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Ingredient of the Week, April 29: Brussels Sprouts

Posted by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 9:04 AM
  • 12 Replies

                      

While the origins of Brussels sprouts are unknown, the first mention of them can be traced to the late 16th century. They are thought to be native to Belgium, specifically to a region near its capital, Brussels, after which they are named. They remained a local crop in this area until their use spread across Europe during World War I. Brussels sprouts are now cultivated throughout Europe and the United States.

How to Select and Store

Good quality Brussels sprouts are firm, compact, and vivid green. They should be free of yellowed or wilted leaves and should not be puffy or soft in texture. Avoid those that have perforations in their leaves as this may indicate that they have aphids residing within. If Brussels sprouts are sold individually, choose those of equal size to ensure that they will cook evenly. Brussels sprouts are available year round, but their peak growing period is from autumn until early spring.

Keep unwashed and untrimmed Brussels sprouts in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Stored in a plastic bag, they can be kept for 10 days. If you want to freeze Brussels sprouts, blanch them first for between three to five minutes. They will keep in the freezer for up to one year.

Nutritional Profile

Brussels sprouts are rich in many valuable nutrients. They are an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K. They are a very good source of numerous nutrients including folate, vitamin A, manganese, dietary fiber, potassium, vitamin B6 and thiamin (vitamin B1) and a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, iron, phosphorus, protein, molybdenum, magnesium, riboflavin (vitamin B2), vitamin E, calcium, and niacin. In addition to these nutrients, Brussels sprouts contain numerous disease-fighting phytochemicals including sulforaphane, indoles, glucosinolates, isothiocynates, coumarins, dithiolthiones, and phenols.

                  

Tips for Preparing Brussels Sprouts

Before washing Brussels sprouts, remove stems and any yellow or discolored leaves. Wash them well under running water or soak them in a bowl of water to remove any insects that may reside in the inner leaves.

Brussels sprouts are usually cooked whole. To allow the heat to permeate throughout all of the leaves and better ensure an even texture, cut an "X" in the bottom of the stem before cooking.

While Brussels sprouts are usually served as a side dish, they also make a nice addition to cold salads.

The Healthiest Way of Cooking Brussels Sprouts

It is recommend to steam Brussels sprouts for maximum nutrition and flavor. Fill the bottom of a steamer pot with 2 inches of water. While waiting for the water to come to a rapid boil cut Brussels sprouts into quarters or halves. Steam for 5 minutes and toss with Honey Mustard sauce to add extra flavor and nutrition.

Combine quartered or halved cooked Brussels sprouts with sliced red onions, walnuts, and your favorite mild tasting cheese such as a goat cheese or feta.

 Toss with olive oil and balsamic vinegar for an exceptionally healthy, delicious side dish or salad.

Overcooking them will render them grey and soft and they develop a strong flavor some dislike.

 
I had never seen Brussels sprouts on the stalk until recently. I didn't know that was the way the grow. Does your family like Brussels sprouts? Mine didn't until I found wasys to cook them quickly so they don't have a harsh taste.

by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 9:04 AM
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Replies (1-10):
queenbree545
by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 9:08 AM

We like them roasted in the oven with some olive oil and seasonings.  My boys aren't so crazy about them as I am, though.

I'm going to try growing some this year.

La-Belle-Vie
by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 2:57 PM
Our market sells them on the stalk. I have never liked Brussels sprouts. I've cooked it several different ways and still don't like them.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
La-Belle-Vie
by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 2:57 PM
1 mom liked this
I've made them for my son so he can try them and he does like them

Quoting La-Belle-Vie:

Our market sells them on the stalk. I have never liked Brussels sprouts. I've cooked it several different ways and still don't like them.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
DissieDothe
by Silver Member on Apr. 29, 2012 at 8:41 PM

I like to simmer them in a pot of water with seasonings & evoo. Remove them to a dish that is ovenproof, cover, and keep warm. As for the pot of water that is full of nutrients & seasonings + evoo, use it for cooking rice, lentils, chicken - and use the chicken stock for making stuffing. 

I think it depends on the size as to how many that you should serve. A child might be able to eat as many as three if they are really small - one if medium size. They get very cold quickly so sauce will keep them warm even if it's just a butter sauce.

Some men find them more appetizing with their steak dinner rather than a cold salad. You can also put them on a meatball sub alternating meatballs & Brussels sprouts.

Basically, preparing them as "little cabbages" is a sure thing for great tasting Brussels sprouts.  

Mom2Kylie2708
by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 11:23 PM
I've never tried them
Terri441
by on Apr. 29, 2012 at 11:57 PM

I love brussels sprouts so much!

Kelly913
by on Apr. 30, 2012 at 12:21 AM
1 mom liked this

I didn't know that's how they grew either.  We like them, but I don't prepare them often.  I have a recipe for a bacon & Brussels sprout salad and it's awesome!  [How can it not be with BACON?!] 

marisab
by on May. 7, 2012 at 12:37 AM

Inever liked them til i met my husband an dhe made them the dutch way'

dutch meat balls and brussel taters

maje the meatballs and cook in brown gravy with mustard at the sam etime boil the taters and sprouts byr boil the sproust in milk with a dash of nutmeg and this cuts the bitterness 

its delicious!!

Kelly913
by on May. 7, 2012 at 12:44 AM

So I'm working on a full menu plan for May and I do pretty well working from my framework basics, but for some reason I get hung up with lunch on Saturdays.  Not sure why, but I came to the group to look for ideas and this post reminded me of the bacon and Brussels sprouts salad, so that will work for one Saturday!  Thanks!

andrea96
by on May. 7, 2012 at 9:47 AM

I'm the only one in our house that likes them.

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