When my grandma turned 90 she decided she’s just not eating things she doesn’t like anymore. Sitting at my parents dining room table, as she stared at the turkey on her plate, I wondered, and so I asked why she suddenly decided not to eat it.
Considering my question, she responded:
“I’m 90 years old,” she said. “That means I’ve spent most of my life eating things I don’t like. I probably don’t have much time left, so I’m not going to spend any more of it eating things I don’t care for.”
And that was that, grandma hasn’t eaten anything she doesn’t like since. However, it hasn’t stopped my mom from trying to convince her that she needs to eat certain things. Over the years, I’ve heard a lot of these conversations, which brings me to Brussels sprouts.
Let me explain why you should eat and may even enjoy Brussels sprouts — grandma included.
Although Brussels sprouts have a reputation for being one of the most hated vegetables, they are ranked in the top 20 most nutritious foods, according to the University of Missouri Extension.
One cup of Brussels sprouts provides 38 calories, zero grams of fat, with eight grams of carbohydrate, two grams of fiber and three grams of protein, according to the United States Department of Agriculture. Additionally, a serving provides 195 percent of vitamin K, 125 percent of vitamin C and 10 percent or more of vitamin A, vitamin B6, folate (B9), potassium and manganese needs for the day.
Beyond the benefits of a single serving, Brussels sprouts are abundant in antioxidants and are a rich source of phytonutrients such as sulfur-containing glucosinolates, which form bioactive compounds that assist with cancer prevention, according to the University of Missouri Extension.
It’s too bad these healthy little cabbages don’t taste better, right?
If you’ve only tasted soggy, smelly, mushy sprouts and wanted nothing to do with them, I don’t blame you. However, cooked the right way, Brussels sprouts can taste sweet, nutty and buttery. Who knows you just might like them with these quick tips.
- Select firm, compact, bright green Brussels sprouts heads. If you can buy them on a stalk, that’s even better.
- Smaller sprouts are sweeter and more tender than larger ones.
- Remove any damaged or irregular outer leaves before storing your fresh, unwashed sprouts in plastic bags in the vegetable drawer of your refrigerator.
- Refrigerator storage shouldn’t last longer than a day or two, but can be up to a week.
- Be careful not to overcook your sprouts as it increases their bitterness. Cooking should only take between seven and 10 minutes. When they have lost their bright coloring, they have been cooked too long.
- Use sprouts similar in size for even cooking and cut larger sprouts in half.
Braised Brussels sprouts with mustard butter (3-4 servings)
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Remove any loose or doctored leaves from each Brussels sprout. Then cut each head in half lengthwise.
- Bring the water, butter and Brussels sprouts to a boil in a Dutch oven, two-quart saucepan or a large deep skillet. Cover the ingredients and steam them on medium-heat until the Brussels sprouts are brightly colored and tender. It should only take five to 10 minutes.
- Remove the Brussels sprouts from your pan. Then add the mustard to the remaining liquid in the pan and whisk it all together to make your sauce. This should only take about 30 seconds.
- Add the sprouts back to the pan and coat them with the sauce mixture. Then saute one to two more minutes and season to taste with salt and pepper before serving.
Source: For additional tips and information, visit the University of Missouri Extension.