For many, the Brussels sprout is that vegetable you’re not supposed to like, because someone else said so, or someone cooked them horribly wrong. Popular opinion website, slate.com, even went as far as to call Brussels sprouts America’s vegetable villain. Harsh. But is it true?
For certain, many of the most-hated food lists from around the world have Brussels sprouts in the number one spot. For a vegetable, which for the most part, only gets trotted out once per year in an almost obligatory fashion for a holiday meal or gathering, one wonders if those who vote on these most-hated lists have even had a properly cooked Brussel sprout. If they have, it would reveal another reason why the Brussels sprout has such a poor reputation. Often-times, it’s because Brussels sprouts are just plain overcooked, which then emits that odor and flavor that lead many to keep passing the plate to the next person.
In sitting down to write this piece, we asked several people if they like Brussels sprouts and every single one of them said a resounding yes. However, there was a caveat attached to their answer, in that they liked Brussels sprouts only if a certain person made them.
These same people within this unscientific poll we conducted amongst friends also either said they had never actually had Brussels sprouts before or that they had one bad experience at Thanksgiving as a child. Further compounding the problem, they were then told they couldn’t be excused from the table until their plate was clean. And that included the Brussels sprouts.
The horror. Raise your hand if you too can relate?
But, fortunately for these friends and many others, the Brussels sprout has become one of their favorite vegetables. And that’s good news. Because there are many benefits to your health from eating Brussels sprouts.
But first, where did Brussels sprouts come from?
Where Did Brussels Sprouts Originate?
The Brussels sprout, which comes from the same species of cabbage, first arrived on the northern Europe scene during the 5th century. However, it wasn’t until the 13th century near Brussels where it began being cultivated. In 1587, we find the first written references of the vegetable.
Understanding this is critical as one of the biggest misperceptions of the Brussels sprout is its name. Often, it has been called inaccurately a Brussel sprout. But its name stems from the city of Brussels, which is in Belgium, thus the correct name for the vegetable is Brussels sprout.
What Are The Health Benefits To Eating Brussels Sprouts?
What many people may not know about the Brussels sprout is that the vegetable is has many health benefits to eating it.
There has been a good amount of studies over time that have revealed Brussels sprouts to pack a solid punch in being a prevention food for both cancer and heart disease because of the power of their detox abilities and make up.
Being rich in vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, dietary fiber, and disease fighting phytonutrients, these components combine to help improve the body’s resistance to any number of potential health problems.
Remember what we wrote earlier about good news? Well, the good news doesn’t stop here. Because not only do Brussels sprouts have enormous health benefits in that of themselves, couple that with a holistic approach to organically producing them as opposed to conventional methods, and you have a vegetable that is a far cry from being a villain.
Benefits Of Organically Grown Brussels Sprouts
For certain, there are many benefits to organic farming. In specific to Brussels sprouts, the vegetable has been ranked by the Environmental Working Group among those with the least amount of pesticide residues. Brussels sprouts which are conventionally grown are still cultivated using chemicals. This practice has proven both hazardous for workers on those farms, but as well, the earth itself.
Now that we know more about the health benefits with eating organically grown Brussels sprouts, you might now ask how to then cook Brussels sprouts in a way in which they’ll taste good.
Here Are Four Popular Ways People Like To Cook Brussels Sprouts:
- Sautéed – add a little lemon and garlic to your sautéed Brussels sprouts and don’t be surprised when your dinner guests come back for more.
- Roasted – make your Brussels sprouts come to life bursting with flavor after roasting them with a little balsamic vinegar and honey.
- Steamed – steam your Brussels sprouts with lemony brown butter and introduce your taste buds to an amazing delight.
- Braised – with a little Thyme and mustard, your braised Brussels sprouts will become a favorite around your dinner table.
So, with everything we just learned about Brussels sprouts, why wait until the holidays to prepare them for your next meal. Perhaps in this, If America’s vegetable villain is going to steal anything from you, it might just be with not eating them and therefore missing out on all the healthy benefits.