Despite its close ties to other popular vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts are not generally found at the top of the list of our favorite vegetables. This under-appreciated veggie is one of our Vegetables of the Month for April and we hope that getting to know it a little better might inspire you to use it to help fill your family’s plates this month. Here is a look at where Brussels sprouts came from and some delicious ideas for including them in your April dishes.
Considered a “leafy green,” Brussels sprouts are a member of the same family as cabbages and actually resemble miniature versions of their more popular cousins. Although the history of the Brussels sprout is not entirely clear, it is believed that they were originally cultivated in ancient Rome and have been grown since the 1200’s in Belgium where they are very popular. They take their name from Brussels, one of Belgium’s largest cities and they were traditionally grown across Northern Europe because they thrive in colder climates. They spread from Belgium to the Netherlands and then do through the rest of Europe before becoming known around the world.
Brussels sprouts are not only cousins to cabbage, they also belong to the same family as some of the other more popular leafy greens like kale, collards, broccoli, and kohlrabi. They provide a good source of vitamins A and C and provide both dietary fiber and folic acid. Additionally, Brussels sprouts, like broccoli, contain two specific chemical called sulfuraphane and indole-3-carbinol, which are believed to help prevent cancer.
Brussels sprouts can be prepared in a variety of ways including boiling, sautéing, roasting, grilling, steaming, and stir-frying. To retain the highest nutritional profile, steaming or stir-frying is the best ways to prepare them. Overcooking can result in an unpleasant taste and smell which most people do not like. To get the best flavor, roasting is the best method of preparation. As you can see in the recipes provided below, Brussels sprouts go well with bacon, pistachios, brown sugar, balsamic vinegar, and mustard.
This month, give Brussels sprouts a second chance to become a family favorite. Here are 20 delicious dishes you can use to try them out.
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts
- Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, Garlic, and Shallots
- Breaded Brussels Sprouts
- Brussels Sprouts with Browned Garlic
- Caramelized Brussels Sprouts with Pistachios
- Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts
- Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts
- Parmesan Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Potatoes, Parsnips, Carrots, and Brussels Sprouts
- Romano Topped Brussels Sprouts
- Chile Rubbed Chicken Breast with Kale, Quinoa, and Brussels Sprouts
- Chicken with Brussels Sprouts and Mustard
- Kielbasa with Brussels Sprouts
- Brussels Sprouts Gratin
- Brussels Sprouts Salad
- Penne with Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
- Pan Fried Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Cauliflower, Brussels Sprouts, and Jerusalem Artichokes
- Spicy Brussels Sprouts
- Get to Know Your Leafy Greens (fillyourplate.org)
- Using Food to Fight Stress (fillyourplate.org)
- Better Know a Bean (fillyourplate.org)