Spruce up your sprouts

They might be Britain’s least-favourite veggie but Brussels sprouts are an incredibly nutritious vegetable that offers protection from vitamin A deficiency, bone loss, iron-deficiency anemia, and believed to protect from cardiovascular diseases and colon and prostate cancers.

459158759So why are they so unpopular? “Probably because they aren’t being prepared and served correctly, or imaginatively enough,” says Candis food writer Catherine Hill. “There are lots more ways of serving sprouts than just boiling them and bunging them on a plate…”

So read on for tips on preparing and serving sprouts. Who knows, you may learn to love them too…

·Steamed Brussels: It is very important not to overcook Brussels sprouts. Not only do they lose their nutritional value and taste but they will begin to emit the unpleasant sulphur smell associated with overcooked cruciferous vegetables. To help Brussels sprouts cook more quickly and evenly cut each sprout into quarters. Let them sit for at least 5 minutes to bring out the health-promoting qualities and then steam them for 5 minutes. Serve with a honey mustard dressing to add extra flavour.

·Sautéed Brussels. Wash then shred the sprouts very finely. Fry them in melted butter for around 4-5 minutes, and serve immediately with black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.

·Roasted Brussels: Preheat the oven to 200°C/R6. Quarter or halve any extra large sprouts. Then toss them with a bit of oil, salt and pepper. You can also add some herbs, spices or garlic to the mix. Make sure each sprout is coated in oil, to keep it from drying out. Next place the sprouts in a roasting pan in a single layer and roast them 35-40 minutes, until they’re starting to get nicely browned. Stir them halfway through the cooking time. During the last 5 to 10 minutes you can add a bit of grated cheese, or some cooked bacon or ham, or some pine nuts or almonds or you could try adding a bit of balsamic vinegar to the sprouts about 10 minutes before they’re done. Stir them well, and put them back in the oven.

·Braised Brussels: Prepare then cut the sprouts in half from the top to the stem, and make a ½in (1.3 cm) incision in the stem. Boil them for 5-10 minutes. They should just begin to go soft then drain. Add some butter, salt, and minced clove of garlic to a pan. Wait 1-2 minutes for the ingredients to heat up and for the garlic to become fragrant. Add the sprouts and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until they’re brown, stirring to stick them from sticking or burning. If the pan gets too dry, add another tablespoon of butter.


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