Brussels sprouts are a vegetable in the same family as cabbage, that happen to look like mini cabbages.  These little sprouts are in season throughout the winter and are believed to have originated in Brussels, Belgium sometime in the 13th century.  

Brussels sprouts are easy to grow in the winter and are thought to taste sweeter after a frost. The sprouts grow best in temperatures between 45-75 degrees Fahrenheit.  

These little vegetables may be small, but they pack a high level of vitamin C and vitamin K, making it a great food to share with the family.  Brussels sprouts can cause gas in children as well as adults, so it is best to begin introducing Brussels sprouts to little ones after about 8 or 9 months of age to avoid any discomfort.  

Try these recipes below to begin, or continue, incorporating Brussels sprouts into your family’s meals!

Brussels Sprout Puree Soup

brussel sprout pureed soup

A recipe that is great for the whole family, this soup is best served warm and can be easily created in large batches to save for later.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb. Brussels sprouts
  • 1 rib celery
  • 1 large shallot or small leek
  • 1/2 tsp. fine sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 3 cups vegetable broth/stock
  • Tbsp. Olive oil

Directions:

  1. Trim off and discard the stem ends of the Brussels sprouts. Roughly chop the sprouts and set them aside.
  2. Trim and roughly chop the celery; peel and chop the shallot or leek.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a small pot over medium-high heat. Once warm, add the celery and shallot. Sprinkle with the salt and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are soft, about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the Brussels sprouts and stir to combine. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the Brussels sprouts turn a brighter shade of green, about 2 minutes. Add the broth and bring everything to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a steady simmer, cover partially, and cook until the Brussels sprouts are completely and utterly tender, about 10 minutes.
  5. Use a hand-held immersion blender to completely purée the soup. You can also do this in a blender, just be sure to let the soup cool a bit first, work in batches, and put a kitchen towel over the top of the blender in case the heat of the soup makes it splatter out. Be sure to purée the soup a bit longer than you may think is necessary; you want the final product to be as smooth as possible.
  6. Serve the soup hot, with a garnish of freshly ground black pepper, if you like.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

roasted brussel sprouts

For older children and adults, these roasted sprouts are a delicious, easy to make side dish or snack.  

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound Brussels Sprouts
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Directions:

Heat your oven to 350 F. Cut off end and any loose leaves and then cut in half. Place Brussels sprouts in a rimmed baking sheet and add a few tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, salt, and pepper. Mix up with your hands and roast until fork tender - about 30-40 minutes.

 

 

Written by Katie Tessier

 

Sources

Header image: http://i.dailymail.co.uk/i/pix/2013/12/03/article-2517327-19CDC97B00000578-924_634x675.jpg

Title Image: http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-k3c-AcZC7eM/Tqfjbj-kmdI/AAAAAAAABJA/Y8RUZEcXyXQ/s1600/Brussels+Sprouts.JPG

Brussels sprout soup image: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-zA67i9_nhEs/VHv9WSA6WOI/AAAAAAAAbS8/5TDKmHgl0xc/s1600/CreamofBrusselsSproutsSoup3.jpg

Brussels sprout soup recipe: http://localfoods.about.com/od/brusselssprouts/r/Cream-of-Brussels-Sprouts-Soup.htm

Roasted Brussels sprout image: http://www.steamykitchen.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/roasted-brussels-sprouts-with-sweet-chili-sauce-recipe-9562.jpg

Roasted Brussels sprout recipe: http://www.babyfood101.com/brussels_sprouts_baby_food_recipes/