Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Brussels Sprouts


Selecting Brussels Sprouts
When it comes to choosing brussels sprouts, color is the name of the game. The head of the Brussels sprouts is also key.

Preparing Brussels sprouts can be somewhat more complex.

BRUSSELS SPROUTS
Brussels sprouts should be bright green with firm heads.

Selecting Brussels Sprouts

Fresh Brussels sprouts shine in fall and winter. Look for a pronounced green color and tight, compact, firm heads.

The fewer the yellowed, wilted, or loose leaves the better. You're better off choosing smaller heads; they're more tender and flavorful. Pick ones of similar size so they cook evenly.

Stored in the refrigerator in the cardboard container they came in or kept in a plastic bag, loosely closed, they'll last a week or two.

Brussels Sprouts Preparation and Serving Tips

Dunk sprouts in ice water to debug them. Then rinse them under running water. Pull off loose or wilted leaves; trim the stem ends a little.

Cut an "X" in the bottoms, so the insides cook at the same rate as the leaves. Steaming is your best bet. The sprouts will stay intact, odor will be minimized, and you'll preserve more nutrients than you would if you boiled them.

As with
broccoli and cabbage, the odor becomes most pronounced when overcooked. Brussels sprouts also lose valuable vitamin C when overcooked. So don't be afraid to leave your sprouts a bit on the crisp side.

As soon as you can barely prick them with a fork they're done -- about 7 to 14 minutes, depending on size. Brussels sprouts are delicious served with just a squeeze of lemon. For more flavor, try a mustard sauce.

Next, we'll discuss why Brussels sprouts are so healthy.


Want more information about brussels sprouts? Try: