Brussels Sprout (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group)

Brussels Sprout (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group) is a cultivar in the Gemmifera group of Brassica oleracea, of the family Brassicaceae. The vegetables of the family Brassicaceae (also called Cruciferae) are also known as cruciferous vegetables. The cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, collard greens, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi. Brussels sprouts are thought to be native to Belgium, in a region near its capital, Brussels, after which they are named. It is now cultivated throughout Europe and the United States. California is the biggest Brussels sprout producer in the United States.

Brussels sprout, 2.5-4 cm, is sage green in color and resembles miniature cabbage. It is cultivated for its small leafy buds. Brussels sprouts grow spirally along the side of long thick stalk, 60-120 cm, maturing over several weeks from lower to the upper part of stalk. They are ready for harvest 90-120 days after planting. Harvesting can be done manually or mechanically, depending on variety. Brussels sptouts can be picked a few at a time or cut the entire stalk at once for processing. Each stalk can produce about 1-1.4 kg of sprouts.

Brussels sprout is high in Vitamin A and C, folic acid and dietary fiber. It contains glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, sinigrin, sulforaphane and gluconasturtiian, chemicals believed to have potent anti-cancer properties. Brussels sprout also is a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that boosts DNA repair in cells and block the growth of cancer cells.

Brussels sprout is usually cooked and prepared by steaming, microwaving, roasting and stir frying, however, boiling results in significant loss of anti-cancer properties. Overcooking the Brussels sprout will result in the release of the glucosinolate sinigrin, which has a sulfurous odour. A cooking time of 5-7 minutes is usually sufficient to cook the Brussels sprout.

Brussels Sprout (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group)Brussels Sprout (Brassica oleracea Gemmifera Group)
Author: Eric Hunt (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Brussels sproutBrussels sprout
Author: Dirk Ingo Franke (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany )

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