Cranberry Orange Brussels Sprouts Recipe & Sproutss History - The Nibble Webzine Of Food Adventures Cranberry Orange Brussels Sprouts Recipe & Sproutss History
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RECIPE: Cranberry Orange Brussels Sprouts

This recipe (photo #1), from Two Peas And Their Pod, would be at home on Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner tables; but why wait until then?

It’s a delicious way to enjoy Brussels sprouts through the fall and winter seasons—and we have more recipes at the end of this article.

Brussels sprouts buying tips:

  • While larger Brussels sprouts may look more tempting, the smaller ones are sweeter and more tender.
  • Take the time to pick uniformly sized sprouts. They’ll cook evenly.
    For some extra flavor and protein, add some toasted pecan or walnut pieces/halves to the recipe below. Here’s how to toast nuts.

    And a final note:

    Few foods are more unpleasant than overcooked Brussels sprouts. The same is true with other cruciferous members: excessive heat releases an unpleasant-smelling and -tasting chemical compound.

    Brussels sprouts have more of this compound. But cook them lightly, and they are bites of pleasure.

    > January 31st is National Brussels Sprouts Day.

    > November 23rd is National Eat A Cranberry Day.

    > The history of Brussels sprouts.

    > The history of cranberries.

    The total prep/cook time is 50 minutes.

    If you like the cranberry-orange flavor profile, take a look at yesterday’s cranberry-orange white chocolate chip cookie recipe.

    Ingredients For 6 Servings

  • 1-1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, rinsed and trimmed (NOTE ON smaller/even size)
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
  • 1 large orange, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons honey or 1 teaspoon agave
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • Optional: toasted walnuts

    1. PREHEAT the oven to 400°F. Trim the brown bottoms of the Brussels sprouts (photo #2) and remove any discolored leaves. If they are large sprouts, cut them in half (leave small sprouts whole).

    2. ZEST and juice the orange. In a large bowl, whisk together zest, juice, olive oil and honey. Add the Brussels sprouts to the bowl and toss until they are well coated.

    3. ADD the sprouts to a large baking pan and season with salt and black pepper. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes, until crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Shake the pan from time to time to brown the sprouts evenly.

    4. PLACE in a large bowl and add the dried cranberries. Stir, garnish with the toasted nuts and serve immediately.

    The Brussels sprouts plant is a beauty: A four-foot stalk crowned with large, wide graceful leaves resembling a cabbage (photo #4).

    The sprouts, edible buds, grow up the entire stalk in a progression from smallest to largest.

    So if we eat the buds, why are they called Brussels sprouts? Because rather than a conventional bud, which develops into a flower, Brussels sprouts just spring up on the stalk, and stay that way.

    The Brussels sprout is a member of the cancer-fighting Cruciferous vegetables group, also called the Brassicas. If they look like tiny cabbages, its because they’re a member of the cabbage genus and species, Brassica oleracea.


    Brussels Sprouts & Cranberries
    [1] A yummy fall dish from Two Peas And Their Pod.

    Brussels Sprouts
    [2] Trim off any brown edges before washing (photo courtesy Cava).

    Brussels Sprouts On Stalk
    [3] You can sometimes find the entire stalk at the store. You can remove the individual buds, or roast the stalk whole (photo courtesy ABCDs Of Cooking).

    Brussels Sprouts In Field

    [4] What looks like a cabbage on top of the stalk is known as Brussels leaves. They are most certainly edible: sweet and tender like greens, with a mild flavor that doesn’t have a cabbage’s edginess (photo courtesy Heirloom Organic Vegetable Garden | YouTube.

    If you follow our comments on taxonomy, you’ll be interested to know the genus and species Brassica oleracea includes these different vegetable cultivars*: broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, collard greens, gai lan (Chinese broccoli), kohlrabi and Savoy cabbage.

    They are distinguished taxonomically by their cultivar group. Brussels sprouts belong to the Gemmifera group of cabbages.

    From Rome To Brussels To Louisiana

    Cabbage species are native to the Mediterranean region, and early versions of Brussels sprouts were likely cultivated by the ancient Romans. The original wild plants resembled leafy kale, and were selected and crossbred to create the Brassica oleracea cultivars we know today.

    Modern Brussels sprouts were cultivated in northern Europe during the 5th century. By the 13th century they were (and still are) cultivated near Brussels, which is how they got their name. They were also cultivated extensively in The Netherlands, Germany and Britain: They do well in colder climates.

    French settlers brought Brussels sprouts to Louisiana in the 18th century. It took a while for them to head west to the Golden State, where most of America’s supply is grown today. The first plantings in California began in the 1920s. The Central Coast areas of San Mateo, Santa Cruz, and Monterey counties offer an ideal combination of coastal fog and cool temperatures year-round.

    A smaller harvest is grown in Skagit Valley, Washington, and to a lesser extent on Long Island, New York.

    Once harvested, the sprouts will keep well for three to five weeks in near-freezing storage (and about half as long in a home refrigerator), before wilting and discoloring. The minute you see that happening, steam them and turn them into a purée or soup.

    Editor’s Note: We capitalize Brussels because it’s the name of a city. We do the same with French fries. After all, we wouldn’t like to see new york strip steak or california roll: They’re all proper names, named after places that don’t want to be lower-cased.

    However, you’ll frequently see them spelled brussels sprouts, Brussel sprouts and brussel sprouts.

    *Other Brassica species include familiar crucifers such as arugula, bok choy, cauliflower, cress, horseradish/wasabi, mizuna, mustard greens/seeds, radish/daikon, rapini, rutabaga, tatsoi and turnip, among others.


    Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad Recipe
    [5] Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad (here’s a recipe from Kitchen 52).

    Winter Vegetable Kabobs

    [6] Brussels sprouts as part of winter veggie kabobs skewers. Here’s the recipe (photo Bittersweet Blog).



    Brussels sprouts and other members of the cruciferous vegetables group are high in cancer-protecting phytochemicals.

    Brussels sprouts themselves are exceptionally rich in protein, dietary fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, including glucosinolate, an important cancer-fighting phytonutrient. All cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, but brussels sprouts are especially potent in this regard.

    They are also cholesterol-fighters. Steamed brussels sprouts actually have a have better cholesterol-lowering effect than raw brussels sprouts. The plant fibers do a better job of binding when they’ve been steamed.

    Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C: One cup provides more than the daily requirement.

    Vitamin C, along with vitamins A and E, also found in Brussels sprouts, protect the body by trapping harmful free radicals.

    Brussels sprouts are one of the best vegetable sources for vitamin K, which strengthens bones and helps to prevent, or at least, delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

  • Beer-Roasted Potato Salad With Fngerlings & Brussels Sprouts
  • Bone In Brussels Sprouts With Dip (served on the stalk)
  • Brussels Sprouts Caesar Salad
  • Buffalo Brussels Sprouts Sandwich With Blue Cheese Dressing
  • Frizzled Ham & Brussels Sprouts
  • Grilled Cheese Sandwich With Turkey, Tilsit & Brussels Sprouts
  • Roasted Beets & Brussels Sprouts
  • Shaved Brussels Sprouts Recipes
  • Winter Vegetable Kabobs




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