Friday, November 20, 2009

vitamins from Brussels…

This time of year, eating fresh greens gets harder and harder for me as my garden goes to sleep for the winter. But the saving grace is that Brussels Sprouts are in season. As a child, I hated Brussels Sprouts with all my might, as they came to the table boiled to death and ghostly grayish-green.

Now that I know that there are dozens of tasty ways to prepare them, keeping them fresh tasting and green, I try to keep a stalk of them in my cold pantry all winter. They are easily available on a stalk all over the US at you local Fruit and Veggie market.

Brussels Sprouts on my "Martha Stewart green" French button chair

I found these interesting facts about Brussels Sprouts and I wanted to share them with you, especially if these are not your favorites. This may encourage you to give Brussels Sprouts a whirl this Winter.

15 Facts About Brussels Sprouts

1-Brussels sprouts are native to northern Europe.

2-They are part of the Brassica family of vegetables, which also includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, and collard greens.

3-They get their name from the fact that they were widely cultivated around Brussels, Belgium during the 16th century.

4-They were introduced to England and France in the 19th century.

5-According to a 2002 survey, Brussels sprouts are the most hated vegetable in Britain.

6-French settlers in Louisiana introduced Brussels sprouts to America in the 1800s.

7-Commercial production began in 1925 on the Louisiana delta.

8-By 1939, Brussels sprouts were being produced in central California.

9-Today, almost all U.S. production of Brussels sprouts happens in California.

10-Other top Brussels sprouts producers include Canada, The Netherlands, England, and Germany.

11-Like broccoli and some other members of the Brassica family, Brussels sprouts contain something called sinigrin, a glucosinate that may prevent colon cancer according to research.

12-One cup of Brussels sprouts contains 1,122 IU of Vitamin A.

13-That same cup also contains 669 IU of beta carotene.

14-A cup of cooked Brussels sprouts contains about 60 calories.

15-1/2 cup contains 80% of the RDA of Vitamin C.

These are 15 great reasons to eat your sprouts;
one more is that each sprout has only 10 little calories…so eat up…!

My two favorite ways to enjoy them is steamed and tossed with a lemon vinaigrette.
Made this way they taste fresh and light.

During the cold months, I love to roast Brussels Sprouts in the oven. Cut sprouts in half after washing. Toss them with a fruity olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 400 degrees, turning after 10 minutes until caramelized (about 15-20 minutes).

These are very sweet, pungent with out any cabbage-y flavor and pair very well with winter braised meats and that Turkey you may be cooking for you Holiday table.


sue said...

Oooh, those roasted sprouts sound delicious! I happen to like brussel sprouts--a lot of people don't, but I agree with you--I think people remember those mushy gray ones from the past! They look and sound delicious here, Terrie! Happy Thanksgiving!!

Phil Lowe said...

Happy Thanksgiving TM!

My step-mum must have gone to the same school of cookery as your mum! We too had grey mush sprouts. I like them steamed but have never tried them roast. Thanks for the great tip.

Most sprouts are grown in the county of Lincolnshire in Great Britain. It is a very flat county.

I liked your addition of humour in this blog. It made for fun and inforamtive reading. As always your photos are superb and I am coming round to steal that lovley French chair from you!Lol.

Peter said...

I also love, and always loved Brussels sprouts, preferrably a bit al dente. Your recipies look promising! (I only now learnt that they are growing on a stalk like this, only found them loose on the market place.)

Culinary Cory said...

I love brussel sprouts on the stalk. There is something really architectural about them. They make a really unique center piece and makes for a great ice breaker at dinner parties. Great facts.

Olive Tree Guitar Ensemble said...

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I could tell how much efforts you've taken on it.
Keep doing!

feasting-on-pixels (terrie) said...

Thank you for all these nice comments.
I will be back blogging very soon.

jeanette mistress of longears said...

sign me up for the Brussells Sprouts Fan club! I love them plain, roasted (must use your recipe next time!) and as my dear, dear friend taught me: Roasted with bacon bits and shallots- the shallots are baked in separarte cloves, not chopped.