Key Ingredient


Wednesday, November 7, 2001

Ingredient of the week
Broccoli sprouts may be used like alfalfa sprouts
in sandwiches and wraps.

Key ingredient: broccoli sprouts

Sprouts have long been popular in the islands, especially mung bean sprouts. Other sprouts, from alfalfa to radish, are also readily available with tastes ranging from grassy to spicy.

Another type of sprout, hailed as the "crunchy little cancer fighter," is also available. It's called the BroccoSprout, and it comes, you guessed it, from broccoli seeds.

The basics: Sprouts are the young and tender seedlings of various germinated beans and seeds. BroccoSprouts are essentially 3-day-old baby broccoli, grown with just light and water. They were developed by cancer researchers at Johns Hopkins University and have been licensed and patented by the university. Only 19 growers in the country -- Honolulu Poi Co. is one -- are licensed to grow these specialized sprouts.

Broccoli contains a high level of a cancer-fighting compound called sulforaphane GS. The problem is eating enough broccoli to absorb this antioxidant. An ounce of BroccoSprouts is said to contain the same amount of sulforaphane GS as 1-1/4 pounds of broccoli.

Selecting: BroccoSprouts come packaged in 3-ounce containers. Choose crispy, fresh-looking sprouts. Avoid brown or musty-smelling sprouts.

Storing: Sprouts are very delicate and should be used immediately. BroccoSprouts can be stored in the refrigerator for just a couple of days.

Use: The sprouts have a zesty, peppery flavor, which spices up sandwiches and salads. BroccoSprouts should be enjoyed raw similar to alfalfa sprouts. Use them to liven up a sandwich or salad, add it to wraps, or use to garnish your favorite hors d'oeuvre.

Where to buy: Sprouts are available at all major markets and are priced from $2.19 to $2.49 for 3 ounces.

Food Stuffs: Morsels

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