Broccoli sprouts contain higher levels of the cancer-fighting, phytochemical sulforaphane glucosinolate than mature heads of broccoli, while also contributing vitamins A, C, and E, calcium, and fiber to the diet. Extremely versatile in the kitchen, tangy broccoli sprouts will perk up almost any dish—fresh or cooked.
• Botanical Name: Brassica oleracea var. italica
• Days to Maturity: 6–9 days
• Family: Brassicaceae
• Native: Europe
• Special Instructions: Good air circulation is important to help prevent fungal disease. If using a fan, avoid aiming the fan directly at the growing medium as it may dry the medium quickly; instead, bounce the airflow off a neighboring wall or the ceiling to create air movement in the general area.
• Harvesting: Enjoy broccoli sprouts when they have small, green leaves, usually 6 to 9 days after starting. Broccoli seed germination is naturally erratic, and you may find some seeds do not germinate before others are ready to harvest. Some sprouting seeds have hulls (the outer seed covering), which can loosen during soaking and rinsing. Although the hulls are edible, you may choose to remove them for better sprout flavor, or to reduce the chance of mold due to excess moisture. To separate the hulls, empty your sprouts into a large bowl and fill it with cool water. Move the sprouts around in the water disentangling the sprouts and loosening the hulls, which will float to the top. The hulls can then be skimmed or poured off. Remove any unsprouted seeds at this time, too. Rinse the sprouts once more and drain thoroughly so they are dry to the touch. (Excessive moisture reduces sprouts' storage life.) Your sprouts are then ready to eat or store.