Preparing Brussels sprouts: the most important tips

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Cabbage vegetables are perfect for autumn and winter! We reveal what the little Brussels sprouts can do and how they are properly prepared.

The Brussels sprouts are a real treat in the dark winter months. The green vegetables , also called kale, are particularly rich in nutrients and vitamins. It contains many minerals such as iron and calcium as well as vitamins A and C. Thanks to the plant substances it contains, Brussels sprouts even lower the risk of certain cancers. But we are happy to endure the typical coal smell when cooking the florets!

Storage of Brussels sprouts

Originally from Belgium, Brussels sprouts (hence Brussels cabbage) are ready for harvest from October. The cabbage season lasts until February – pretty cold for the plant, which can carry up to a hundred florets. But that’s exactly what she likes: If she gets frost, it improves the taste of the shoot buds. It takes away bitterness from them and makes them milder.

The vegetables are therefore by no means sensitive to cold. On the other hand, it likes light all the less – it damages the vitamin content of cabbage. Therefore, it is better to store the florets in a dark place, for example in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. But they only keep fresh there for about a week, which is why they should be processed quickly. Incidentally, Brussels sprouts spoil faster if they are placed next to fruit that releases ethylene when they ripen – so keep the discerning refrigerator dweller away from apples, avocados and tomatoes.

Preparing Brussels Sprouts: The Essential Steps

There are many ways to prepare the kale to make it edible. You shouldn’t eat it raw. Depending on your taste, the Brussels sprouts can be boiled, cooked, steamed or even fried. Whether as a side dish with sauce, in a hearty casserole, as a quiche or salad – there are no limits to your imagination. Before going on the stove, however, the cabbage should always be cleaned and prepared :

First the outer (possibly yellowish or loose) leaves are removed.
Cut back the stems and scratch a cross, this will shorten the cooking time.
Finally, rinse the Brussels sprouts again under clear water.
When cooking , the vegetables should be completely covered with lightly salted water. Cover and cook the cabbage over a medium heat for about 12 minutes. Check regularly that it is not too soft – if the cooking time is too long, many valuable nutrients will disappear and the florets can turn brown. Finally, drain the water and drain the Brussels sprouts in a colander. As a side dish to fish or meat, it tastes great with a little butter, seasoned with pepper and nutmeg. If you want, you can also process the kale further, for example into a vegetarian gratin or a hearty stew .

Brussels sprouts to dampen is a very nutrient-friendly process. To do this, cover the bottom of a pot with about two cm of water. Now place the Brussels sprouts in a steamer (alternatively in a sieve that is hung in the pot). Now close the lid and bring the water to a boil. Reduce the temperature to half and steam the cabbage for about 10 minutes. The finished florets are ideally complemented by a brown sauce and a roast.

Alternatively, the sprouts can also be fried . It works very easily in the pan. Melt some butter in it and add the halved Brussels sprouts florets. The sugar content caramelises and gives the cabbage a special, sweet roasted note. Delicious! After about seven minutes, the halved vegetables should be done. If you like, you can add onions or garlic and bacon.

Tip: To prevent the florets from tasting bitter, a teaspoon of sugar can be added to the cooking water. Some aniseed, caraway or fennel make it more digestible.

Freeze Brussels sprouts

If you want to enjoy Brussels sprouts outside of the winter season, you can freeze the vitamin bomb fresh . The superfood can be kept in the freezer for up to six months – provided it has been properly prepared. It’s very easy in a few steps:

It is worth blanching the winter vegetables beforehand. So the taste and vitamins are better preserved. To do this, clean and prepare the Brussels sprouts as usual, then put them in a saucepan with boiling salted water for two minutes.
Then quench the cabbage with ice water so that it stays firm to the bite.
Now put the vegetables in a freezer bag or in a fresh food box and store in the freezer.
If the Brussels sprouts are to be thawed again, pour them directly from the freezer into the bubbly cooking water. So it stays crisp! The cooking time is a little shorter due to the previous blanching, approx. 10 minutes.

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