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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