SIMPLY ESSENTIAL: Brussels Sprouts

brussels sprouts


WHY WE LOVE THEM

Once considered a delicacy in Belgium, Brussels sprouts are packed with antioxidants that can help fight the cell-damage done by free radicals- reducing the risk for some cancers AND helping detoxify the body. Clocking in at 56 calories per cup, Brussels sprouts house a HUGE amount of Vitamin C [think 4 times that of an orange], which can boost the body’s immune response and give your skin a healthy glow.

Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable, kin to both broccoli and cabbage. They even resemble mini cabbage plants! They grow in “bunches,” roughly 20-40 per stalk, on a stalk that can grow up to 3 feet tall. When hunting for Brussels sprouts in the grocery store you may find them sold separately or still attached to the stem. While they are believed to have originated in Belgium, in the United States the majority of Brussels sprouts are grown in California. Brussels sprouts are considered “in season” from autumn until spring [September – April]; however, they are generally available in the grocery store year round.

SELECTION + STORAGE:

When searching for the perfect Brussels sprouts to fill your plate choose sprouts that are a rich green color, firm to the touch, and compact.

WHEN SELECTING BRUSSELS AVOID:

1. Yellowing leaves
2. Wilted leaves
3. Perforated leaves

TWO SIMPLE WAYS TO MAINTAIN FRESHNESS:
First, if you plan to cook your Brussels sprouts in the next week or two [and we hope you will!], it’s best to keep the untrimmed/unwashed greens in the veggie compartment in your refrigerator. If stored in a plastic bag they can survive there for up to 10 days!

Second, you may choose to save your Brussels sprouts for a later date by freezing them. If you choose to go this route, steam your Brussels sprouts for roughly 3 to 4 minutes prior to freezing them. By doing this, your sprouts can last up to one year in the freezer. But we have to tell you, we will be sharing exciting recipes for Brussels sprouts soon that will make it extremely difficult to save these delightful green veggies for that long!

FEAST ON BRUSSELS SPROUTS

Brussels sprouts are a fantastic way to fill half of your plate with veggies. While steaming Brussels sprouts is the best way to maintain the nutritional profile of these healthy greens they can be cooked and enjoyed in many different ways!

Because of our love of Brussels and their ability to protect your heart, we wanted to share our favorite Brussels Sprouts recipes from some of our favorite bloggers.

TOP TEN FAVORITE BRUSSELS SPROUT RECIPES:

1. Sausage + Brussels Sprouts Hash This is a one pot meal full of wonderful winter veggies including Brussels Sprouts, parsnips and leeks.
2. Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Red Grapes A delicious, sweet, and earthy Brussels Sprout side dish with grapes and balsamic.
3. Kung Pao Brussels Sprouts A vegetarian twist on a Chinese take-out standard, these Sprouts deliver crunch, spice, and zing.
4. Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts Slaw Crunchy raw Broccoli and Brussels Sprouts mixed with olives, anchovies, and lemon juice.
5. Brussels Sprouts with Walnut and Lemon Vinaigrette A salad of steamed Brussels with a lemon & walnut vinaigrette dressing.
6. Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Raisins & Maple Dijon Vinaigrette Shaved Brussels Sprout salad tossed in a simple maple dijon vinaigrette- complete with crisp bacon and sweet raisins!
7. Baked Brussels Sprouts Chips Crispy Brussels Sprouts chips: The perfect snack and/or addition to any sandwich or salad!
8. Baked Brussels Sprout Tater Tots Only 5 ingredients in this healthy baked Brussels Sprout tater tot recipe.
9. Brussels Sprouts with Bacon Roasted Brussels Sprouts with bacon and sea salt.
10. Crispy Brussels Sprouts Roasted Brussels Sprouts with coconut oil and Harissa spice blend.

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