Harvest of the Month: Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable found in the same family as broccoli and cabbage. They are a great source of vitamins C and K, and they contain nutrients such as folate, magnesium, fiber, potassium and omega-3 fatty acids. Perhaps most notable, Brussels sprouts have powerful cholesterol-lowering and cancer-preventing effects. With 4 grams of fiber in every cup and only 56 calories, not only do they aid in digestive health, but you will feel full on fewer calories!

How to select

The peak season for Brussels sprouts is fall to early spring. Find sprouts that are firm to the touch and bright sage green in color. They may also have a slight red hue. Do not choose ones that are soft or have yellow or wilted leaves.

How to store

Keep Brussels sprouts in the vegetable compartment of your refrigerator for up to 10 days. They can also be frozen and kept for up to 1 year if they are steamed first for 3-5 minutes.

How to prepare

First remove the stems and any discolored leaves. Wash the Brussels sprouts under running water to remove dirt found inside the leaves. Brussels sprouts best retain their nutritional value, crisp texture, and flavor when they are steamed. They will cook more quickly and evenly if they are cut into pieces first, such as quarters. Fill a steamer pot with about 2 inches of water and bring to a boil. Steam the pieces of Brussels sprouts for 5-6 minutes. Be careful not to overcook, as this causes the sprouts to lose texture and emit an unpleasant odor.

Try Brussels sprouts in the delicious recipe for Warm Nutty Brussels Sprouts Salad from My Recipes.

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