Although many people claim not to like brussels sprouts, once they give them a chance, they often change their minds. Brussels sprouts are incredibly versatile and can be cooked many different ways and served with a variety of other flavors. They are related to cabbage and broccoli and, as a result, they look just like tiny green cabbages.
Brussels sprouts usually can be found year round at a grocery store but, if you are looking in a farmers' market, then they are typically available from autumn to early spring and can be found still on the stalks.
One of the best things about brussels sprouts is that they are an extremely healthy food and have loads of nutrition benefits. They are: high in vitamins K and C; they are high in antioxidants; they are anti-inflammatory; they assist your body with detoxing; and, among other benefits, they reduce the risk of cancer. Besides these terrific health benefits, they are tasty and very simple to prepare.
When buying brussels sprouts in the grocery store or at a farmers' market, always be sure they are a bright green, firm, and have few blemishes. Another sign of a good sprout is that the leaves are tight and not wilted. When you get the sprouts home, place them in a plastic bag or container for 7 to 10 days. Do not wash or trim them, and keep them in the crisper drawer if you can.
Before cooking brussels sprouts, you should trim the stems just a little, being sure not to let the leaves fall apart. Also, you should remove any damaged leaves, then soak the sprouts in cold water for a few minutes.
If you are cooking the sprouts whole, make a cross on the bottom of the stems to allow them to cook evenly, otherwise you may half or quarter them. Steaming is probably one of the simplest and healthiest ways to cook brussels sprouts because you aren't using any oil or butter, just be sure to steam no longer than 7 minutes, or many of the nutrients will be lost.
Brussels sprouts may be served with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, or they may be baked in a casserole, roasted with fresh herbs, tossed with pasta, or added to a salad. Don't just think of them as a side dish, they also may be used as a main dish. Prepare them any way you would any other vegetable, especially broccoli or cabbage.
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