What are Broccoli Sprouts and How to Grow Them

Do you want to live forever?

Ok. Ok. That question is a little bit clickbait but stay with me…  There is some cold hard science behind what I’m about to say.

They say, “great things come in small packages,” and they certainly do – Tiffany boxes am I right ladies? - and broccoli sprouts are definitely up there in this category of greatness. You may or may not have heard of them yet but they are about to become a buzz word in the health and wellness industry so jump on this band wagon quick so you can tell everyone around you exactly why you are looking so vibrant and that you were an early adopter of adding these nutrient packed greens to your diet.

What are Broccoli Sprouts and How Do I Grow Them? Naked Paleo Blog - Dan Barrel One Coffee Roasters

Let’s start at the beginning. Where do they come from? You’d be correct in guessing broccoli sprouts come from the seeds that would mature into broccoli as we know it today. They are tiny, little, brown seeds - not that tasty to eat as a seed BUT if you sprout them they become delicious and this process expands their nutritional portfolio 100x and I’m not even exaggerating.

Sprouting can be done with any number of grains and seeds and has become more popular recently. One of the biggest reasons is how easy and cost effective it is compared to buying them in store.

Sprouting is effectively germinating a seed, which in turn makes it easier to digest, and therefore making it easier for the body to access its full nutritional profile. To read more in depth of ‘why we should sprout’ check out this fab article.

But why are we particularly interesting in broccoli sprouts?

Well it’s all about the sulforaphane. “The sulfora-what?"

Sulforaphane has been tested and shown to have some pretty impressive cancer fighting and preventing qualities. It has been shown that it is capable of influencing certain parts of our DNA responsible for fighting diseases which is both pretty crazy and exciting stuff. And when we talk about its ability to do that we look at what it could be affecting and it is mind blowing. Things like heart disease, osteoporosis, detoxing the body, clearing the respiratory system of environmental toxins, as well as helping with allergies and even asthma.

Below are some scientific documents so you can read about them to specific conditions. I could go on and on about broccoli sprouts but I really think you should just start eating them and then learn as you go.

Colon Cancer

Prostate Cancer

Breast Cancer

Heart Benefits


Now, how do we sprout? To explain just how easy it is, I grabbed my bestie, Dan of Barrel One Coffee Roasters (check out Dan on Instagram and visit his website) and asked him *cough* made him *cough* document the process for you all.

He’s run through the stages for you below in easy to follow steps along with photos so you can see just how quickly these guys grow! 

I would highly recommend this for any mums out there with curious kids. Who remembers the old ‘grow you watercress’ experiments in school? Well this is kind of the cool, new school version.

I would love to see if you give this a go. Make sure you tag us in sprout progress photos and any recipes you add them to!

Jen xx

What are Broccoli Sprouts and How Do I Grow Them? Naked Paleo Blog - Dan Barrel One Coffee Roasters

How to Make Broccoli Sprouts

Broccoli sprouts have 100x more sulforaphane than a fully-grown head of broccoli. Wow.

Just the broccoli seed has sulforaphane, but no studies or research has been done with purely the seed. Plus this is more fun and tastes a lot better than eating a crushed up seed.

This method is for 3 day sprouts – the recommended time for maximum nutrient density.

If you want to get more bang for your buck drop the dose of the sprouts by one table spoon and continue sprouting for a further 2 days. This does not increase the amount or sulforaphane; it purely increases your over all weight of sprouts. But does increase the precursor of sulforaphane that is glucoraphanin two fold which is another great compound for discussion on another day.

Filtered water is preferred for this whole process but non-filtered tap water is fine.

Where to grab your equipment and seeds:

Broccoli seeds

Sprouting jar lids

What are Broccoli Sprouts and How Do I Grow Them? Naked Paleo Blog - Dan Barrel One Coffee Roasters


Add 40g grams (4 heaped tablespoons) of seed into your clean 1L mason jar. With the sprouting lid on give the seeds a rinse. 

Drain the water and cover the seeds with fresh water. You can add a few drops of grapefruit seed extract, which has shown to inhibit any bacteria growth.

Let sit overnight or for 6-8 hours in a dark spot like your cupboard. This allows for the seeds to activate. 

After 6-8 hours, strain the seeds, rinse and add more fresh water and strain again. Shake the jar over the sink to remove any excess water in the jar (any surplus of water will not allow the seed to grow correctly and could be a risk of contamination). 

What are Broccoli Sprouts and How Do I Grow Them? Naked Paleo Blog - Dan Barrel One Coffee Roasters

Place your jars tilted upside down in a tray or bowl allowing the jar to drain any water. Leave sit overnight or throughout the day in a cool, shaded part of your kitchen. 

Repeat the rinsing process every morning and evening. 

At day 3 you should have a well-established amount of sprouts. 

Continue on for a further 2 days if you wish to get a bit more weight. 

Once done place the sprouts into large bowl and fill with fresh water allowing enough water the fully saturated the sprouts.

De-hulling This step isn’t necessary but it makes for a cleaner batch of sprouts. Give the sprouts a good mix with your hand allowing the hull of the seeds to brake off and float to surface of the water.

Scoop off the shells and strain the sprouts. Any remaining shell is fine. 

Place damp sprouts out over a tea towel and allow to dry for an hour 
or so. 

Store in an airtight container or zip lock bag. Freezer or fridge. 

Note: If you freeze your sprouts you can double the amount of sulforaphane again.

Happy Sprouting!

What are Broccoli Sprouts and How Do I Grow Them? Naked Paleo Blog - Dan Barrel One Coffee Roasters

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