As I have openly shared my indulgent love affairs with avocados and beets, I have come to realize that they are merely childish infatuations compared to the deeply obsessive lusting my dear friend K has towards BRUSSEL SPROUTS. Ah yes, the green rosebud looking vegetables that your mother force fed you as a child. Or as K has referred to them as “cute little bulbs of happiness”. She may search for recipes for her dear sprouts in wee hours of the morning or get personally insulted if you dare scoff at her cruciferous beauties.
Due to my own lusting toward certain edible items ( I may have reached the tipping point with my avocados after dinner with friends last night), I am not one to judge. Instead, I was inspired.
After sleeping in later than usual (avocado coma), I decided to scrap breakfast food and whip up a recipe using the gorgeous organic sprouts I scored from the farmer’s market yesterday (last weekend they will be featured…tear). I shared K’s adoring glances at the pile of brightly colored green and purple, yes purple sprouts. The lady at the stand informed us that is was a different but entrancing breed of sprouts. You have to admit they are quite pretty.
So I headed into the kitchen to see what I could concoct to make even the leeriest of BS (self explanatory, yes?) critics to melt. I had been for some reason, resisting making any sort of sauce due to the temporary absence of my Vita-mix, another tear. However, I left my food processing snobbery at the door and took out the equally efficient, bright red blender that my adorable roommate has so generously gifted me to use. After weeks of dormant mixing, it was time to remove the shroud.
Aside to pleasing K’s tastebuds, brussel sprouts are pretty much a superstar in terms of nutrients. Packed full of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory fighting vitamins C ( hello gorgeous skin), A and E, these cabbage-like cuties are an excellent source of vitamin K and folate.  Both vitamin K and folate are instrumental in blood health, restore vitamin/mineral deficiencies (especially if on birth control or during pregnancy) and cardiovascular disease. Folate (folic acid) is used to treat a variety of clinical conditions including acne, depression, immune weakness, osteoporosis, restless leg syndrome, dementia and Down’s syndrome. 
On top of that BS are a concentrated source of nutrients such as calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, potassium, iron, and the essential amino acid trytophan (think of that cozy comfy feeling you get after that Thanksgiving turkey). Also, their high fiber content is amazingly beneficial for digestive health. Like I said, super star.
Some little tips on selecting and storing your BS
- Select ones that are firm, compact and show off their colors (leave the shriveled and wilted)
- Brussel sprouts will remain fresh for up to 10 days if stored in the refrigerator in an air tight container
- Do NOT wash your sprouts before storing
- Always try to select organic when possible (BS are available year round but peak in flavor during the colder season)
When cooking your BS, keep these things in mind
- Over cooking is what leads to that stinky smell….”Your sprouts shouldn’t stink!” -K
- To optimize their nutrients, cut sprouts into quarters, squirt fresh lemon over them and allow them to sit 5-10 minutes before cooking. This stimulates the enzymes and enhances the phytonutrient concentration that is inactivated by heat.
- Do not boil. Blanching, slow roasting or steaming are best. Again.. “Your sprouts shouldn’t’ stink!” -K
Here is what manifested from a well over due cooking sess. I think you will enjoy it, and I know K would appreciate you showing some BS love!
 Mateljan, George. The World’s Healthiest Foods. Seattle, WA: GMF Publishing, 2007.
 Haas, Elson M. Staying Healthy with Nutrition. New York, NY: Celestial Arts, 2006.
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