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I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Steamed Brussels Sprouts

Brussels sprouts is a cultivar in the Gemmifera group of cabbages (Brassica oleracea) that is grown for its edible buds.   The small, leafy green vegetables are 2.5–4 cm (0.98–1.6 in) in diameter and resemble miniature cabbages.  Brussels sprouts are rich in Vitamins A, C, and K, folic acid and manganese, and high in fiber.  They also contain sulforaphane, a chemical believed to have potent anticancer properties.  Finally, Brussels sprouts are low in calories, only 44 cal in 4 ounces.  Surprisingly, with all the benefits Brussels sprouts have to offer, they are not a popular side dish in restaurants.

We both love our vegetables including Brussels sprouts.  I have tried growing them and while I haven't been overly successful, the yield is usually enough for a couple of meals.  Perhaps this year will be better.  Thankfully, the grocery store stocks fresh Brussels sprouts based on availability so we are able to enjoy them on a regular basis. 

We've been foodies since birth!  When our first child was born, I was determined to breastfeed and avoid commercially prepared baby foods.  Honestly, babies have been fed for centuries without the aid of commercially prepared baby foods.  Besides, if you ever tasted this type of baby food, it is no wonder kids learn at a very early age to hate vegetables!  So with the help of my blender, our oldest was introduced to solid foods.  Let's just say babies and Brussels sprouts don't mix well unless you fancy an erupting green volcano!

Brussels sprouts
I am not a fan of any boiled vegetable other than perhaps corn on the cob but even then grilled is better.  Boiling removes nutrients and leaves the vegetable with a watery mushiness I just don't like.  In particular, boiling Brussels sprouts significantly reduces the level of sulforaphane, but steaming or stir frying do not.

Steaming vegetables leaves them firmer (al dente)  with more flavour and colour.  While Brussels sprouts roasted are yummy,  fried in bacon grease are delightful but steamed Brussels sprouts reign supreme in our home.  Topped with just a little butter and pinch of sea salt enhance their natural sweetness and they are divine!

Method:  Wash the Brussels sprouts.  Trim the stem end removing any loose leaves.  Place about a half inch of water in a sauce pan.  Place the Brussels sprouts in the steamer basket then but the basket into the sauce pan.  Bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer until Brussels sprouts are fork tender.  Remove from steamer basket just before serving.

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