Brussel Sprouts - Twelve Foods of Christmas
Their popularity in Brussels in the 16th century gave them their name but they originate from Afghanistan and are the descendants of wild cabbages in that area.
Brussel sprouts are part of the cabbage family and one of the many vegetables that is produced through cultivating cabbages in different types of ways. Sprouts are little buds that shoot off the rough stalk.
Choose sprouts that are hard and firm, not those that are spongey with loose outer leaves.
Brussel Sprouts are a £650,000,000 business.
Low in calories, loaded with Vitamin A, C & K brussel sprouts provide dietary fibre, protein, calcium, magnesium, beta carotene and folic acid.
Ancient Chinese physicians recommended Brussel sprouts to help those suffering from bowel problems.
They also contain selenium, which is thought to reduce proclivity to some cancers and increase male virility, so eat your sprouts!
The oft complained about smell that sometimes accompanies brussel sprouts comes from the compound glucosinolate sinigrin which contains sulphur however! it’s the same compound that gives Brussel sprouts their cancer-fighting properties.
To put a cross at the bottom or not to put a cross at the bottom? The answer goes in and out of fashion with it being believed that putting a cross at the bottom helped to cook them evenly. However the general belief is that the cross may help to over-cook them by over-saturating them if you happen to be boiling them.
I pan fry some bacon and shallots then add the halved spouts and 3-4 heaping tablespoons of Smy Goodness cranberry chutney (or cranberry sauce will do) cook for 5 minutes, giving a shake and checking they are browning evenly. Season and enjoy!
A few years back I decided to bundle all my interests together and rebrand from Smy Chutney to Smy Goodness so that all my preserves, crafts, products and workshops could live together in one place. My own podcast seemed a suitable place to uncover, understand and enjoy things related to food, art, history and design. Please do share your stories, knowledge, questions and suggestions. In the Smy Goodness.com podcast section you will find the podcasts and all the items that we are discussing and will have ongoing discussions about each week.
You can also follow Smy Goodness on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr. I'd like to thank Ashley Palmer for use of his Roland R-09 and Matteo Borea for creating the music. Thank you for listening.