Introduction: How to Grow Broccoli Sprouts in a Jar
Growing broccoli sprouts at home in a jar is an easy process that can have major health benefits due to the high sulforaphane content. In this Instructable, I will take you through the entire process from start to finish.
- Wide-mouth jars, preferably the 1 quart size
- Broccoli Seeds - 3 Tablespoons (the Brand I am using is "Food to Live")
- Sprouting Lids, I like the stainless steel ones
- Light Source or Sunny window sill
- Tupperware containers or bowls
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Step 1: First Evening of Soaking
For those who prefer a video tutorial instead of reading the instructions, you can go to Step 6 for the full video.
I recommend that when you are going to start your first batch, that you do so in the evening, right before bed. Measure out 3 tablespoons of sprouts and pour that into your clean one-quart jar. Put the sprouting lid onto the jar. Then, rinse the seeds by filling the jar up with water, swirling it around and pouring it out. I do this two times.
Then fill up the jar about half-way with water and leave the water in it. Then, place the jar either into a cabinet, or you can set it on a dark counter or you can place it in the refrigerator overnight. I'm sharing several options for placement, but to be honest I haven't noticed a change in the germination rate with any of the options. Some people think that certain methods create faster germination. If you've had any experiences with that, please share in the comments. I haven't noticed a major change but lately, I've been placing it in the refrigerator overnight. It should be soaking for anywhere form 8-12 hours.
Step 2: First Day & Rinsing the Broccoli Seeds
When you wake up the next morning, go and pour out the water that was in the jar. Then, fill up the jar again to rinse the seeds. After rinsing, be sure to really shake the water out of the jar. Shake it and shake it and shake it again to get out excess water. After you do that, try to turn the jar in your hand to allow for the seeds to coat the sides of the jar. Then, set it at an angle in a small tupperware container or bowl so that any other excess water can drain into that container. Leave it like that until later on in the evening, close to the time you are about to go to bed. At that time, fill the jar up again, swirl it around and rinse it out. Then, repeat the process to shake all the water out and set it into the tupperware or bowl. If you want to rinse it more than two times a day, that is just fine too.
Step 3: Day-By-Day Growth & Rinsing
After a few days of this, you will begin to see the sprouting process as growth occurs. Continue to rinse and follow the same step as the last one. The most important thing to be aware of is to be careful to really get rid of excess water, to prevent mold or other issues. Personally, I have never had that happen but I have heard of it happening to others. That is why I recommend the excessive shaking of the jar to get rid of excess water.
Step 4: Around Day 5-6 of Sprouting Broccoli Seeds
Sometime around day five of sprouting, you will see that there is a lot of growth. If you see the image of me holding the jar, that is around day five (sometimes six) of sprouting for me. Please note that the amount of growth you have may be different as there are so many variables that can impact how long it takes. But, once my jar is as full as you see it in that photo, I then move onto this step.
In this step, the sprouts are really beginning to fill up a lot of the jar. I will then fill up the jar with water and remove the sprouting lid. As the water fills the jar, many of the little brown round seeds which were broken open will float to the top. I then take my spoon and remove a lot of the seeds. I do not remove all of them and it's no big deal to me that they are in there. But, I do like to get rid of some of the excess. I always do this approximately two days before I finish growing them when the jar is about as full as you see it in the photo in this step.
After that, I put the lid back and and do a thorough rinse. This step, honestly, is tricky. I recommend watching my full video because I share more details about it. But, I have noticed that many people try to stop the growth process when it's about as full as my jar is in the photo. Most people do that out of fear it might go bad, rancid or get moldy. I try to wait about two days after it's at this growth stage, to conclude the process. If I wait and continue with the daily rinses, then the growth is massive and fills up the jar fully.
Step 5: Final Days of Growth - Finishing Up the Broccoli Sprouting Process
Once the growth is where it was in the last step, the next day as it grows I will then place the jar in front of a light to help with growth. I would put it in front of a window but we have very little sun where I'm at and it would be colder by the window. I try to turn the jar a couple of times while it is in front of the light.
Usually about two days after the last step, I will then wake up and plan to have my final day of growth for the broccoli sprouts. I will do a really good final rinse. I will then shake the jar out excessively. Then, I use a pair of tongs to pull the sprouts out of the jar and place them into a larger rectangular tupperware or pyrex dish. I sometimes use two tupperwares for one jar. But, it depends on how much I made. I will then fold up a piece of paper town and place it into the bottom portion of the tupperware (which you can see in the photo). I then lean the tupperware up against something so it's on an angle and any excess water can drain into the paper towel. I try to change that paper towel at least once. In addition, I will place my little light nearby to help with its final day of growth and to help dry it out.
After this is all done, you can store it in the refrigerator to use it up within a week or put it in the freezer. I personally freeze it in a large ziplock bag and then use it in smoothies. I tend to use about 1/2 cup per smoothie when I make them.
Step 6: Full Video on How to Grow Broccoli Sprouts at Home in a Jar
For those who prefer things in a video format, the full video on sprouting broccoli seeds is here.