Broccoli sprouts are my new favorite addition to my diet. I admit, I’ve been enjoying them regularly since last summer, when I learned about their extraordinary nutritional value.
Well, and because I’ve always been a sprout person.
Up to that point, my sprouts love affair was solely with alfalfa sprouts. These days, I’m more of a bigamist. I still love my alfalfa sprouts and enjoy them nearly every time I order a sandwich from a sandwich shop.
But when it comes to the sandwiches I make at home, you only see broccoli sprouts in my kitchen. So what makes these little things so great for you, anyway? I mean, why not just eat broccoli?
Well, there’s nothing against broccoli. We all know it’s great for us, and I’ve loved plain steamed broccoli as long as I can remember. In high school, a friend and I would dump an entire bag of frozen broccoli on a cheese pizza before popping it in the oven. Clearly, I like my broccoli.
What drew me to the sprouts was sulforaphane, a chemical identified in 1992 that in short, helps your body either fight cancer, or reduces its risk of developing cancer in the first place. Back in 1997, they discovered the sprouts of broccoli are far more potent than the mature stalk.
We’re talking 20-50 times greater concentration of sulforaphane than mature broccoli! (Sulforaphane is found in all members of the cabbage family, including cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, bok choy, and turnips, just to name a few.)
I’ve read both about the benefits of raw broccoli (which I can’t stand), as well as the benefits of steamed broccoli. Originally, the sprouts were my way of consuming raw broccoli.
But wait! It gets better, especially as allergy season approaches for many of us. Early research has shown that these tiny little sprouts may help fight allergies and/or asthma. After an absolutely miserable spring last year, I am indeed hoping that my sprout consumption now will help me out in a few weeks.
I tend to be a skeptic when it comes to the latest scientific research, especially as it’s skewed by the media (here in the US, anyway). But when it comes to the crucifers, I do believe that consuming more will only help us, and these little sprouts add an interesting twist to my favorite sandwiches.
And for the sandwich shown in this post, it’s relatively simple:
2 slices oatmeal bread
1 slice aged swiss
2 slices maple-honey turkey
Thinly sliced seedless cucumber
Sliced Roma tomato
Bunch of broccoli sprouts
That’s it! I generally just pile on whatever veggies I have on hand.