Brussels Sprouts –

Scientific and Common Names
Brassica oleracea var. gemmifera
Brussels Sprouts

organic CSA farm brussels sprouts growing in field

Organic brussels sprouts growing at Love Farm

 

About

[From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia] “The Brussels sprout (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group) of the Brassicaceae family, is a Cultivar group of wild cabbage cultivated for its small (typically 2.5–4 cm [0.98–1.6 in] diameter) leafy green buds, which visually resemble miniature cabbages.

From Wikipedia, “Brussels sprouts are a cultivar of the same species that includes cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi: they are cruciferous. They are believed to protect against colon cancer, due to their containing sinigrin. Although they contain compounds such as goitrin that can act as goitrogen and interfere with thyroid hormone production, realistic amounts in the diet do not seem to have any effect on the function of the thyroid gland in humans.

“Production of Brussels sprouts in the United States began around 1800, when French settlers brought them to Louisiana. The first plantings in California’s Central Coast began in the 1920s, with significant production beginning in the 1940s. The harvest season lasts from June through January.

“80 percent to 85 percent of US production is for the frozen food market, with the remainder for fresh consumption. Once harvested, sprouts last 3-5 weeks under ideal near-freezing conditions before wilting and discoloring, and about half as long at refrigerator temperature.”

Nutritional Information
Brussel sprouts, raw, Nutritional value per half cup, boiled, drained, without salt
Nutrient Amount % US RDA
Energy 117.152 kJ (28 kcal) N/A
Carbohydrates 5.54 g N/A
Sugars 1.36 g N/A
Dietary fiber 2 g
Fat 0.39 g N/A
Protein 1.99 g %
Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.083 mg (%)
Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.062 mg (%)
Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.473mg (%)
Vitamin B6 .138mg (%)
Folate (Vit. B9) 47 mcg DFE (%)
Vitamin C 48.4mg (%)
Vitamin A RAE 30 mg (%)
Vitamin A 604 IU (%)
Vitamin A 604 IU (%)
Vitamin K 109.4mcg (%)
Calcium 28mg (%)
Iron 0.94 mg (%)
Magnesium 16mg (%)
Phosphorus 44mg ()/td>
Potassium 16mg (%)
Zinc 0.26mg (%)

Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults.
Source: USDA Nutrient database

Growing

Brussels sprouts grow in temperature ranges of 7 to 24°C (45 to 75°F), with highest yields at 15 to 18°C (59 to 64°F). Plants grow from seeds in seedbeds or greenhouses, and are transplanted to growing fields. Fields are ready for harvest 90-180 days after planting. The edible sprouts grow like buds in a spiral array on the side of long thick stalks of approximately 60 to 120 cm (24 to 47 in) in height, maturing over several weeks from the lower to the upper part of the stalk. Sprouts may be picked by hand into baskets, in which case several harvests are made of 5-15 sprouts at a time, by cutting the entire stalk at once for processing, or by mechanical harvester, depending on variety. Each stalk can produce 1.1 to 1.4 kg (2.4 to 3.1 lb), although the commercial yield is approximately 900 g (2.0 lb) per stalk.

Brassica oleracea

Recipes and Cooking Tips

The most common method of preparing Brussel sprouts for cooking begins with removal of the buds from the stalk. Any surplus stem is cut away, and the surface leaves that are loosened by this cutting are peeled and discarded. Cooking methods include boiling, steaming and roasting. To ensure even cooking throughout, buds of a similar size are usually chosen. Some cooks will cut a cross in center of the stem to aid the penetration.

Whatever cooking method is employed, overcooking is avoided. Overcooking releases the glucosinolate sinigrin, which has a sulfurous odor. The odor is the reason many people profess to dislike Brussel sprouts. Generally 6–7 minutes boiled or steamed is enough to cook them thoroughly, without overcooking and releasing the sinigrin.

Simply Baked Brussels Sprouts

  • 1-2 stalks of Brussels Sprouts
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • Sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 ℉.
  2. Cut the stem off of each Brussels sprout and then cut each in half.
  3. Toss in a large bowl with a generous amount of olive oil and sea salt and place evenly spaced on a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake for about 5-10 minutes. When they start looking a little brown, turn them over and baste sprouts with olive oil and sprinkle with a bit of sea salt. Return to oven and bake until slightly brown and crispy. About 30 minutes total cooking time.