That was probably the reaction you had when you saw that word, right? I know the feeling. Brussels Sprouts and I go waaaaaay back… back to the dinner table when I was a kid and my mom would make me sit there until I ate the three of them on my plate. It. Was. A. Battle.
And just thinking about it now makes me shudder (and gag a little bit)!
But then our friends from Whole Foods came in for a “Monday Meals” segment on 11 News at 9am… and they brought this:
I’ve never given Brussels sprouts a lot of thought, because I’ve basically written them off in my adult life. But I had NO idea this is what they looked like “in the wild.” Just bizarre!
So I decided to find out more about these mini cabbages and what they actually offer in the name of health.
Apparently, they are a wealth of nutrition! That’s what I found out from Sharon K. Jacob, RD, a Clinical Dietitian with Penrose-St. Francis Health Services. She says they contain Vitamin A, Vitamin C, folic acid and fiber. But that’s not all. “Their claim to fame comes from the fact they are ‘cruciferous’ and provide protection against cancer by possibly stabilizing DNA,” she says.
That all sounds great, but… what about the fact that they’re gross? (Come on! Let’s be honest!!) Sharon had some advice for that too. “They are best steamed, stir fried or roasted for a brief time (only 5 minutes). Split them in half or quarters for quicker cooking. If they are overcooked they emit that unpleasant sulfur smell that turns many people away from eating them. “
Ahhhhhhh… that must be the key. Don’t overcook them!
That reminds me of a meal I enjoyed with some friends while on vacation in Florida. We were introduced to Brussels sprouts in a whole new way! Our friend, Henry, peeled their leaves apart, sprinkled them with olive oil, salt and pepper and then roasted them in the oven for a few minutes. Surprisingly delicious!
Sharon recommends 2 cups of Brussels sprouts, 4 times a week for the most benefit.
I may not eat them that often. But I may try to include them in my meals more often… or at least, occasionally.
It won’t have to be the same battle it was when I was a kid. Now I can use Brussels sprouts as a weapon in the battle for a healthier lifestyle! Or as just a weapon. Seriously. Look at this thing!