Thought to be native to Belgium, the first mention of Brussels Sprouts can be traced to the late 16th century. It remained a local crop in this area until World War I when their use spread across Europe. Brussels Sprouts are cultivated throughout Europe and the United States. Nearly all Brussels Sprouts grown in the United States are from California.
Brussels Sprouts have the same cancer-inhibiting potential as cabbage and other cruciferous vegetables (such as broccoli and cauliflower). They are known to contain the nitrogen compounds called indoles and a significant amount of vitamin C. Brussels Sprouts also supply good amounts of folate (folic acid), potassium, vitamin K, and a small amount of beta-carotene. Brussels Sprouts are thought to be a contributor to the reduction of DNA damage, birth defects, colon cancer and rheumatoid arthritis.
Nutritional Chart >
Good quality Brussels Sprouts are firm, compact and vivid green. They should be free of yellowed or wilted leaves and should not be soft in texture. If sold loose, choose those of equal size to ensure that they will cook evenly. Brussels Sprouts are available year round from Beachside.
Keep unwashed and untrimmed Brussels Sprouts in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Stored in a perforated plastic bag, they can be kept for three to four days. If you want to freeze Brussels Sprouts, blanch them first for three to five minutes. They will keep in the freezer for up to one year.
Drop Sprouts in lukewarm water for at least 10 minutes. Rinse the Sprouts in fresh water. Trim the ends but not equal to the end of the sprout to prevent leaves from falling off during preparation. Insert a knife in the stem end, which should be tender, to check if core has been cooked.
Boiling – Use one cup of water for every cup of Brussels Sprouts. Bring water to rapid boil, add Brussels Sprouts and return to boil. Cook for 7 to 10 minutes or until tender.