The mere mention of these little cabbages makes most people wrinkle their noses in disgust. People who are adverse to the mighty Brussels sprout generally have these feelings because of the sulfur compounds released by the veggie when it is overcooked. With the right culinary touch, Brussels sprouts are not only great for you, but really delicious as well. Give them a second chance—you might find that you’ve had them pegged all wrong.
Like other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts have strong anticarcinogenic activity, which basically means they help prevent disease, especially cancer. Studies have shown that Brussels sprouts aid in reversing DNA damage and help stop the proliferation of breast cancer cells, even in later growth stages. Studies have also shown that eating cruciferous vegetables such as Brussels sprouts can reduce lung cancer risk significantly—even in smokers!
The high concentrations of vitamin C in Brussels sprouts make it an ideal food to help relieve pain stemming from rheumatoid arthritis, and its high folate content make it a great food for expectant mothers. Its rich fiber content, with about equal parts soluable and insoluable fiber, promotes excellent colon health.
<>DID YOU KNOW:
-Brussels sprouts get their name from being grown over 400 years ago around Brussels, Belgium!
-Thomas Jefferson introduced Brussels sprouts to the USA in 1812.
HOW TO CHOOSE AND STORE:
Brussels sprouts should be firm and green (avoid yellow ones). They should be compact and about 1 inch in diameter.
If the sprouts are still on the stalk, keep them that way for storage; they’ll stay fresher.
Take off any dead leaves and do not rinse. Put individual sprouts in a plastic bag and keep refrigerated for up to about 4 days. If sprouts are pre-packaged, you can keep them in their packaging.
1 cup boiled
Total fat: 0.8g
Dietary fiber: 4.06g (16.24DV)
Vitamin A: 22.43% DV
Thiamn (B1): 11.33% DV
Riboflavin (B2): 7.06% DV
Niacin (B3): 4.75% DV
Vitamin B6: 14% DV
Vitamin C: 161.2%DV
Vitamin E: 6.65% DV
Vitamin K: 273.5% DV
Iron: 10.39% DV
Manganese: 17.5% DV
Phosphorous: 8.74% DV
Selenium: 3.34% DV
Zinc: 3.4% DV
BRUSSELS SPROUTS RECIPES:
Pickled Brussels Sprouts
I adapted this recipe from one I got from a local farmers’ market, and I seriously couldn’t stop snacking on these when I made them. –M.
4 cups fresh Brussels sprouts
3/4 cup Tarragon vinegar
1/4 c. safflower oil
3 cloves garlic, sliced thin
1 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. Salt
Hot pepper sauce to taste (I use habañero vinegar, and lots of it!)
2 tbsp. thinly chopped green onions
Steam or boil sprouts until tender (about 5 min.) and drain. Combine all other ingredients. Add sprouts, toss, and chill at least 8 hours.
Pan-Fried Brussels Sprouts (adapted from a recipe at Epicurious)
1/2 pound Brussels sprouts
2 large garlic cloves
1 1/2 tablespoons Earth Balance Whipped spread, or other non-hydrogenated butter replacement
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
Trim Brussels sprouts and halve lengthwise. Cut garlic into very thin slices. In a skillet melt 1 tablespoon buttery spread with oil over moderate heat and cook garlic, stirring, until pale golden. Transfer garlic with a slotted spoon to a small bowl. Reduce heat to low and arrange sprouts in skillet, cut sides down, in one layer. Sprinkle sprouts with pine nuts and salt to taste. Cook sprouts, without turning, until crisp-tender and undersides are golden brown, about 15 minutes.
With tongs transfer sprouts to a plate, browned sides up. Add garlic and remaining 1/2 tablespoon buttery spread to skillet and cook over moderate heat, stirring, until pine nuts are more evenly pale golden, about 1 minute. Spoon mixture over sprouts and sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper.
Serves 2-3 as a side dish.
Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts (borrowed from the Schmooed Food blog—thanks, Jennifer!)
<>1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, cleaned, trimmed, and cut in half
2 tbsp. olive oil
3⁄4 cup vegetable stock or water
2 tbsp. sugar
2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. When hot, add the Brussels sprouts and sprinkle with salt. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the sprouts start to turn golden, about 5 minutes.
Add 1⁄2 cup of the stock or water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer, covered with a lid left slightly ajar, until the Brussels sprouts are almost completely tender and the stock or water has been cooked away, about 10 minutes.
Remove the lid and add the last 1⁄4 cup of stock or water, the sugar, and the apple cider vinegar. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to a syrup, about 5 minutes. Taste and season as desired. Serve hot or at room temperature.