If I mention Brussels sprouts, what are your first impressions? Love them or dislike them? I know many people don’t really like or have even eaten this vegetable. But perhaps by the end of this article, you may at least give them a try this year.
First of all, did you know Chatham-Kent is the number one producer of Brussels sprouts in all of Canada? And did you know all brands of frozen Brussels sprouts, including mixed vegetables with sprouts found on grocery shelves in this area which are labelled ‘Product of Canada’, were grown in Chatham-Kent?
Brussels sprouts were believed to have been cultivated in Italy in Roman times, and possibly as early as the 1200s in Belgium. The modern Brussels sprout with which we are familiar was first cultivated in large quantities in Belgium (hence the name “Brussels” sprouts) as early as 1587, with their introduction into the United States in the 1800s.
Brussels sprouts are full of nutrients and contain significant amounts of vitamin C. In fact, gram for gram, Brussels sprouts contain nearly 50 per cent more vitamin C than an orange. Just four to six Brussels sprouts contain the adult daily requirement for vitamin C.
Like other cruciferous vegetables, which means they are members of the mustard family, Brussels sprouts contain nitrogen compounds called indoles, known for their cancer-fighting properties. Brussels sprouts are also a good source of folate, potassium, vitamin K, fibre, and beta carotene.
Here is the nutritional information per serving (4 sprouts): 33 kcal, 7 g carbohydrate, 0 g fat, 3 g protein, 3 g fibre.
Brussels sprouts grow together in a tight spiral pattern on a thick stalk with a burst of leaves at the top.
While some specialty markets carry Brussels sprouts still on the stalk, you are most likely to find them as individual sprouts, varying in size from an olive to a golf ball. To ensure you are buying the freshest sprouts, look for those that have bright green leaves. Old sprouts will tend to have yellow, wilted leaves and have a strong odour that is similar to cabbage.
The secret to good Brussels sprouts is to not overcook them, as overcooked ones have a pungent, sulfurous odour. Properly cooked Brussels sprouts have a crisp, dense texture and a slightly nutty taste. So go ahead and try them this year. You just might like them, especially since they are so good for you.
Our local producers appreciate your support of buying local and buying fresh, whether Brussels sprouts or any other food products. You can’t go wrong with supporting our local agricultural sector. It’s good for you and great for our local economy.
Think about this – True servants don’t use God for their purposes. They let God use them for His purposes.
Just some food for thought.
Remember that here in Chatham-Kent ‘WE GROW FOR THE WORLD’. Check out our community’s agricultural website at: www.wegrowfortheworld.com
Kim Cooper has been involved in the agribusiness sector for over 45 years. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also follow him on Twitter at ‘theAGguy’.