Fruit and Vegetable Guide Series: Brussel Sprouts
Utah Local Fresh Season: Brussels sprouts are harvested during the fall months. They taste best when harvested after several frosts.
Availability: Brussels sprouts are mainly grown in California and are available year-round in grocery stores. The peak season is October through December.
Selecting: Pick firm sprouts that are bright green in color. Fresh sprouts will need to be kept in refrigeration to prevent the leaves from turning yellow. Choose young sprouts as old sprouts have a strong, cabbage‐like odor. Avoid wilted and blemished sprouts and those with yellow leaves.
Cleaning and Preparing: Wash and remove wilted outer leaves. Trim stem ends to be flush with the bottom. Cut a small “x” in the base with a sharp knife. This helps the sprout to cook more quickly and evenly.
Storing: Remove any wilting leaves and store the Brussels sprouts for 3-5 days. Do not wash or trim sprouts before storing them in the refrigerator.
Eating: Brussels sprouts have a flavor similar to cabbage, but with a milder taste and denser texture. Brussels sprouts are good eaten with sauce toppings, in salads, roasted in olive oil, steamed with pasta, and baked with breadcrumbs.
Cooking: Brussels sprouts can be cooked a variety of ways. Try boiling, microwaving, baking, roasting, and steaming.
- Boil: Bring water to a boil in a large pot, add sprouts, and quickly return the water to a boil. Cook sprouts until just tender, then drain sprouts. Use one cup of water for each cup of sprouts.
- Microwave: Put 1⁄2 pound of Brussels sprouts in a microwave‐safe dish; cover with 1⁄4 cup water, cook. Medium sized sprouts will take about 4 minutes. Cook until tender.
- Steam: Steam sprouts in a small amount of water. This minimizes odors and nutrient losses. Sprouts can be added to an inch of boiling water or placed in a covered vegetable steamer. Steam sprouts for 5–12 minutes, checking them with a fork to test for tenderness.
- Roasting: Using 1 pound of brussels sprouts, clean and prepare sprouts. Cut sprouts in half. In a mixing bowl, toss sprouts in 1-2 tbsp of olive oil. Toss until sprouts are covered, sprouts should look shiny. Add more oil if needed. Spread out sprouts on a baking sheet. Sprinkle salt, pepper, and other desired seasonings onto the sprouts. Preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and roast for 18-25 minutes. Sprouts should be tender and golden on the edges.
Preserving: The best home preservation method for Brussels sprouts is freezing. As with any vegetable, Brussels sprouts will need to be blanched prior to freezing. Visit the National Center for Home Food Preservation web site, http://nchfp.uga.edu/, for instructions.
Growing: Brussels sprouts grow well in full sun but will tolerate part shade. Prepare a rich soil that holds moisture well and has a pH level of 6.0‐6.5. Some varieties that grow well in Utah are, Long Island Improved, Prince Marvel, and Jade Cross. For more information about growing brussels sprouts visit the USU Brussels Sprouts in the Garden website, https://extension.usu.edu/yardandgarden/research/brussel-sprouts-in-the-garden.
Nutrition Highlights: Brussels sprouts are a healthy choice. They are a good source of riboflavin, iron and magnesium. Sprouts also supply dietary fiber and vitamins.
Carolyn Washburn, Extension Assistant Professor
Guide Editors: Heidi LeBlanc and Debra Christofferson
Additional Editors: Marie Stosich, Gayla Johnson, Eileen Milligan, Jenna Dyckman
*This publication is a part of a series created by Create Better Health and Utah State Extension Employees. It has been reviewed and updated to include current evidence-based research and recommendations.
Related Nutrition Articles