A Shout Out to Brussels Sprouts
The next two weeks are all about Brussels sprouts, so read on for a quick rundown of our spotlight ingredient!
Brussels sprouts are thought to have originated in Ancient Rome, though they gained their popularity (and name) in Brussels, Belgium. They’re now widely popular in the U.S. and Europe, with the Netherlands (hollahhh!) being the largest producer of these miniature cabbages (a.k.a…cabbage patch kids…get it??)
How to select and store Brussels sprouts
- Select: As with most fruits and vegetables, the smaller Brussels sprouts will be sweeter and and more delicious! Aim for blemish free Brussel sprouts that are all about the same size for even cooking. Their peak season is from September to March.
- Store: Remove damaged outer leaves and store in a plastic bag in the coldest part of the fridge. These should stay good for a few weeks, though the flavor becomes stronger and less tasty with age. If you can get them on the stalk, great! They’ll stay fresher for longer this way.
How to trim and cook Brussels sprouts
Remove the outer leaves and trim the base of each Brussels sprout before cooking. Cut a small X in the base of larger Brussels sprouts to help them cook evenly. Then you have a few options for cooking these guys up:
- Steam: Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add Brussels sprouts to a steam basket and cook about 7 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, butter, and lemon juice.
- Sauté: Heat olive oil in a pan over medium/high heat. Add a clove of minced garlic, then throw in halved Brussels sprouts. Stir about for 10 minutes, until they’re lightly browned. Season with salt, pepper, butter, and lemon juice.
- Roasted: Combine halved Brussels sprouts, a pinch of salt and pepper, minced garlic, a dash of lemon juice, and olive oil in a bowl. Spread onto a baking sheet and roast about 15 minutes at 400 degrees F (204 C).
Nutrition information for Brussels sprouts
per 1 cup (88 g) raw Brussels sprouts
- Calories: 38
- Carbohydrates: 8 g
- Fiber: 3 g, 13% of Daily Value (DV)
- Protein: 3 g
- Fat: 0 g
- 195% DV of Vitamin K: A fat-soluble vitamin that allows for activation of enzymes in the clotting cascade, which is responsible for blood clotting. Also builds bone by modifying osteocalcin so that it may bind calcium, thus building the bone matrix.
- 125% DV of Vitamin C: A water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant to fight against potentially damaging free radicals (molecules with unshared electrons that float around wreaking havoc) and an important cofactor in collagen synthesis.
- 15% DV of Manganese: A trace element that plays a role in healthy brain and nervous system function.
- 13% DV of Folate (Vitamin B9): A water-soluble vitamin that helps make DNA & RNA and metabolize amino acids.
- 13% DV of Vitamin A: Provides the provitamin version of this fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it comes from a plant source and your body converts the plant pigment into active Vitamin A. It is essential in many components of healthy vision, as well as immunity and cell growth/differentiation.
- 10% DV of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): A water-soluble vitamin that works behind the scenes as a coenzyme in many important reactions within your body, including protein metabolism and red blood cell formation, among countless other functions.