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Brussels Sprouts Brassica Oleracea Recipe

Updated on December 21, 2013

Brussels Sprouts Rich in Anticoagulant Factor Vitamin K

Daily News | Because Brussels sprouts contain vitamin K it would not be wise to over indulge, especially if you need to allow your body to repair and knit skin by allowing the blood to clot. An incident occurred when a man with a mechanical heart had to be rushed to the hospital due to the number of Brussels Sprouts he ate. BBC Reports


Your Take On Brussels Sprouts

Do you eat Brussels Sprouts?

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Brussels Sprouts Haiku

A fresh green whole food

clinging tightly on thick stalk

tiny leafy balls

Not a favorite

Of many picky eaters

while loved by others

Dependant upon

the kitchen chef who knows best

to tenderize them

Adding piquant spice

brushed in rich olive oil

enhance them with herbs

A Little History

  • The mustard family or cruciferae includes some of our favorite winter vegetables like broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collards, kale, kohlrabi, mustard, rape, rutabaga and turnip. Some people call Brussel sprouts "mini cabbages" due to their similar appearance.
  • The scientific name is Brassica oleracea gemmifera in the Gemmifera group of cabbages.
  • Brussels sprouts were named after the city of Brussels in Belgium and were most likely cultivated in that region since the 13th century. Forerunners to modern Brussels sprouts may have come from ancient Rome.
  • During the 16th century, Brussels sprouts were extremely favored in southern Netherlands, where they are still loved and produced at a rate of 82,000 metric tons annually. Other countries in Europe, like Germany, also enjoy them.
  • Amazingly, the majority [80% to 85%] of U.S. brussels sprouts are found in the frozen section of the supermarket.

Freezing Brussels Sprouts

Unless I invite over a huge crowd of people to chomp down on the stalk of Brussels sprouts, there's no way I can eat them all in one meal or even within a week. Therefore, we need to find ways to keep them.

  • Hang up to admire them for a day or so
  • Take sprouts gentley off stem and put in refrigerator initially
  • Take the amount to go into the freezer. Cut off stalks leaving enough for leaves to hang on during cooking.
  • Inspection. Check for bugs like aphids, rinse thoroughly, remove old, dry, motley leaves.
  • Now you're ready to blanch or parboil
  • Blanch by quickly dipping the veggies into boiling water and then quickly chilling. Dunk the hot sprouts into a bowl of ice water using slotted spoon. This helps remove strong odors; and if you were doing tomatoes the skins would easily come off.
  • Mini sprouts are fine. Cut the larger ones into halves. Make sure to keep the bright green color and not over cook, which makes them mushy. This method, also prepares the sprouts for the next step in any cooking recipe, such as broiling, baking, saute and steaming.
  • If you are going to use a batch of sprouts for tonight's dinner, then "parboil" by plunging into the boiling water for a few minutes to soften and watch the color turn bright green. You don't have to put into the ice water, as you have simply soften them preparing for the next step of your recipe: braising, grilling, baking or stir-frying.


Planting Brussels Sprouts

Are you adventurous? Do you have a little sunny spot? Sew seeds shallowly outside after possibility of frost. Cover with 1/8th inch of soil. In 4 to 6 weeks transplant seedlings to their permanent positions, 18 to 24 inches apart, in rows that are 24 to 30 inches apart.

In colder areas of the country, you may start seedlings indoors, in greenhouses or covered and protected from frost shelters with full sun exposure. Once danger of frost has past, transplant outdoors.

Benefits of Brussels Sprouts

All the brassica family plants rank high as preventative foods from cancer. That includes broccoli and cabbages. Scientists believe the smelly sulforaphane provides the anticancer properties. Thus, we gain most benefit from raw foods and lose a bit of healthy chemicals when we cook the vegetable.

Lightly cooking through blanching, parboiling, steaming and stir frying do not incur too much loss. I purposefully did not say, "microwave" because this destroys the vitality of foods.

Brussels sprouts and other brassicas are also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells.

Medical Sources:

  • PubMed | Effects of consumption of Brussels sprouts on intestinal and lymphocytic glutathione S-transferases in humans. A high intake of glucosinolate-containing cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts (Brassica oleraceae), has been linked to a decreased cancer risk. You will have to eat the whole vegetable, as the exact mechanisms have not been determined. Why would anyone want to take a supplement or have an injection of a chemical, when God has provided these living foods for our benefit?
  • PubMed | Protective effects of Brussels sprouts towards B[a]P-induced DNA damage: a model study with the single-cell gel electrophoresis (SCGE)/Hep G2 assay. This experiment used the juice of Brussel Sprouts, which reminds me that you can always toss these vegetables into your daily fresh juice mix to preserve your DNA from damage. Who knows, with all the radiation in our environment, you may want a few more items from this plant family in your diet.
  • PubMed | It appears more than one researcher has an interest in this plant for cancer prevention. This study focused upon sprout consumption, showing that consumption leads to inhibition of sulfotransferases in humans and to protection against PhIP and oxidative DNA-damage. Thus, we have yet another way good reason to eat our sprouts.
  • PubMed | Protective effect of dietary brussels sprouts against mammary carcinogenesis in Sprague-Dawley rats. The outcome on these poor rats was not so good. Although there was some regression, the majority succumbed to cancer of the breasts. We must also remembers that rats are not humans. They have shorter life spans and live as caged animals.
  • Brussels sprouts may contribute to lower cholesterol and that comes from the connection to improved liver function. Over 15% of our recommended daily fiber allowance found in sprouts lowers our cholesterol by binding with bile acids that the liver produces from cholesterol for digesting fat. The high fiber content pulls the fatty acids out of the liver.
  • Health Healthy The anti-inflammatory properties from the isothiocyanate sulforaphane made from glucosinolate compounds helps reverse blood vessel damage, thus healing our heart. A great way to prevent heart attacks, ischemic heart disease, and arteriosclerosis and arterial blockage.
  • Digestion All of that marvelous fiber helps digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar and inhibits overeating.
  • Bone Health One cup of sprouts contains 273.5% of the recommended daily allowance which promotes healthy bones, prevents calcification of the body’s tissues, serves as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and is essential for proper brain and nerve function.
  • Antioxidant One cup of sprouts contains over 161% of the recommended daily allowance improves immune function, reduces hypertension, lowers blood pressure, and provides the benefits of antioxidants to support the eyes and other tissues susceptible to damage by toxins, heavy metal accumulation and solar rays.
  • Vitamin A Like the antioxidant support, sprouts 20% RDA of vitamin A boosts immunity, protects eyes against cataracts and macular degeneration, maintains healthy bones and teeth, prevents urinary stones, and is essential to our reproductive organs.
  • Folate A biochemical event called the methylation cycle relies on folate to properly transcribe DNA, transform norepinephrine into adrenalin, as well as transform serotonin into melatonin. Since folate suppresses the amino acid homocysteine that has been shown to contribute to heart disease, it seems we all better eat a cup more often.
  • There are at least 100 research articles listed ranging from the chemical compounds effect upon colorectal cancer in rats to enzymatic effects on human plasma, liver, stomach, intestine and kidneys to support function.
  • The sulphur elements assists the body to: detox system, act as an antioxidant and reduce inflammation. So, we see benefits for the bladder, kidney, prostate, ovaries, breasts, blood and lymph. In addition, the sulforaphane found in Brussels spouts also protects our stomach lining by obstructing the overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori, a bacteria that can lead to gastric cancer.

Eating Uncooked Brussels Sprouts

With the craze of raw foodies, we find a super mini cabbage that can be shredded for any of your salad or cole slaw recipes. This means Brussels sprouts go well with any number of fresh fruits, dried fruits, carrots, cabbage and other vegetables. Try mixing with:

  • apples
  • pears
  • raisins
  • dried cranberries

Add crunch by tossing in a selection of nuts and seeds:

  • walnuts
  • pine nuts
  • sesame seeds
  • slivered almonds
  • pecans

Add flavor with your favorite dressings:

  • sweet and sour
  • soy sauce
  • mustard
  • fresh garden herbs
  • cumin and coriander
  • Oil and vinegar
  • Oil and lemon
  • mayonnaise

Be creative. Taste as you go. Don't forget a pinch of pepper, salt and sugar.

Brussels Sprouts Chips Ahoy!

More On Brussels Sprouts

When cooking Brussels Sprouts you have a choice of fats:

  • coconut oil
  • olive oil
  • almond oil
  • butter

As mentioned, you can finish the cooking by braising, grilling, broiling, baking, stir-frying or steaming. Each will lend its own finishing touches. Other flavors to experiment with include citrus juice and or oils, plus grating the skins with any marinade you might make, like:

  • lemon
  • orange
  • grapefruit
  • lime

Don't forget the garlic, ginger and onions, three staples I can't be without in my kitchen.

Your Turn To Shine. What do you think about Sprouts?

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    • Perspycacious profile image

      Demas W Jasper 

      4 years ago from Today's America and The World Beyond

      This is a nicely illustrated complete Hub with useful informaton and suggestions. I will now expect nothing less from you (but take time out to do "just for fun" pieces, too)!

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      5 years ago

      Hello Vespa ~ It would be difficult to grow Brussels sprouts in South America, you have the needed 6 hours of daily sunlight, and the fertile, well-drained, moist soils with organic matter. You could probably amend the soil to the proper pH of 6.8 for optimum growth and to discourage clubroot disease.

      However, this slow-growing, long-bearing crop needs cool weather. If you live in the Amazon Basin or in the tropical zones without the drop in temperature, it would be difficult to grow. The small heads mature best in cool and even in light frosty weather. Sprouts maturing in hot or dry weather will be frail and bitter tasting.

      I guess you can have them as a special treat or find them in the frozen section of the market, in which case they would not be eaten raw.

    • vespawoolf profile image


      5 years ago from Peru, South America

      I've never eaten brussels sprouts raw, but I'm sure they'd be yummy. They look so beautiful on their stalk. My husband, who's a picky eater, even loves them. Thanks for all the nutritional information, too. Unfortunately, they're a very expensive vegetable here. I might be able to stretch them further if we eat them raw, though!

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      5 years ago

      Dear Victoria - This is the time to find these yummy greens in the grocery! Enjoy. Debby

    • Victoria Lynn profile image

      Victoria Lynn 

      5 years ago from Arkansas, USA

      I've developed a taste for brussels sprouts in my adult years. Your photo with the oil, onions, etc looks great! I really should eat these things more often!

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Dear Jim - Gobble them up. So good!

    • xstatic profile image

      Jim Higgins 

      6 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

      I already liked them, had no idea they were that good for me! We like olive oil mostly. Great info!

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      You're back! Butter is yummy and really cooks everything so nicely. I stopped using canola years ago after reading about it on Mercola and other health websites. I stick to pure virgin olive oil and coconut oil. I think you really might like that virgin coconut oil! Sesame seed oil has a strong and unique flavor and is great for drizzling on top of some broths and soups and veggies. Almond oil is another mild oil.

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 

      6 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I use butter or canola oil. I don't like any other oil, they seem to add their own taste to everything. Canola is the only one I don't notice when I use it in cooking. Of course, butter is my favourite option, but I try to use less or mix it with some canola oil.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Awesome, Laura. Sounds very tasty burned to a crisp. However, I'm afraid that way they may not be too healthy, even if they taste good. Some how my son always cooks them to perfection. I will have to watch him prepare them. Crispy, yet, not burnt. Tasty with spices. Maybe you need to tweak the oils? Blessings, Debby

    • That Grrl profile image

      Laura Brown 

      6 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada

      I never liked them as a kid. I always thought of them as tiny cabbages/ brains. That didn't bother me cause we made cabbage rolls all the time. I just didn't care for the taste of the brussels sprouts themselves.

      Just this past year we began frying them on the stove with butter (some salt and pepper). The key is to burn them, black and burnt. They taste like popcorn. I don't know how much actual food value is left when they are burnt to a crisp, literally. But they taste great.

      This year we tried an idea for cooking them the same way, but inside the oven, baking them instead of frying them. It seems better for the plan of going leaner. But so far we have not hit the right method cause they were soggy and not crispy. But, we will work on it again.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Dear B.A. Williams - Oil and vinegar with some spice will do just fine. I'll check out your hubs soon. I'm on a deadline, will visit your vegan recipes. Blessings this Thanksgiving, Debby

    • B. A. Williams profile image

      B. A. Williams 

      6 years ago from USA

      Great article and I love this vegetable. Never did as a kid, but with oil and vinegar on them yum delicious. Nice write up and I will be following you. Do write more!

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Hello Michael and Alocsin - These veggies seem to be very popular during the autumn season with the basic methods of cooking. Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Blessings, Debby

    • alocsin profile image


      6 years ago from Orange County, CA

      We eat a lot of brussel spouts but tend to cook them the same way. Thanks for offering all these options for variety. Voting this Up and Useful.

    • molometer profile image


      6 years ago from United Kingdom

      Very interesting and useful hub on the brassica, Brussel sprouts. The recipe is well described and easy to follow.

      It is amazing how all of these foods, that we take for granted and have eaten for centuries, have so many health benefits.

      Thumbs up.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Hello Shawn - It looks like this little idea is a big hit with lots of people. Maybe I need to put up a poll asking about whether people find it a successful solution. Blessings, Debby

    • Shawn Scarborough profile image

      Shawn Scarborough 

      6 years ago from The Lone Star State

      Very informative hub. Most members of my family do not like brussel sprouts. Shredding them and putting them in cole slaw is an excellent way to add them to your diet.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Hi Rosemay - Let me know if this tactic to provide health giving sprouts works. Hugs to you, Debby

    • Rosemay50 profile image

      Rosemary Sadler 

      6 years ago from Hawkes Bay - NewZealand

      Hi Debby. I love brussel sprouts but I have never thought of using them raw. Everyone else in the family hates them, maybe they won't notice in a cole slaw... maybe if I don't tell them :))

      Great tips thanks for sharing.

      Love Rosemary

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Hello Blond Logic - I hope you are having great weather in Brazil now, instead of overcast days in Britain. I didn't think of it that way -- Divide Families! I guess some members might want to hold their nose at the sulphur odors and the mushy taste.

      However, I do believe you will have success with a number of new preparation methods. I even shredded them with carrots and made eggrolls for the family. Everyone gobbled them up with some duck sauce and soy sauce. Blessings, Debby

    • Blond Logic profile image

      Mary Wickison 

      6 years ago from Brazil

      Having lived in Britain for many years, Brussel sprouts are always in the news especially at Christmas. Who knew they could divide families? LOL

      I personally never cared for them, because they were cooked to mush. I will try them again using some of your ideas. I never thought of using them raw. Great idea.

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Dear Shining Eyes and Teaches - I will be sharing a special Brussels Sprouts photo soon. And, today I did take some, put in food processor to shred up along with other veggies, like carrots and onion to make home-made eggrolls. Really a super filler in place of cabbage or other green vegetable. One thing most notable about Brussels Sprouts - their unique odor; familiar and strong. You two are super friends. Blessings, Debby

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 

      6 years ago

      I just recently learned to love brussel sprouts. My hubby tossed them with a little oil, fresh garlic and seasonings, roasted them lightly and served. They were so goood! Good to know how healthy they are for the body. I am going to try them raw tossed with fruit and nuts as you suggested. Thanks for the information. Voted way up!

    • shiningirisheyes profile image

      Shining Irish Eyes 

      6 years ago from Upstate, New York

      Brussel Sprouts are one of my favorite selections and I never tire of them.

      Thanks for the useful freezing tips as well as the suggestions for preparing them raw - I never thought if that!

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      I guess that is one vote up on "Love them!" Blessings Ruby

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Richert 

      6 years ago from Southern Illinois

      I love brussel sprouts and have them regularly. Thank's for sharing...

    • Debby Bruck profile imageAUTHOR

      Debby Bruck 

      6 years ago

      Fantastic concept, Sue. Since basil is in the mint family, I can see how someone might like the blend of flavors. Many thanks for your vote of confidence. Blessings. Debby

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Hi Debby

      I like my brussel Sprouts with mint sauce. There is sure lot of nutrition packed in these little vegetables.

      Voted up and awesome.

      Take care :)

    • profile image

      Bronwyn J Hansen 

      6 years ago

      Wow! So much I did not know about one of my favourite winter vegetables. Kind of a worry considering I am a vegetarian! Great Hub. Voted up.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      6 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Great information Debby! Our brussel sprouts didn't grow this year, but next year, when they do grow, I'll be ready for them. Thank you for this; very useful!


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