It’s time for another spotlight post and today we have for you a Brussels sprouts spotlight! Because you want to know more about Brussels sprouts, right? Of course you do!
First of all, I think it’s important to note that Brussels sprouts aren’t sprouts. Other than being plants, they have no relationship to those little trays of bean sprouts or alfalfa sprouts. I’m telling you this because there are whole supermarkets in Florida which haven’t figured it out! A few years ago we were in Florida visiting my parents over Easter and I wanted Brussels sprouts as a side. Reasonable, yes? When I sent my husband out to the store (while I finished making the cheesecake), he came back with Brussels sprouts and his tale of having to visit two stores, since one of them didn’t sell sprouts due to food safely concerns. Any sprouts. 🙂
What are Brussels sprouts?
Brussels sprouts are members of the cabbage family, which considering they look like tiny cabbages probably isn’t too surprising. They are also closely related to vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower, since – along with cabbages – they belong to the large cruciferous family of vegetables.
While they look like the head of a cabbage, they grow along the stem of their plant, one sprout budding out from the base of each leaf axis. Brussels sprouts are ready to pick after the first frost and can often continue to be harvested right into the snowy parts of the year.
Where do Brussels sprouts come from?
As with other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts are native to the Mediterranean and have been cultivated in various forms for thousands of years. Modern Brussels sprouts are first noted in Northern Europe during the 13th century. (Or possibly the 16th century – the exact timing remains murky.) Yes, Northern Europe near Brussels! From Brussels they traveled to England, where they remain popular today, and then to the United States in the 19th century.
What do Brussels sprouts taste like?
Brussels sprouts can be very strong tasting and be bitter or sulfury, especially when overcooked! However, proper cooking techniques can give the sprouts a sweet or even nutty flavor. Roasting is the best way to bring out the sweetness in Brussels sprouts, either pan roasting or oven roasting. The caramelization sweetens the outer layers of the sprouts without overcooking the interior.
What is the nutritional info on Brussels sprouts?
Brussels sprouts are low in calories and packed full of antioxidants, micronutrients, and vitamins. Just one cup will give you all the vitamins C and K you need for the day while also providing a good dose of vitamin A, folate, B6, selenium, calcium and more. And they beat out all the other cruciferous vegetables in their amount of cancer fighting glucosinolates! In addition to all that, they even help lower cholesterol by binding bile acids and forcing your body to use its stores of cholesterol to make more.
How do you cook Brussels sprouts?
Brussels sprouts are really healthy! And they taste great when cooked properly! Which means you should eat them more often. But how do you cook them?
- Brussels Sprout, Pancetta and Parmesan Flatbreads – Brussels sprouts pizza!
- One-Pan Chicken, Sausage, and Brussels Sprouts – a great dinner combo
- Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts – an Asian take on the vegetable
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios, Cranberries & Parmesan – a great side!