Brussels Sprouts: Every Kid’s Nightmare…

Politics, sports calls and Brussels sprouts are three things that people feel very strongly about; they either love them or hate them. We’re not going to touch the first two, but if you haven’t tried Brussels sprouts since your parents made you eat them as a kid, it might be time to give them another try.

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“But MOM! I don’t LIKE Brussels Sprouts!”

Most parents will try to convince their little darlings to eat their veggies with the line, “It’s good for you!” And you know what? They’re right!

Chances are you’re not getting enough fiber in your diet. We’re supposed to get about 25 to 30 grams per day, but most of us aren’t hitting that mark. Half a cup of Brussels sprouts contains 2 grams of fiber, which is a good start. Fiber helps with your digestive system, in particular if you’re experiencing constipation.

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Want to keep the sniffles at bay? Vitamin C is good for your immune system, and that same half a cup serving of Brussels sprouts will also give you about half of the recommended daily dosage if you’re a man (about 65 per cent if you’re a woman).

How Can I Make Brussels Sprouts Tasty?

Brussels sprouts can be eaten raw, chopped and tossed in a salad. They’re also good steamed, sautéed, or roasted. You can drizzle them with olive oil and a bit of garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Add them to soups or salads for a nice little health boost.

Brussels sprouts are best enjoyed when they are young and tender. The easiest way to make sure you can enjoy the freshest crop is by growing it yourself.

Make Sure You Have The Best Soil to Grow Brussels Sprouts!

Brussels sprouts need cool weather to grow; they also take their time. Your best option is to plant them either early in the spring or late in the fall. While they like the temperatures to be cooler, they also thrive in sunshine.

Like many plants, Brussels sprouts grow best in fertile soil that drains well but also holds moisture. Your best bet is to use BigYellowBag Black Garden Soil, which has a perfect mix of black loam, peat loam, compost and manure. Loam is a soil type comprised of sand, silt and clay in the right ratios. This type of soil has the perfect balance of drainage and moisture retention to ensure your gardening success. It is also packed with essential nutrients and organic matter.

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Be sure to plant your seedlings right away and give them lots of room. Brussels sprout plants grow large; they need about 18 to 24 inches of space (don’t forget to leave room for you to walk past in your garden). Water thoroughly and regularly (but as always, don’t overdo it).

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We know the temptation will be to harvest as soon as possible, but wait until your sprouts are about one or two inches in diameter and are a nice, bright green. They should also be firm. To remove sprouts from the stalk, twist them until they break off. You can store sprouts in your fridge for a day or two in a plastic bag, but keep in mind they taste best the fresher they are. Don’t wash them until you’re going to use them.

Cameron Shimoda

Garden and Soil Enthusiast