Icon: Diet From AICR's test kitchen

Sprouting Good Health

Brussels Sprout

Once the underdog of the veggie kingdom, Brussels sprouts are now trendy. AICR is cheering them on, because Brussels sprouts are in the cancer-fighting cruciferous family that includes broccoli and cabbage.

In fact, Brussels sprouts are miniature cabbages that grow on a long stalk. First grown in Medieval Belgium, these sprouts contain powerful cancer-fighting phytochemicals such as sulforaphane, indoles and lutein - along with vitamin C.

When you buy fresh Brussels sprouts, choose small ones, which are sweeter and take less cooking time. Buying mild-tasting “petite” or “baby” Brussels sprouts, frozen or fresh, is a first step in bringing out the best in Brussels sprouts. Using easy preparation tips keeps their flavor mellow and their texture neither tough nor mushy, but delightfully tender.

Gently slow-cook frozen Brussels sprouts for 10 minutes (15 minutes for fresh whole or 10 minutes for fresh ones cut in half) over low heat in some healthy walnut or olive oil or reduced-sodium, fat-free broth. Then, pair them with caramelized onions and fresh rosemary or a pinch of orange zest plus a little balsamic vinegar.

Do you have a favorite way to prepare Brussels sprouts? Visit AICR's blog to share it—and read other ideas.

Brussels sprouts can really shine with many different flavors; here are two examples from AICR’s Test Kitchen.

Lemon Brussels Sprouts

Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Lemon and Parmesan

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 1/2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 oz. chunk Parmesan or Asiago cheese, for shaving
  • Chopped parsley, as desired
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Remove tough outer leaves from sprouts. Trim off stem ends and cut in half. Scoop sliced sprouts into mixing bowl. Add oil, salt and pepper. Using your hands, toss until sprouts are well-coated.Spread sprouts on prepared baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes, stirring once.Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.

Spread roasted sprouts on a small serving platter. Using a cheese parer or widest holes on a grater, shave cheese into curls or chips. Sprinkle cheese and parsley over roasted sprouts just before serving. Serve with lemon wedges.

Makes 6 servings.

Per serving: 120 calories, 7 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 8 g carbohydrate,
5 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 300 mg sodium.

Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Dried Cranberries

  • 1 bag (16 oz.) frozen, petit baby Brussels sprouts
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. finely chopped, lightly toasted pecans
  • 1/4cup dried cranberries
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Cook sprouts according to package directions. Meanwhile, in small bowl, stir together oil, vinegar, pecans and cranberries. Transfer cooked sprouts to serving dish. Gently toss with dressing. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 140 calories, 6 g total fat (>1 g saturated fat), 18 g carbohydrates,
4 g protein, 5 g dietary fiber, 20 mg sodium.

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