Brussels Sprouts: There’s a lot to love about the most-hated vegetable in America

According to a 2008 research study by Heinz, Brussels sprouts are the most-hated vegetable in America. I am not one that hates these cabbage-like vegetables, and I hopeyou aren’t either. Brussels sprouts are one of the most powerful foods in fighting disease and providing nutrients.

According to Forbes magazine, Brussels are making a comeback as one of the Top 10 Food Trends for 2014, and for good reason. They are packed with nearly all your daily needs for vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting and bone health. They contain cancer-protecting compounds and glucosinolates, which stimulate our natural detoxification system. As a matter of fact, their total glucosinolate content has been shown to be greater than the amount found in mustard greens, turnip greens, cabbage, kale, cauliflower and broccoli. Brussels sprouts are also an excellent source of vitamin C, which helps maintain a healthy immune system, and they contain lutein and zeaxathin, two nutrients important for healthy vision.

Chefs and culinary experts agree that Brussels sprouts are a fun vegetable to experiment with in the kitchen because they are extremely versatile. Try them oven-roasted, steamed, sauted, candied, boiled, grilled or raw.

If you’re looking to try Brussels sprouts and want a quick preparation method, try roasting them. Roasting is a terrific way to prepare vegetables. It’s easy, quick and improves flavor. All vegetables have a small amount of naturally occurring sugar; roasting at high temperature caramelizes those sugars and causes chemical reactions that reduce bitter flavors. If you over-cook some vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, the sulfur compounds (which taste bitter) go through another chemical reaction which causes even more bitter flavors. Try Caramelized Brussels Sprouts for a quick side dish to one of your meals this week!

Katie Wilhelmi is a registered dietitian at the New Ulm Hy-Vee. This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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