Brussels Sprouts are from the brassica family, just like broccoli and cabbage. These sprouts look like egg-‐shaped cabbages with thick leafy greens. Size ranges from half an inch in diameter to the size of an egg. Brussels sprouts, like other brassicas, grow on a long thick stalk. The U.S. harvests 70 million pounds of Brussels sprouts annually.
Best Storage Practices:
Brussels sprouts should be stored in a cool, moist area to maintain freshness. Best storage is in a separate vegetable or crisper drawer. Store at 32-36 degrees F.
Fun Ways to Cook and Eat:
Brussels sprouts can be eaten raw atop salads or sandwiches or lightly steamed, boiled, or even sautéed. Don't over cook! Brussels sprouts can develop a slimy texture and sulfurous odor when overcooked.
Selecting Brussels sprouts:
When selecting Brussels sprouts, select those that are firm, compact and no larger than a golf ball or egg.
Why it's Good to Eat:
- They are a great source of a variety of vitamins, including vitamin C, folate (one of the B vitamins), beta carotene (precursor to vitamin A), vitamin E and vitamin K.
- Sprouts are also a good source of iron.
When it's in Season:
Brussels sprouts grow best in cooler, sometimes humid climates. In North Carolina they are primarily small garden crops grown in the Autumn months, August-November.
How it's Harvested:
Brussels sprouts are either harvested by hand off the stalk or sometimes the entire stalk is cut off at the roots and sold whole.
Sautéed Brussels Sprouts & Bacon - Sauté a few slices of chopped bacon in a frying pan. Add washed Brussels sprouts that have been cut in half (1 cup Brussels sprouts per 1 slice bacon). Sauté until bright green and a little crunchy, then season with salt and serve!
Simple Brussels Sprout Salad - Finely chop 2 cups washed Brussels sprouts and add to a bowl. In a separate cup mix 1/2 cup olive oil, 1/4 cup lemon juice, 2 Tbsp honey. Add to greens and stir. Top with shaved Parmesan, nuts, seeds and berries.