Brussels sprouts (or Brussels, as many people refer to them) are one of the most hated vegetables according to a poll done a few years back. This is really surprising to me, because I’m on a brussels sprout kick. Or as I refer to them “Sprussle Brouts.” I am a brussels sprout addict. There. I said it. See, admitting a problem is the first step to the cure. I have to believe that the reason that they are so unfavorable to so many is HOW they are prepared. I think if you found a really great roasted recipe, or enhanced it with flavors you adored (like garlic or olive oil) you might give the brussels sprout a second glance. Do you know how to cook a brussels sprout?
For example, I am not referring to the brussels sprouts that come packaged in a bag and that you microwave – or the ones that have a processed cheesy sauce on them.
REAL Sprussel Brouts. I mean, Brussels Sprouts.
Let’s start from scratch here. When you go to the grocery store, and wander down the produce aisle, you will see a bin, somewhere between the broccoli and the fresh greens and be startled by the beautiful green brussels sprout. (Okay, maybe not startled, just happy to find them.) They look like tiny little cabbages. Grab a bag and load up. Handfuls. Now, in choosing brussels sprouts, you’re looking for firmness, and you don’t want the leaves to fall off. (Toss those back in the bin.)
Once you get home and are ready to cook them, wash them in a colander. (Organic is best – less chemicals and pesticides to worry about.)
With a sharp knife, cut them in half, length-wise. Then pile them all in a bowl and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, and sea salt, and place them up in a shallow baking pan.
With a pre-heated oven at 375 degrees, bake them for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your brussels. The larger they are, the longer they take to bake.
What you will have, is a crispy delicious roasted vegetable. And they’re addictive, trust me. And I think (also my humble opinion) they are fabulous as a side dish with just about anything. Tonight, it’s duck. The night before, it was venison. The night before that, it was fish. Versatile. Complimentary on almost anything you may serve. See? I DO eat a lot of brussels!
There are a few rarities that make brussels so exceptional nutritious, that aren’t typically found in other cruciferous vegetables – besides the fact the are uniquely high in Vitamins A, C, E and K. Especially Vitamin K.
In the health research database at the National Library of Medicine in Washington D.C., there are almost 100 studies that are focused on brussels sprouts and the correlation to illnesses, especially cancer. Brussels sprouts provide three optimal support functions that are crucial in cancer prevention and chronic illnesses. Our bodies have three systems that are indicators of imbalances: 1) How our body’s detox system functions, 2) Our antioxidant system, and 3) Our inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. An imbalance in any of these three systems can significantly increase your risk of breast cancer, bladder cancer, colon cancer, lung cancer, ovarian cancer and prostate cancer. The combination of the vitamins, minerals, digestive boost, antioxidants and enzymes make this such an amazing cruciferous vegetable.
A mini-cruciferous wearing a superhero cape?
This is the best time of year to buy them. They are available year round, but are best from August to late February. (Yes! Right now!)
Finally, your fun fact on brussels sprouts? Almost all the brussels sprouts produced in the United States are grown in California. 70 million pounds to be exact. 70 million! Gosh that makes me happy. Means the store won’t run out…
In good health, my friends.