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How to Grow Broccoli Sprouts


By Dr. Rhonda Patrick

Nearly 30 years ago, scientists at the Johns Hopkins University discovered that sulforaphane, a compound derived from broccoli, induces a host of cellular enzymes that protect our bodies from a wide range of diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, and Alzheimer’s disease. They soon learned that sulforaphane is an artifact of isolation – the byproduct of a chemical reaction between an enzyme called myrosinase and a precursor molecule called glucoraphanin.

But it was a later discovered –that broccoli sprouts contain 10 to 100 times more glucoraphanin than mature broccoli – that catapulted these diminutive plants into the limelight of the nutrition world and sent many nutrition-minded people on a quest to sprout their own.

Sprouting is the natural process by which seeds germinate. Seeds in the wild do it all the time with little effort. Sprouting for the purpose of consuming sprouts, however, requires a bit of finesse and some time and dedication. It also requires a big dose of food safety awareness. That’s because seeds are organic products and inherently dirty.

In this instructional episode, we show you all the basics of sprouting broccoli, including:

  • The supplies you need to grow broccoli sprouts, like sprouting jars and lids
  • How to prepare broccoli seeds, especially when it comes to sterilization
  • The steps involved in sprouting broccoli seeds, such as soaking and rinsing, how long you should wait before harvesting broccoli sprouts, and how you should store them.

You can apply these basics to sprouting nearly any kind of seed. But it’s important to note that some seeds, such as oats, are nearly impossible to sprout, and others, such as those of tomatoes, peppers, and related plants, yield toxic sprouts that should not be eaten. (See top link for article)



I learned how to sprout years ago and pretty much only needed a small paperback book for directions. This book included how to sprout many different types of seeds, all of which require different sprouting times. I used the mason-jar method and essentially after allowing for an overnight soak to soften the outer shell, rinsed the seeds a few times daily, tipping the jar on a plate with an elevated edge in between rinsing so they could drain (skipping this invites mold). There are special lid adaptors for the jars you can purchase with various sized holes for use with different sized seeds so water will drain properly. You cover the mason jar while it’s draining with a towel to keep it dark to emulate the conditions seeds get by being buried under ground.

Sprouts are tasty, nutritious, and can be eaten alone, in salads, smoothies, sandwiches or put in soups, etc. As with all living foods, eating them raw gets you the most nutrients.

Another good article on it:

I also found sprouting seeds like almonds helped me digest them more easily.  They have to be whole and uncooked.  You essentially use the same mason-jar technique as above – the only difference is the time it takes after the initial overnight soak.  

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