What’s Fresh in January? Brussels Sprouts
No sprout about it
By Maddie Bane
Brussels sprouts are full of flavor and offer many health benefits
Brussels sprouts are ready to harvest when the tiny heads are firm, green, and 1 to 2 inches in diameter.
These miniature cabbage-looking greens pack a punch when it comes to nutrients, and also a little bit of history when it comes to their name. Brussels sprouts are in fact named after the town in Belgium. They began being cultivated there in the 16th century and quickly became a popular crop. January is a great time in the Lowcountry to harvest these vegetables, especially after the first frost (if we get one this year). This tends to make Brussels sprouts sweeter and more flavorful. Keep reading to see how these Belgian sprouts are almost as appealing as Belgian chocolates.
Rich in Vitamin K, Brussels sprouts promote bone health and can help limit neuronal damage in the brain, possibly preventing or delaying the onset of Alzheimer’s disease. They contain a high content of vitamin C and fiber, and they’re also rich in antioxidants.
In order to grow efficiently, Brussels sprouts seeds need to be planted three to four inches apart in a rich soil that receives plenty of sunlight. Begin fertilizing a month after planting, and keep an eye out for cabbage worms. Once the sprouts are one to two inches in diameter, they’re ready to harvest.
Where to buy them
Brussels sprouts should be available for purchase at your grocery store, but several local farmers’ markets will have then available, as well.
Tuesday: Hilton Head Farmers Market, Coastal Discovery Museum, 9 a.m.-1 p.m.
Thursday: Downtown Bluffton Farmers Market, Calhoun St., noon-3 p.m.
Saturday: Port Royal Farmers Market, Naval Heritage Park, 9 a.m.-noon
Every day I’m Brusselin’
Brussels sprouts can be prepared in a multitude of ways — roasting, sauteing, grilling, or even eating them raw. Their cholesterol-lowering ability is greater when steamed than when raw. In order to keep these veggies fresh for as long as possible, be sure to store them in a plastic bag in your refrigerator’s vegetable drawer.
LOCAL Life Test Kitchen – Brussels Sprouts Frittata
8 large eggs
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 cup gruyere cheese, shredded
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 cups Brussels sprouts, chopped
1 cup peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
 Whisk eggs and mix in Parmesan, gruyere and salt and pepper. Set aside and heat up olive oil in a cast iron skillet.  Add in Brussels sprouts. Once they caramelize, add in minced garlic.  Add in peas and egg mixture and ensure that all ingredients are evenly distributed. Place in 400 degree oven and bake for 15-17 minutes.
LOCAL Life Test Kitchen – Balsamic-Roasted Brussels Sprouts
1 1/2 pounds Brussels sprouts, halved
4 ounces pancetta, diced
1/4 cup olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon balsamic glaze
 Heat oven to 400 degrees, and place Brussels sprouts, pancetta, olive oil, and salt and pepper on a baking sheet after tossing.  Roast for 20-30 minutes. The Brussels sprouts should be browned and tender, and the pancetta should be cooked through.
 Once removed from the oven, add in balsamic glaze and toss once more. Serve hot.
LOCAL Life Test Kitchen – Bacon-wrapped Brussels Sprouts
12 strips bacon
12 Brussels sprouts
Black pepper, to taste
 Lay out strips of bacon on a level surface, and lightly brush on maple syrup. Be sure to cover the entire strip. Sprinkle with black pepper.  Starting from the bottom, roll each Brussels sprout into each slice of bacon. Once wrapped, brush with maple syrup again, along with the black pepper and transfer onto baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Be sure seam side is down in order to keep the shape.