While Brussels sprouts are not exactly the most popular food among children, they have an interesting history and an amazing nutrient profile.
Read on to discover five fast and delicious facts about this interesting vegetable.
The Reason Why They Look Like Miniature Cabbages
Brussels Sprouts are part of the Brassica oleracea family of cruciferous vegetables, which also includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale and collard greens. So, it comes as no surprise that they look like cute, tiny little cabbages.
Big in Belgium
Brussels sprouts may have been grown in Belgium as early as the 13th century, but the first recorded description dates to 1587. Brussels is the capital of Belgium and naming these vegetables after that city isn’t a quirk of English. Their name is Choux de Bruxelles in French, Cavoletti di Bruxelles in Italian and Coles de Bruselas in Spanish.
As popular as they are in Belgium, more than 90 percent of the Brussels Sprouts grown in the United States come from California. With its cool temperatures and coastal fog, the weather in the central coast of the Golden State is ideal to grow Brussels sprouts, which are harvested mainly in San Mateo, Santa Cruz and Monterey.
How to Choose Them
When choosing Brussels Sprouts at the supermarket or farmers’ market, look at the leaves: they must be compact and bright green. In some places you can buy the sprouts still attached to the stalk. This is a good idea, because the stalk keeps the sprouts nourished and fresh post-harvest. When it comes to storage, you can refrigerate them in a plastic bag up to one week.
Brussels sprouts have a nutrient profile as rich as its history. They’re rich in vitamin K, essential to blood clotting and bone health. They also contain vitamin C, which strengthens the immune system and promotes iron absorption. With its high fiber content, they promote gut health. They may also help reduce the risk of heart disease and improve blood sugar levels.
At Chef Gourmet we love this nutritious, unconventional vegetable. That’s why we included roasted Brussels Sprouts in our Gourmet Prepared Meals.
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