Like broccoli, Brussels sprouts developed from the wild cabbage. They resemble miniature cabbages, with a diameter of about 1 inch. Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleracea) are vegetables in the cruciferous family. Cruciferous vegetables, sometimes also called Brassica vegetables, includes such foods as broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, bok choy, and collard greens.
Cruciferous vegetables are cool weather vegetables. This means they’re usually in season late fall through early spring. Brussels sprouts grow in bunches of 20 to 40 on the stems of plants that grow as high as 3 feet tall. Brussels sprouts are typically sage green in color, although some varieties feature a red hue. They are often times sold separately but can sometimes be found in stores still attached to the stem.
Brussels sprouts are very similar in nutritional quality to broccoli.
Whether you are in the store, local farmers market, or in your garden you need to know what to look for when foraging for Brussels sprouts. They should be firm and fresh in appearance, with a good green color. Avoid dull, wilted, or yellow Brussels sprouts. If they are sold individually, choose those of equal size to ensure that they will cook evenly. Brussels sprouts are available year-round, but again their peak growing period is fall to early spring. Remember cool weather veggies.
Keep unwashed and untrimmed Brussels sprouts in a perforated plastic bag in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. They can be kept for three to four days. Cooked Brussels sprouts will keep for three days refrigerated. If you want to freeze them, blanch them first for 3-5 minutes. They will keep in the freezer for up to one year.
from: The Encyclopedia of Healing Food & Dr. Axe
My two favorite ways to prepare Brussels sprouts are stir frying and fermenting.
I will buy fresh, firm sprouts, trim the stems and outer leaves, then halve and slice the whole lot. I will fill a quart jar, cover with brine, glass weight, and fermenting lid and set aside. Then any remaining chopped sprouts go into a pan with a dollop of bacon grease or duck fat, a little garlic and some salt, then stir until cooked to desired doneness. They are a great side for anything from eggs to hamburger to a can of sardines. The same for the fermented sprouts, after about a month or two. Try adding various herbs to either the fermented or the fried to add even more nutrients and minerals 😊
~ Sara Pingel FNTP
I'm pretty sure it's safe to say that all Brussels sprout recipes are loved in the Rutherford home. We haven't come across one yet that we didn't like.
I want to share that looking for a recipe may be one of my favorite parts of the process.
Here are some things to think about when looking at a recipe..
If you are like us, we rifle through many recipes and create one on the fly, substituting ingredients when necessary. Sometimes/most times it works out, but sometimes (not many) things go wrong. This is how we learn what works and what doesn't. We also have created some amazing dishes this way… So don't be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and COOK!
I find inspiration for dishes in so many places: