople have a 10 minute video on how to properly use the Easy Sprout:
It’s 10 minutes of rinsing, using centripetal force to clear out water, banging against the sink, and repeating.
Ok, I was now properly equipped with the knowledge and tools to grow my sprouts.
I assembled the Easy Sprout like he did in the video and I scooped 3 table spoons of seeds into the sprouter, filled it with water and let it soak for 12 hours in a dark corner of our kitchen.
This is what they looked like before I soaked them:
Day 3 – I couldn’t believe it, I was actually growing something!
Day 5 – Evening: I rinsed them out in our salad spinner and left them out in direct sunlight. Luckily we already had the OXO Salad spinner that Sproutpeople recommends to de-hull and dry sprouts.
Voila… I had successfully grown my first batch of broccoli sprouts!
It was much easier than I thought. I noticed that the sprouter produced approximately 150 gm total, which comes out to 50 gm of sprouts per tablespoon of seeds.
Despite my propensity to kill everything I’ve ever tried to grow and my complete and utter inexperience in sprouting, even I could successfully grow my very own sprouts. If I can do it… you can definitely do it.
Having the proper tools definitely made it easier.
Here are where I found the best deals:
Broccoli seeds – $29.75 per pound on Sproutpeople.org
Easy Sprout – $26.99 for a set of 2 on Amazon
OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner – $29.95 on Amazon (but possibly cheaper at your nearest TJ Maxx).
It turns out the EZ sprout hasn’t worked out as well as I initially thought…
Check out my latest thoughts on the EZ Sprout and my current preferred method for growing broccoli sprouts here: