King of Veggies

I can’t believe I’m getting ready to talk about this vegetable. I’m fortunate enough to only have been forced to eat this vegetable once in my childhood, and it wasn’t by my parents. This king of veggies is normally dismissed by people and shoved into children’s mouths, but I never knew the details of this vegetable. As my husband and I are looking to expand our family to include an offspring, I’ve been researching what foods I could eat to up my “healthy” factor and to gain more natural vitamins and folic acid. With that hint, I want to talk about the dreaded Brussels sprout.

Baby cousin to the cabbage, I remember – as probably everyone else does – the veggie being mushy and gross. Turns out, people have been overcooking the sprout in soups and stews.

Allow me to enlighten you as I was recently enlightened.

Brussels sprout is a king among veggies because they’re full of nutrients that I never thought they’d have. They have vitamins C, A, B6, and folic acid, iron, and fiber, potassium, and they’re a good source for antioxidants.

Slap me silly and call me “Annie”, why have I been ignoring this little ball of leaves? Oh yes… the nightmare of a memory of mushy, bitter soup. So, I did more research after being mocked by the article I was reading for not paying attention to the Brussels sprout. What I found was fascinating to me as a Foodie.

  1. I learned how to shop for these little nutrient-packed king of veggies.
  2. I learned the basic way of cooking them.
  3. I discovered a few recipes that sounds delicious and more appealing than my horrible childhood memory.

So, let’s go through my three little epiphanies, shall we?

How to buy Brussels sprouts

The Brussels sprouts season is here! Fall and Winter is when the vegetable thrives and matures. The majority of the veggie we find in the market are in the frozen section, but it is highly recommended by multiple sites and blogs that we buy them during their season. When buying fresh sprouts, the little balls should be green, green, green. Any hint of yellow means they are passed their prime and have matured  a little too much for eating purposes. What you really want to find are sprouts that are under 1 inch round, tight balls of green, green leaves.

Let me repeat that one more time. When you buy fresh Brussels sprouts, you want them to:

  • Be under 1 inch in diameter
  • Be tightly formed balls
  • Have green leaves

How to cook Brussels sprouts

The most basic method is to boil or steam the mini cabbage heads for no more than seven (7) minutes  and then blanch them in ice water to stop the cooking.

One of the recipes I found involves roasting the raw sprouts in the oven. Why don’t I just give you the recipe?

Ingredients:

  • 3 lbs brussels sprouts (they shrivel up and shrink when they’re cooked)
  • 1/2 cup oil
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°
  2. Coarsely chop brussels sprouts
  3. Toss sprouts in oil and spread on baking pans
  4. Season with salt and pepper
  5. Roast in oven for 30 minutes until tender and have some brown (roasted) edges, stirring them once during roasting
  6. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and let bake for an extra minute until cheese is melted
  7. Transfer sprouts into a bowl and serve

Before you 100% throw in the towel and duct tape your mouth closed from the thought of eating Brussels sprouts, will you join me in one final attempt to give the cabbage’s cousin another go around in the kitchen and dining table?

 

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