Which cancer-fighting veggie deserves another chance?

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By: Leanne Ely

 

Have you ever seen Brussels sprouts before they’re harvested from their stalks? They are just the coolest looking things! The next time you’re at the farmer’s market, see if you can find some. They’re awesome—a little tree with tiny cabbages up and down the stalk.

I adore Brussels sprouts—now. But when I was a kid, I abhorred them. They were tremendously overcooked to my British father’s liking and not fit for human consumption. Not even the dog would eat them (we tried mightily, but alas, the pooch would have none of it).

I don’t think these lovely little cabbages deserve the bad reputation they’ve earned over the years—we need to fix this.

Boiling is the old-fashioned way of cooking Brussels sprouts and this is the reason why kids have hated them over the years.

There are many different ways to prepare Brussels sprouts besides boiling (pan-frying, roasting, shredding raw into a salad or even stir-frying them) and of course, there are many reasons why you should be eating them.

Steamed Brussels sprouts can lower your cholesterol just like cabbage (because they’re tiny cabbages!). They’re packed with fiber, folate and vitamins C and K. And the biggest bonus of all is their cancer preventing polyphenol compounds.

A member of the cruciferous family, Brussels sprouts are one of the mightiest of the sulfur vegetables. They have more glucosinolates than kale, broccoli, turnip greens, cauliflower, mustard greens and cabbage. Glucosinolates are the chemical starting points for many cancer-protective substances.

Have I convinced you to belly up to a bowl of Brussels sprouts yet?

Here’s a word about how to cook these guys so you don’t get those sad looking faces at the dinner table.

Undercook. Undercook. Undercook.

Overcooking Brussels sprouts gives them that distinctive stinky smell (like rotten eggs) and it makes them taste nasty—ask any kid! .

Cut your Brussels sprouts into quarters and let them sit on the counter for awhile. Doing this brings out some of those nutritional super powers. Either steam them for a few minutes or roast them in the oven drizzled with some ghee or olive oil.

Are you ready to give much-maligned Brussels sprouts a chance?

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