Lately I’ve been noticing sprouts being sold more and more in the produce section at various supermarkets, especially the ritzier ones. I’d always had the impression that they would smell or taste funky, that notion perhaps from some distant memory remnant from my childhood, I suppose. So my curiosity eventually drove me to poke around on the internet one day for more info on these little green guys. And boy am I glad I did!
Of course there are a wide variety of sprouts, sprouts being the word for any kind of seed that is germinated. The particular variety that caught my eye was broccoli sprouts. I’ve always liked broccoli, especially since it’s always been heralded as one of the big super foods by all the health gurus. But guess what? Good ol’ broccoli ain’t got nothin’ on his younger brother, broccoli sprouts!
According to Wikipedia, glucoraphanin, a cancer-fighting phytochemical found in broccoli, was found in higher concentrations in three- to four-day-old broccoli sprouts, at least 20 times the concentration of full grown broccoli. Besides fighting the good fight against cancer, various clinical trials have shown that broccoli sprouts can also lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, raise “good” cholesterol, prevent macular (eye) degeneration and are jam-packed with nutrients (all this information again from Wikipedia).
What’s even more impressive are the broccoli super spouts (ブロッコリースーパースプラウト) developed by the good people at Murikami Farm. These gems double the vitamin B2 and triple the vitamin B6 content of regular broccoli sprouts. At my local Peacock supermarket, they go for 200 yen per 50 gram pack, which is reasonable in my opinion, as you can get 4-5 servings out of one pack, depending on how you use them. I’ve seen other brands sell normal broccoli sprouts for as low as 100 yen a pack, as well. One advantage for the super sprouts in the picture is that they come loosely packaged, which is more convenient than other brands as you can just take a handful of them when you want and not have to cut anything.
I use these wonderful sprouts on salads, in soups and sometimes on meat dishes. They really add texture to salads and are a delight to eat.
Of course, you could always make your own sprouts if you buy the seeds and something to germinate them in, but I say why go through the hassle, personally.
How about you, readers? Has anyone tried sprouting their own sprouts or have you purchased any other varieties of sprouts you liked or didn’t like?