A Better Way to Grow Broccoli Sprouts

It’s been a few months since I first learned about the benefits of broccoli sprouts after listening to Rhonda Patrick’s master class on the subject as well her interview with Dr. Fahey from Johns Hopkins University.

I’ve done quite a bit of sprouting in the mean time and have tweaked my technique to maximize my broccoli sprout yield and I wanted to share the things that I’ve learned along the way.

Firstly, I need to rescind my positive review of the Easy Sprout. They worked out well for the first few batches I grew and then things took a turn for the worse.

Since I had two of the Easy Sprouts I used both of them two grow separate batches concurrently. After a few weeks I noticed that at least one of these batches would go bad

How did I know they went bad?

Well, the sprouts would stink. Really stink. Broccoli sprouts normally have a faintly bitter odor, but when they start smelling like nasty farts, and you can smell them from across the room, it’s a pretty good sign that they’re bad.

I noticed that the bad batches developed black leopard-like spots that the good batches didn’t have.

Black spots = Bad Sprouts

As I rinsed these bad batches hoping to salvage them I noticed that the water in the bad batches would have bubbles that weren’t in the good batches.

Lots of bubbles when rinsing = Bad Sprouts

I also observed that despite repeated rinsing, the water that drained from the bad batches constantly had a yellowish green color and wouldn’t clear up despite extensive rinsing, whereas in the good batch the water would be clear within one or two rinses.

Residual yellowish-green water after repeated rinsing = Bad Sprouts

Over time, the sprouts in the good batch would continue to grow and eventually occupy the entire Easy Sprout, whereas in the bad batch, they stopped growing and only filled up a third to a half of the container.

I read online that this could happen due to too much or too little sun exposure so I experimented by moving the Easy Sprouts to various locations in our kitchen, but it made no difference.

I also read that this could be due to inadequate rinsing or inadequate water drainage so I made sure that I rinsed them and banged them against them sink twice as long as the guy from the SproutPeople video did, and still it made no difference.

I suspected that this could be due to bacterial contamination so I ensured that I washed my hands before I touched them.  I also cleaned the Easy Sprouts thoroughly between sessions with bleach (normally the BJJ Cavewife and I don’t like bleach anywhere near our food but I was desperate to figure out what the heck was going on), and despite all this either one or both of the batches would still go bad.

After a few weeks of this I gave up on the Easy Sprouts. If using them required such herculean efforts and exposed our kitchen and food to bleach then it just wasn’t worth the trouble.

I had to disagree with the description on the SproutPeople site saying:

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)? @;~)

Jesus would definitely not be sprouting in these things… unless he liked his kitchen smelling like farts and enjoyed tossing out half of his sprouts every time.

There had to be a better way, so I rummaged through the BJJ Cavewife’s cooking paraphernalia until something caught my eye. I commandeered one of her strainers.

I soaked the seeds for 12 hours in a jar, then poured them out onto the strainer and rinsed them. Then I placed the strainer over a small pot to drain and sit in the the open air.

You can see the decommissioned Easy Sprouts in the back.

I discovered that this actually did a great job of letting the water fully drain while completely airing out the seeds.

It also made rinsing the seeds more painless.   Since the water drained so easily, I didn’t need to go through all of that business with banging things against the side of the sink.

The particular strainer I used held approximately 6 tbsps of seeds. This is equivalent to two Easy Sprouts since each Easy Sprout holds 3 tbsps each.

Using the strainer actually worked really well except for the fact that many of the fine root hairs sprouted through the holes of the strainer and got stuck there which was a pain to clean.

I wondered if I could increase the yield and searched for other strainers. I was excited when I came across a rectangular super-strainer with retractable arms that extended out so that it could rest over the sink.

I’m actually a little embarrassed by how excited I got over a culinary device.

I managed to squeeze 12 tbsps of seeds onto this super-strainer and they all sprouted wonderfully.

As with the smaller strainer the only painful part was cleaning off the tiny root hairs that grew through the holes.

After complaining about this to the BJJ Cavewife she informed me that she actually had a sprouting bag squirreled away somewhere in our kitchen so we dug it out.

I filled it with 7 tbsps of seeds, soaked it, took it out 12 hours later, and placed it onto my new super-strainer to rinse and drain.

After a few days of rinsing and draining they sprouted wonderfully within the bag and all of those pesky root hairs stayed INSIDE the bag! This eliminated the most painful part of the process for me.

Since I knew the super-strainer could hold at least another bag, I ordered another one and voila I now had my sprouting technique.

10% OFF with code: bjjcaveman

Here is the BJJ Caveman’s new tried and true broccoli sprouting protocol:

  1. Fill two sprouting bags with 7 tbsps of broccoli seeds each.
  2. Place each bag in a mason jar and soak them for 12 hours.
  3. Remove each bag and place on top of the super strainer over the sink.
  4. Rinse both bags while flipping them over a few times to ensure all seeds have been cleansed.
  5. Take each bag out and shake gently once or twice over the sink to drain most of the water.
  6. Place bags back onto the super-strainer.
  7. Place super-strainer on a lasagna dish to catch remaining water drainage and place in corner of the kitchen out of the BJJ Cavewife’s way so she can use the sink.
  8. Repeat Steps 4-7 every morning and evening for 4 days.
  9. Once the sprouts look like they’ve filled up the entire bag, empty them into the Oxo salad spinner.
  10. Rinse a few times while removing as many husks as possible.
  11. Spin out the remaining water.
  12. Take out a baking pan and cover it with a layer of paper towels.
  13. Spread seeds out over the paper towels and expose to sun for 6-10 hours to green the sprouts. The paper towels help absorb any left over water.
  14. Once sprouts are green and dry store them in the fridge to eat later.

Since each tablespoon of seeds yields about 50 grams of sprouts, growing 14 tablespoons will give you 700 grams of sprouts!

Once you’re done sprouting the only thing left to do is to enjoy all the benefits from the sulforaphane in the sprouts activating your NRF2 pathways 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

This protocol has been 100% successful for me with no bad batches. I believe using strainers allows adequate drainage and air exposure so that bacteria can’t a foothold and contaminate the sprouts.

Home Brew Ohio Premium Fine Mesh Food Grade Nut Milk Bag – This is the longwinded official name of the specific sprouting bags I used.  We picked them up for $5.49 on Amazon.

Super Strainer – I’m only now learning that this is actually called an oval colander with fine mesh strainer basket  goes for $15.49 on Amazon.

Getting two sprouting bags and a super-strainer will only run you $26.47 and can grow 14 tbsps of seeds whereas a set two Easy Sprouts go for $26.99 on Amazon and will only grow 6 tbsps of seeds.

If you end up trying this method out, let me know how it goes!

Also, if anyone is interested in my two used Easy Sprouts I’ll be glad to give them to you. Just e-mail me at BJJCaveman@gmail.com and I’ll send them out to you free of charge, shipping included.


6 Responses to A Better Way to Grow Broccoli Sprouts

  1. Great article, thanks!!

  2. Sally Samsara says:

    Thanks for this. Any tips for getting rid of the seed hulls? Does your spinning get rid of them? Which spinner do you use?

    Also, where do you purchase your broccoli seeds. I’ve been using Todd’s. Wonder if there are better options.

    • BJJ Caveman says:

      So I dump everything from the sprout bags into the Oxo spinner and then fill it with water. I then use a soup ladle and scoop out as many hulls as I can, then dump out all of the water.

      A lot of hulls will be stuck to the side of the inner spinner when I take it out, and I just rinse them off.

      I fill it all with water again and repeat the process.

      I do this for a total of 2-3 times and find that this gets most of the hulls out. Then I spin the sprouts out and dry them.

  3. Jennifer says:

    This worked like a charm! And what I noticed too is that there’s no sulfur smell with this method, nice bonus. I had some reusable fine mesh produce bags on hand and a few roots got in there, but not much. Thanks for hacking this solution out for the rest of us!

  4. Kala says:

    How do you clean/ sanitize the bags between batches?

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