Brus­sels sprouts — Small but nice

Brus­sels sprouts are a typ­i­cal autumn/winter veg­etable. The small cab­bages are full of healthy nutri­ents and should there­fore actu­al­ly be eat­en more, because we lack vit­a­mins and nutri­ents espe­cial­ly in the cold sea­sons. Final­ly, Brus­sels sprouts pro­tect us from colds and flu-like infec­tions. In addi­tion, it has count­less oth­er pos­i­tive effects on our body. Despite being so healthy, Brus­sels sprouts are not a pop­u­lar veg­etable and few peo­ple like them.

The ori­gin, prop­er­ties and his­to­ry of Brus­sels sprouts

Brus­sels sprouts belong to the cru­cif­er­ous fam­i­ly and, like any oth­er type of cab­bage, are descend­ed from wild cabbage.

Brus­sels sprouts as we know them have not been around for all that long. It was not until about 200 years ago that the Bel­gians became inten­sive­ly involved in the cul­ti­va­tion of Brus­sels sprouts. This is how the wild cab­bage became the Brus­sels sprout.

Unlike its rel­a­tives, the Brus­sels sprout does not con­sist of a head, but of many indi­vid­ual wal­nut-sized buds (rosettes), which grow sprout-like from a stem. The stem can grow up to one meter high and usu­al­ly between 20 and 40 sprouts grow from it between the leaf axils. The rosettes are green-white and have a strong and aro­mat­ic flavor.

Har­vest­ing buds is very labo­ri­ous, because most of them are still picked by hand. Care is also not easy, because the plant is very demand­ing. Name­ly, the cab­bage requires a nutri­ent-rich soil, as well as a good water sup­ply. How­ev­er, what is advan­ta­geous about Brus­sels sprouts is that it is not sen­si­tive to cold. Instead, it tastes even bet­ter after the first frost, as frost increas­es its nat­ur­al sug­ar con­tent, mak­ing it sweet­er, more aro­mat­ic and ten­der. The main sea­son for Brus­sels sprouts is from Octo­ber to Jan­u­ary. In the off-sea­son, the cab­bage is main­ly import­ed from the Netherlands.

The ingre­di­ents of Brus­sels sprouts

As already men­tioned, Brus­sels sprouts con­tain many impor­tant vit­a­mins and nutri­ents. More pre­cise­ly, the small buds con­tain vit­a­mins A, B, C, E and vit­a­min K. Espe­cial­ly the vit­a­min C con­tent should be empha­sized, as there is no win­ter veg­etable with a high­er con­tent of vit­a­min C. In addi­tion to vit­a­mins, Brus­sels sprouts also con­tain a lot of potas­si­um, folic acid, iron and mag­ne­sium. But not enough of them, because the ross­es also have a high con­tent of phy­to­chem­i­cals, such as antioxidants.

The effect of Brus­sels sprouts on our body

Brus­sels sprouts have a pos­i­tive effect on our body in sev­er­al ways. First­ly, it is said to help with con­cen­tra­tion and weak nerves. Due to the sec­ondary plant com­pounds, it has an anti-inflam­ma­to­ry effect on the body and pro­tects our cells from dam­age. Fur­ther­more, the vit­a­min K pro­motes blood clot­ting and the high potas­si­um con­tent ensures a bal­anced water bal­ance. The mus­tard oils, which also give Brus­sels sprouts their slight­ly bit­ter taste, acti­vate the immune system.

Brus­sels sprouts in the kitchen

Basi­cal­ly, Brus­sels sprouts are con­sid­ered by most as a typ­i­cal side dish. How­ev­er, Brus­sels sprouts can do much more. For exam­ple, they can be used in casseroles, stews and soups. The cab­bage tastes best in com­bi­na­tion with mush­rooms, pota­toes or chestnuts.

You can pre­pare Brus­sels sprouts in dif­fer­ent ways or even eat them raw. If you want to process it as a raw food, it can be added to sal­ads, for exam­ple. To do this, sim­ply grate the cab­bage or cut into fine slices.

If it is not to be a raw food, so you can also blanch, boil, fry, grill or pre­pare in the oven the rosettes. How­ev­er, before prepa­ra­tion, you should remove the yel­low or loose leaves of the buds, if any. After­wards, you just have to rinse them under run­ning water and they are ready to be processed.

Buy­ing and stor­ing Brus­sels sprouts

When buy­ing, make sure the Brus­sels sprouts look crisp and fresh green and show a tight­ly closed head. The fresh­er the better.

Brus­sels sprouts can not be stored for a long time, because its leaves quick­ly turn yel­low. There­fore, it should be processed quick­ly after pur­chase. How­ev­er, to extend the shelf life, you can wrap them in a damp cloth and store them in the veg­etable com­part­ment of the refrig­er­a­tor. In this way, you can eas­i­ly keep it fresh for up to four days.

It is impor­tant not to store Brus­sels sprouts with oth­er fruits or fruit­ing veg­eta­bles, oth­er­wise they can be dam­aged by the veg­etable ripen­ing gas eth­yl­ene. How­ev­er, the rosettes can also be frozen. For this pur­pose, how­ev­er, the cab­bage should be blanched before­hand. It is impor­tant to make sure that the Brus­sels sprouts are well drained after blanch­ing or dabbed dry with a kitchen tow­el. How­ev­er, it should be not­ed that after defrost­ing the Brus­sels sprouts are no longer as crisp as the fresh cabbage.

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