Food Stats: Brussels Sprouts

Overview
  • Brussels sprouts are considered to be a cruciferous vegetable, this includes other vegetables like broccoli, kale, and cauliflower.

  • Brussels sprouts are believed to have originated from Belgium, hence the name.

  • They can now be found just about anywhere, but they do thrive in cooler temperatures. The prime season starts in September and goes through March.

  • Brussels sprouts tend to have a negative connotation especially with kids and actually many adults. But sadly, this is due to improper cooking.

  • On the other hand, Brussel sprouts are packed with nutrients and flavor!

The Look
  • Brussels sprouts form buds and grow in bunches on long stalks that can be up to 3 feet in length. Each bunch can have up to 20-30 buds.

  • The buds are edible and are formed by layers of leaves that end up looking like mini cabbages.

  • They are green in color with a slightly yellowish tint and are relatively small in size.

  • Typically, Brussel sprouts are purchased cut from their stalks, but some grocery stores or farmer's markets will have them still attached to their stalks.

  • Brussels sprouts can also be purchased pre-cut, pre-shredded, and even frozen

  • When buying fresh, look for a nice green color, some yellowing is okay. You might have to peel away a layer or two to get the freshest looking part of the Brussels sprout.

Nutrition
  • Vitamin A, C, and K

  • Vitamin B9, aka Folate

  • Fiber

  • Manganese

  • Potassium

  • Iron

  • Omega-3

  • Antioxidants

Benefits
  • Brussels sprouts have a variety of nutrients that aid gene regulation, cell differentiation, and blood clotting.

  • The nutrients in Brussels sprouts are also very helpful for bone growth and the maintenance of connective tissues.

  • Plus, they act as an antioxidant, helping with immunity.

  • The nutrients aid in fluid, electrolyte balances, and other electrical impulses in the body.

  • But there's more! Great for eye health and vision.

  • Bonus, their nutrients aid in blood clotting and help to carry oxygen to body tissues.

  • So, don't forget to eat your Brussels sprouts!

Serving Size
  • 1 cup or about 100 grams is about 43 calories

  • About 4 grams of protein

  • About 0.5 grams of fat

  • About 9 grams of carbohydrates

  • About 4 grams of fiber

Use & Cooking
  • If the Brussels sprouts were purchased on the stalk, simply use a paring knife to remove the buds from the stalk. If purchased pre-bagged this step is obviously not needed.

  • To use Brussels sprouts, trim the end stump with a knife and also remove the first layer of leaves. This first layer will probably naturally fall off when the end is trimmed.

  • The Brussels sprout can be left whole, cut in half or even quartered.

  • Brussels sprouts can be boiled, steamed, roasted, or sautéed. They can also be left raw and shaved into a salad.

  • They have a mild nutty flavor and pair really well with savory flavors.

  • Looking to roast? Bring the oven to 450 degrees F. Place Brussels sprouts (sliced) on a baking dish and drizzle with olive oil. Add desired seasonings like salt, pepper, garlic powder, etc. Roast in the oven for about 15 minutes or until a golden color has formed

  • The Brussels sprouts should be fork tender and still have a brighter color, not mushy and bland looking.

  • If they come out lifeless try reducing the cooking time or change up the cooking method. Roasting is the most preferred method of cooking.

Storage
  • Store Brussels in the refrigerator to keep fresh and crisp.

  • They will last about a week or more if stored properly.

  • Once the Brussels sprouts are cooked store in an airtight container for 3-4 days

Recipes

References

Reinhardt, T. (2014). Super Foods (Seconds ed.). Buffalo, NY: Firefly Books Inc.

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