Lettuce

The sprouts of Brussels

The veggie you love to hate… and we love to eat! These guys get a bad rap from most Americans and we think that is a shame. They are little nuggets of nutrition just waiting to be gobbled up. In the Netherlands and Britain they are actually quite adored and eaten often. They are easily overcooked and can become mushy or bitter which is why most people don’t prefer to eat them. We are going to show you the proper way to cook Brussels sprouts and we hope to change at least some of your opinions.

Brussels sprouts are closely related to the cabbage, they are low in calories and high in protein. They’re good sources of vitamins A, C, and K as well as calcium and potassium. A half cup of them contains more vitamin C than a whole orange! They are a great source of folic acid, making them a healthy addition to the diets of pregnant women. Similarly to cilantro, some people have a gene that makes the taste of Brussels sprouts repulsive.

Interestingly, the chemical compound that makes Brussels sprouts smell bitter when they are overcooked (glucosinolate sinigrin) is the same compound that makes them potent little cancer fighters.

Why are they called what they are called? They were popularly cultivated as early as the 13th century in Belgium’s capital city… wait for it… Brussels. They were prescribed in ancient times as a medicine for bowel problems. Introduced to the Americas around the 1700s, Brussels sprouts have been disliked by a large chunk of our population ever since.

Fun fact: you may have seen them cooked with a small cross cut into their stem. Word around the campfire is that this habit did not originate as a cooking technique, but actually to dispel tiny demons that were thought to live inside of them. We think that a high cooking temp should take care of that problem!