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brussels sprouts


Botanical name: Brassica oleracea var. oleracea convar. Gemmifera


Brussels sprouts take their name from their native habitat in Belgium, near Brussels. They were cultivated there well over 100 years ago and spread mainly to the Netherlands, but also to Germany.


Brussels sprouts are available from September to April; from October to January locally grown Brussels sprouts can be bought.

Appearance, taste, characteristics

Brussels sprouts grow on stems that may be 1 m tall. To be accurate, the small, herbaceous, green balls are leaf buds that form in the axils of the stem leaves. The leaves of the heads are tightly closed.

Meanwhile there are also varieties with red-violet outer leaves. Brussels sprouts have a hearty aromatic flavour, but it is finer and milder than that of other types of cabbage. As with kale, the flavour changes with the first frost, which changes the starch they contain into sugar and gives the Brussels sprouts a sweeter taste.


The portion of secondary plant substances, above all glucosinolates, in Brussels sprouts is especially high. There are about 90 mg per 100 g in unheated Brussels sprouts and approximately 60 mg per 100 g in heated sprouts. Also worthy of mention is the vitamin C content of Brussels sprouts.

100 g contain:

Brussels sprouts,
Energie (kcal)
Wasser (g)
Eiweiß (g)
Fett (g)
< 1
Kohlenhydrate (g)
Ballaststoffe (g)
Vitamin C (mg)
Vitamin A (RÄ) (µg)
Folsäure (µg)
Kalium (mg)
Natrium (mg)
Calcium (mg)
Magnesium (mg)
Eisen (mg)
0 g contain:

Harmful substances

Brussels sprouts belong to the varieties of vegetables with a low nitrate content, with less than 500 mg per kilogram sprouts. The oxalic acid content can be as high as 10 mg per 100 g.

Quality criteria, optimal storage conditions

Brussels sprouts that have been stored too long will have withered yellow outer leaves. This indicates that they have lost flavour and vitamins and they should not be bought. Even freshly bought Brussels sprouts should be eaten as soon as possible. They keep for about 3–4 days in the refrigerator.

Form of consumption, use, processing, practical tips for preparation

The outer leaves are removed prior to use. In addition, the stem ends are cut into crosswise, so that the sprouts cook evenly. The cooking time is about 15 minutes.

Brussels sprouts are popular as a vegetable to accompany meat, game or poultry dishes. However, they can also be an ingredient in casseroles or salads.

It is practical to keep a supply of frozen Brussels sprouts. Prior to freezing they should be blanched. Deep-freezing has the same effect as natural frost, making the sprouts sweeter.

Seasoning tip

Nutmeg, pepper or lemon juice taste good with Brussels sprouts.





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