While many people only think of having brussel sprouts as part of a Christmas dinner, Eat Brussel Sprouts Day offers a super reminder of how delicious these healthy vegetables can be!
History of Eat Brussel Sprouts Day
Believed to originate from the city in Europe that is their namesake (Brussels, Belgium), brussel sprouts, records trace this vegetable back to sometime between the 12th and 13th century, but the name probably wasn’t coined until the 18th century, when the French began referring to them as brussel sprouts.
It wasn’t until the 19th century that brussel sprouts came to be popular in Britain, but they have since made their way into the hearts of so many Britons. Then, in the early 20th century, brussel sprouts began to become an established commercial crop in the United States, particularly in the state of California where the climate is well suited for growing them. Still, Europe produces tons more of brussel sprouts than the US, particularly in the Netherlands.
In the family of cruciferous vegetables, brussel sprouts are related to other variations like broccoli, collard greens, kale, cabbage, cauliflower and a few others. This plant species, many of which are dark, leafy greens, is a rather healthy one that offers many nutrients and vitamins when included as a part of a regular balanced diet. Brussel sprouts provide calcium, potassium, fiber and much more.
Brussel sprouts have a few different varieties that can be bought from the farmers market or even planted in the garden! Some of the varieties have fun names, such as Long Island Improved, Prince Marvel, Jade Cross and Green Gems.
Eat Brussel Sprouts Day was established as a reminder that brussel sprouts are for much more than Christmas dinner. Get on board with learning more about and celebrating this delicious food!
How to Celebrate Eat Brussel Sprouts Day
In the middle of the dark winter months, whipping up some vegetables like brussel sprouts offers a fun and delicious way to stay healthy and keep up those New Year’s resolutions and goals. Celebrate Eat Brussel Sprouts Day with some of these ideas:
Prepare and Enjoy Eating Some Brussel Sprouts
Because they are so rarely enjoyed, many people don’t really know the best ways to prepare brussel sprouts in the kitchen. Consider some of these ways to prepare and cook brussel sprouts in honor of Eat Brussel Sprouts Day:
- Roast Brussel Sprouts. Many people prefer to roast brussel sprouts in the oven to keep their nutritional value – and make them taste great! To prepare, cut the brussel sprouts in half lengthwise through the stem and toss them in a drizzle of olive oil and pinches of salt and pepper. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.
- Air Fryer Brussel Sprouts. A healthy way to cook this veggie! Cut brussel sprouts in half, toss in oil, pepper and red pepper flakes. Cook in the air fryer and then toss in a mixture of lemon juice, garlic, honey, and mustard.
- Grilled Brussel Sprouts. Cover halved brussel sprouts in olive oil, vinegar, honey and mustard. Thread onto metal skewers and place on the barbecue grill.
- Steamed Brussel Sprouts. Cut brussel sprouts and steam them, then covered with garlic sauteed in butter.
Learn the Health Benefits of Brussel Sprouts
A super healthy cruciferous vegetable, brussel sprouts offer a whole host of health benefits, especially when they are prepared without being overcooked. National Eat Brussel Sprouts Day is a great time to learn a bit more about this food and how it benefits the health:
High in nutritional value
Brussel sprouts offer a number of different nutrients, including 2 grams of fiber, 91% of daily Vitamin K, 12% of daily Folate, 53% of daily Vitamin C and 2 grams of protein.
May help with blood sugar levels
Many studies have noted that cruciferous vegetables may help keep blood sugar levels steady and decrease the risk of diabetes or pre-diabetes.
Contain healthy Omega-3 fatty acids
While the most popular way to get these healthy fatty acids is through fish and other seafoods, another great way to get them is from a few servings of brussel sprouts each week.
High in antioxidants, brussel sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables may reduce inflammation and also reduce the risk of diseases that are related to inflammation.
Get Creative with Brussel Sprouts
While grilling or roasting brussel sprouts with a bit of salt and some crushed red peppers can be simple and delicious, some people might be looking for some more unique ways of cooking up this veggie in celebration of Eat Brussel Sprouts Day!
Try out some of these interesting ideas for creative brussel sprout recipes:
- Carbonara Pasta with Charred Brussel Sprouts. Pasta night can take a huge turn for the better when charred brussel sprouts, salty pancetta, and sautéed shitake mushrooms are included.
- Brussel Sprouts Mac and Cheese. Take normal mac n’ cheese to a new level by adding delicious brussel sprouts – making it tastier and healthier!
- Bacon Wrapped Brussel Sprouts. This amazing crowd pleaser is easier than it seems. Wrap brussel sprouts in strips of bacon and brush with a glaze made of maple and brown sugar.
- Brussel Sprouts, Egg and Bacon Breakfast. Bake brussel sprouts together in a sweet balsamic vinegar mixture. Then bake further with eggs, parmesan cheese and red pepper flakes.
Grow Brussel Sprouts in the Garden
Brussel sprouts are a great item to plant in the garden and can be planted outside in the fall, approximately 6-10 weeks before the first frost is expected. Brussel sprouts appreciate and enjoy growing in areas that have rich soil and full sun, with steady and consistent moisture. Regular watering (when the top inch is dry) is vital to getting the best and largest sprout harvests.
When the tiny heads of the brussel sprout plants are firm and green, and 1-2 inches in diameter, the vegetables are ready to be harvested. Then, get ready to cook them in one of the above ways and enjoy!
Eat Brussel Sprouts Day FAQs
Can you eat brussel sprouts raw?
While it is safe to eat brussel sprouts raw, they can be bitter so most people prefer to cook them.
Are brussel sprouts good for you?
Yes, brussel sprouts are cruciferous vegetables that may help to protect against cancer and fend off other health problems.
Is it safe to eat brussel sprouts every day?
For most people, it’s safe to eat brussel sprouts every day, but people on blood thinning medication may want to limit their intake of Vitamin K.
Can dogs eat brussel sprouts?
Though not harmful to the dog, brussel sprouts can cause stomach upset in dogs.
How many brussel sprouts in a serving?
An 80g portion contains about eight brussel sprouts.