“Eat them. They’re good for you,” my parents would say when I was younger, but to me, they just didn’t look appealing. And although my father has always thought Brussels sprouts are nasty, bitter and repellant, he encouraged me to eat them anyway. Despite his distaste he was determined to teach me that good foods sometimes come in the disguise of bizarre packages. I silently promised myself that when I grew up, I’d never look at another Brussels sprout again.
But I grew up, and like many of us, somewhere along my upbringing I learned about vegetables and how good they are for you. It was in science class that I learned how Brussels sprouts actually grow. I assumed that since they look like baby cabbages, they must grow the same: in little baby cabbage patches. I was amazed to learn Brussels sprouts are actually grown up a stalk like buds in helical patterns along the sides. The stalks are long and thick growing 24 to 47 inches in height and produce 20 to 40 buds that mature over several weeks from the lower to the upper part of the stalk.
These tiny cabbages are part of the cruciferous vegetables, which also include the likes of mustard greens, turnip greens, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, broccoli and similar green leafy vegetables. The health benefits of this cruciferous vegetable are extensive but have been strongly studied to cure cancer. Brussels sprouts have detoxifying and antioxidant attributes. They also offer anti-inflammatory, cardiovascular and digestive support. Brussels sprouts are also rich in many valuable nutrients including vitamin C, dietary fiber, potassium, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, protein and magnesium.
If you’re one of those people who think you don’t like Brussels sprouts, try this recipe. After I prepared this recipe, I discovered how tasty they can be and I hope you will too. Enjoy!