What Do Broccoli Sprouts Taste Like? | The Buyers Guide
Broccoli sprouts taste spicy, similar to horseradish or mustard and have a crunchy texture too. They taste very different to the taste of broccoli, you wouldn’t know one grew into the other! If the taste is too strong for you, we have many recipes and methods for enjoying them at home too. We’ll review the full taste profile of broccoli sprouts, their nutritional content as well answering all of your common questions.
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What Are Broccoli Sprouts?
Broccoli sprouts are the shoots that grow from the broccoli seed. They are white thin shoots with green leaf like tips on top. Sometimes there will a few purple shoots too within the sprouted bunch. They grow very quickly only taking 3-4 days. After soaking for 6-8 hours you will need to thoroughly wash them twice per day until fully grown. Making them ideal for growing them in your kitchen.
As broccoli sprouts are part of the cruciferous vegetable family they contain sulforaphane. Sulforoaphnane has started to be researched in depth recently, and has many purported health benefits too: reduce cholesterol, improve liver conditions, helps asthma, reduces chronic inflammation and even brain damage too.
Do Broccoli Sprouts Taste Good?
This is completely down to personal preference, most people enjoy incorporating some broccoli sprouts into their meals, snacks or smoothies. Depending on the amount of spice you enjoy you can add to suit your taste preferences.
What Do Broccoli Sprouts Taste Like?
Broccoli sprouts unlike most types of vegetable have a very distinctive taste, flavor and texture. They’re not bland like your typical green salad leaves, meaning you can add just a small amount to transform your meal.
Texture - Individual stems of broccoli sprouts will almost wilt in your mouth, as they’re very thin and subtle. However when you incorporate a portion or handful of sprouts into your meal you'll get a spicy flavor and crunchy texture.
Taste - Best described as similar to horseradish or mustard. Although you could describe them as spicy, they’re not spicy in the same sense that chilli peppers are. Considering them closer to horseradish they can "get up your nose" if you eat too many! Another flavor to note is sulfur, a slight taste of sulfur is common, although a strong taste is suggested to be avoided.
Do Broccoli Sprouts Taste Bitter?
A lot of people that want to eat sprouts are put off by the bitter taste and flavor. Despite being packed with nutrients the bitter taste is too strong for them to stomach. Broccoli sprouts aren’t the worst offender of bitterness, although some may say they carry a hint - they’re not overwhelming by any means. We would recommend trying some and add according to taste for your meals.
Who Are Broccoli Sprouts Not Suitable For?
Broccoli sprouts are considered a high risk food, for they can cause food poisoning. Common contaminants are E Coli, Salmonella and Listeria. Making them unsuitable for those with compromised immune systems: old people, young people pregnant women, or other at risk people. For more information check out Are Sprouts Safe To Eat?.
Even if you’re not in a high risk group you should always buy your sprouts from a reputable supplier that guarantees their products. The most common source of food poisoning is the seeds, so be sure that they have been checked and certified.
5 Ways To Eat Broccoli Sprouts
There are many ways to enjoy broccoli sprouts, by adding a handful in a smoothie, a quick garnish, for snacking on or even to finish your favourite salad. They’re the perfect food for experimenting, with such a unique taste, look and flavor, making them very versatile.
In A Smoothie - By mixing your broccoli sprouts with fruit you increase the sweetness of the drink, removing all bitterness and masking the flavor of the sprouts too. If you’re unsure on the taste or looking to get your broccoli sprout fix quickly we would recommend this.
Dr Rhonda Patrick, a leading advocate for broccoli sprouts suggests adding them to a daily smoothie which you can watch here:
Added To A Salad - Adding your sprouts to a salad will make the salad a lot more flavorful and delicious. So often we get bored of the plain and boring taste of green leaves, add some to your favourite salad to spice up the taste.
Snacks - After sprouting or buying your sprouts the easiest way to eat is by snacking on them throughout the day. We would suggest adding some to a zip lock bag or box, and keeping them in your bag at work or at home.
Garnish A Dish - It’s now becoming very common to see broccoli sprouts placed on top of meat in fine dining establishments. Whether it be on steaks, or pork loins, it gives great contrast to your meat in terms of flavor, and texture too.
Can I Eat Broccoli Sprouts Everyday?
Yes it is safe to consume broccoli sprouts everyday. Although the quantity that you consume should be no more than the daily recommended amount. 100g or ½ a cup is what Dr Rhonda Patrick recommends.
What Can I Do With Broccoli Sprouts?
Broccoli sprouts are incredibly versatile. You can snack on them, add to salads, garnish stir-frys, or even freeze as a cool snack. Experiment with them!
Should You Wash Broccoli Sprouts?
Yes, broccoli sprouts need thorough washing during the growing stage, twice per day and allowed to fully drain and dry each time. After sprouting you should wash before storing and before cooking too.
Do Broccoli Sprouts Get Moldy?
Broccoli sprouts are alive, and even after being stored are susceptible to becoming moldy. It’s essential that you store them in a safe and suitable environment. Also be sure to thoroughly inspect, for mold and rot, before consuming too.
How Do You Eat Sprouts Safely?
The recommended way to consume sprouts safely is to cook them. Raising the temperature is the only proven method to kill all bacteria. Although many enjoy and encourage eating raw sprouts this can not be recommended from a health and safety perspective.
Does Freezing Broccoli Sprouts Kill Bacteria?
No, freezing broccoli sprouts will make the bacteria go dormant. Once in the freezer the dormant bacteria will stop growing and multiplying. Once thawed and fully defrosted the bacteria will become active again, multiply and potentially becoming dangerous.
Are Broccoli Sprouts Healthier Than Broccoli?
All vegetables have different health benefits. Most people that consume broccoli sprouts for the health benefits do so because of the sulforaphane content. There are higher concentrations of sulforaphane in broccoli sprouts than broccoli. However broccoli contains higher concentrations of different minerals, nutrients and vitamins. Therefore you can’t conclusively say one is better than the other.
Are Broccoli Sprouts Healthy?
Yes, broccoli sprouts are considered to be a very healthy food. Regarded by many as a ‘super food’ and now being stocked in health food stores and promoted by healthy living advocates too.
Can You Eat Too Many Broccoli Sprouts?
Just like all foods it’s not recommended to exceed your daily requirements. By eating a diet of broccoli sprouts you will struggle to get other nutrients. We would recommend sticking to no more than your daily recommended intake of 100g or ½ a cup.
Does Cooking Broccoli Sprouts Destroy Nutrients?
Studies have been shown that by cooking vegetables the nutrient concentration decreases. The best method for cooking sprouts whilst keeping maximum nutrients is to steam them. For more information check out this New York Times article.