In this article, we will be going over everything you need to know about growing broccoli microgreens. Starting with what materials you are going to need all the way to harvesting and storing.
Broccoli microgreens are amazing because they contain all of these essential and powerful nutrients just 8-12 days after germination. Broccoli microgreens have more nutrients, vitamins, and minerals than a head of broccoli.
Broccoli as microgreens are also an incredible source of protein and they are just super tasty. You can use this microgreen in most dishes or simply as a beautiful garnish.
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How To Grow Broccoli Microgreens
Now that you know what broccoli microgreens are let's get into the materials you are going to need to follow along in this guide.
You can grow broccoli microgreens with just a microgreen kit and a pack of broccoli seeds right by your window if you have a well-sunlit window. If not, then I recommend you get an LED grow light. You'll also need a wired shelf to place the LED grow lights under.
Containers: At Least 3 growing trays
Growing Medium: Such as soil or coco coir
Grow Lights: T8 Grow Lights are the way to go
Misting Water Bottle
First, start with some broccoli seeds, I highly recommend the Broccoli Seeds from Organo Republic as they have given me the most success. Broccoli seeds are very small in size, it is very easy to plant a lot of these seeds so be careful when planting. If the seeds are not spread evenly this could cause overcrowding and a few other problems. So make sure not to add too much or too little!
Step 1. Prepare The Grow Tray
Start with 2 10 by 20-inch growing trays, one will be beneath the other filled with water. While the one above will have drainage holes so the water can reach the roots of the microgreens. This will prevent mold growth and overall just make the growing process so much easier.
Do not add water to the one below yet, first grab the tray without drainage holes and fill it with coco coir. Then smooth out the surface and mist it well with a spray bottle. If you don't have a spray bottle then just sprinkle water over the coco coir until it is well moisturized.
To make the tray with drainage holes just get a very sharp knife and slowly poke out small holes, simple and easy.
Step 2. Plant The Seeds
Spread 2-3 tablespoons (or the amount shown in the directions) of your seeds evenly onto the coco coir. Broccoli seeds are very small in size, it is very easy to plant a lot of these seeds so be careful when planting. If the seeds are not spread evenly this could cause overcrowding and a few other problems. So make sure not to add too much or too little!
Step 3. Water And Cover
After planting water the broccoli microgreens one more time, do not top the seeds with soil, just place another container on top to blackout the seeds and put some weight on top.
It is very important to add weight on top of broccoli seeds so that the roots penetrate deep into the soil so that the microgreens grow straight and tall.
Your newly sown seeds need humidity and darkness to thrive. Set your tray in a place where it won’t get too hot, or too cold. 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit is ideal. This begins the germination process. Spray seeds about 15 times once every 10-12 hours.
Step. 4 Uncover And Give Light
After 3 days remove the top container and the broccoli seeds should have developed shoots. The shoots may be yellow because of lack of light but this is normal and is nothing to be alarmed about.
Just give your broccoli microgreens at least 12 hours of light every day. Now is the time to use the watering tray at the bottom of the container to avoid any soil from splashing onto the plants and to avoid mold growth. Do not use the spray bottle anymore.
To do this just simply grab the second tray that doesn't have holes at the bottom and fill it with water so it can reach the roots of the microgreens. Just don't overfill it.
How To Harvest Broccoli Microgreens
Most microgreens will be ready to harvest in just 10 days. Some microgreens can be harvested as early as 7 days. Broccoli microgreens are ready to be harvested once the shoots are about three inches tall.
Now it's time to move your trays to a cool, shady place. If your microgreens are harvested when it is too hot, they will wilt very quickly after harvesting. If harvested when cool (late evening, early morning), they will tend to stay fresh and crisp.
To harvest, just use scissors or a knife. Simply cut about an inch above the coco coir, and there you go you have now successfully grown broccoli microgreens! Pretty easy right?
Washing and Drying Broccoli Microgreens
Use a colander to rinse your broccoli microgreens thoroughly under cold water. Dry the microgreens completely by spreading them over some paper towels and letting them air dry. You can also speed-dry them by using a fan on a slow setting.
Cut microgreens are best if eaten right after drying, but can be stored loosely in a bowl in the refrigerator for several days. Do not try to refrigerate microgreens that are not completely dry.
How To Store Broccoli Microgreens
After you harvest your broccoli microgreens, you might wonder how you will store them. Just simply place them loosely in a bowl or container and put them in the refrigerator.
What Broccoli Microgreens can be used for
Broccoli microgreens can be used in salads, soups, sandwiches, and baked goods. You can even juice them and add them to wheatgrass shots or even smoothies.
Health Benefits of Broccoli Microgreens
1. Anti-Cancer Properties
Sulforaphane, a dietary component of broccoli/broccoli sprouts, was found in one study (1) to stop the tumor growths of breast cancer. These findings support the use of sulforaphane for the chemoprevention of breast cancer stem cells.
The consumption of Brassica greens has also been associated with a reduced risk of the development of colorectal, stomach, pancreatic, lung, breast, and ovarian cancer(2).
Eating just 3-5 servings a week reduces cancer risk by 30-40%, according to studies.
2. Supports Cardiovascular Health
One of the major causes of cardiac diseases is oxidative stress. Studies suggest that sulforaphane contains anti-inflammatory properties that activate a protein known as Nrf2 which serves as a defense mechanism against oxidative stress(3).
3. Anti-Diabetic Properties
Sulforaphane was also found in one study(4) to reduce blood glucose levels in patients with type 2 diabetes. Sulforaphane was identified to suppress glucose production from hepatic cells and may reverse the disease.
4. Anti-Aging Properties
Sulforaphane activates heat-shock proteins in the body, which help slow aging and improve brain function. Studies from the National Academy for the Sciences show Sulforaphane protects cells from cellular damage which is most commonly found in UV light.
5. Boosts Brain Function
Sulforaphane is also really good for your brain and is considered a brain-boosting substance. Studies show that this compound reduced depressive symptoms and anxiety. (5)
Sulforaphane has also been shown to:
target cancer cells while protecting healthy cells
kill breast cancer cells, cervical cancer cells, liver cancer cells, prostate cancer cells, and colorectal cancer cells in clinical studies
prohibit the growth of cancer cells while encouraging the growth of healthy cells
Broccoli Microgreens Nutritional Content
Scientific Name: (Genus and Species)
Brassica oleracea L. var. italica
Macro-elements per mg/100 g of Fresh Weight (FW)
Micro-element minerals per mg/100 g FW
Vitamin A (ᵦ-carotene)
Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)
Vitamin E (tocepherol)
Vitamin K (Phylloquinone)
The nutrition in broccoli microgreens is amazing just like any other microgreens and includes the following:
vitamins A, B, C, E, and K,
contains calcium, magnesium, and phosphorous,
and micro-elements iron, zinc, and copper.
(1). Sulforaphane, a Dietary Component of Broccoli/Broccoli Sprouts, Inhibits Breast Cancer Stem Cells (nih.gov)
(2). Antiproliferative Effect of Bioaccessible Fractions of Four Brassicaceae Microgreens on Human Colon Cancer Cells Linked to Their Phytochemical Composition (nih.gov)
(3). Sulforaphane Protects against Cardiovascular Disease via Nrf2 Activation - PubMed (nih.gov)
(4). Sulforaphane reduces hepatic glucose production and improves glucose control in patients with type 2 diabetes - PubMed (nih.gov)
(5). Effects of sulforaphane and vitamin E on cognitive disorder and oxidative damage in lead-exposed mice hippocampus at lactation - PubMed (nih.gov)