If there was ever a vegetable that has suffered at the hands of an overwhelming lack of versatility the humble sprout would be it. Not only is the sprout usually just lobbed onto a plate simply steamed or boiled it is also often confined to just one meal a week or, prey, one meal a year. I mean, try to think back to a time when you ate sprouts as part of something other than a Sunday roast or Christmas dinner! It is as renowned for being disliked as it is for being a veg. Trump on toast. The culinary equivalent of Accrington Stanley on a plate!
But it really needn’t be. Brussels Sprouts have bags of potential as a daily veg like tomatoes, peppers or any of your other greens, you just have to think outside the box. Many people dislike tomatoes but would happily eat a pizza lathered with tomato sauce or a pasta dish in which the tomato is buried, and the same can be said of our lovely choux de Bruxelles.
The good news is that their unpopularity may actually be waning. A new study conducted by Mash Direct found new ‘trendy’ veg such as celeriac, avocado and kale are now ranked as the nation’s most hated veg, with sprouts dropping to fourth in the run-up to Christmas. What’s more, despite the huge variety now available, a third of adults said they stick to the same vegetables that their parents did, with the top ten favourite veg compiled of mostly old school varieties (Potato, Carrot, Peas, Tomato, Broccoli, Cucumber/salad leaves, Cabbage, Spring onions, Corn, Green/French beans).
From a health perspective, sprouts are also just as “super” as any of their fad equivalents. They have cholesterol-lowering benefits, fiber-related components, DNA protection and cancer protection thanks to four specific glucosinolates found in the cruciferous vegetable: glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, sinigrin, and gluconasturtiian.
Here’s a recipe you might want to try out.
Brussels Sprouts Hash
Shred the brussels sprouts preferably in a food processor but can be grated.
Heat garlic and onion in a frying pan and add the diced bacon when browned.
Add the brussels sprouts and cook through. Season well.
Break up a handful of walnuts in a bag and add to the mix.
Add a boil egg and serve.