Sandra R. Cain
For Better Living
Brussels sprouts are the newest member of the cabbage family. The leaves are on the top
of the plant and the tiny heads completely surround the stalk. These heads resemble tiny
cabbages. There are several types of cabbage: red cabbage; green, crinkly-leaved Savoy
cabbage; green, smooth-leaved cabbage; and green-leaved Chinese cabbage.
The scientific name for the group of plants that includes Brussels sprouts and cabbage is
cruciferous. Scientists use this term to identify plants whose blossoms resemble a cross.
The group of vegetables that includes cabbage and Brussels sprouts may help prevent
cancer. Both cabbage and Brussels sprouts are also good sources of vitamin C. However,
one serving of Brussels sprouts provides more than twice the vitamin C provided by an
equal amount of cabbage. Brussels sprouts are also a good source of vitamin A and
Brussels Sprouts: Choose sprouts that are firm and compact and have a good green
color. Avoid sprouts that look puffy, wilted, or yellow.
Cabbage: Choose solid, fresh-looking heads that are heavy for their size. The outer
leaves should be smooth, with good color (deep green or deep red, depending on the
type). Avoid wilted or yellow cabbage.
Brussels Sprouts: Store unwashed and covered in the refrigerator. Use within three to
Cabbage: Store in a plastic bag or container in the refrigerator. Unwashed cabbage heads
will keep in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Brussels sprouts and cabbage contain the mineral sulfur. When these vegetables are
cooked, the sulfur is released and an unpleasant odor is produced. The longer you cook
these vegetables, the more sulfur is released. To reduce the smell, cook vegetables
Brussels sprouts: Rinse well and trim stems. If you cut a cross in the bottom of each
stem, the sprouts will cook more quickly. Steam 15 to 20 minutes.
Cabbage: Remove damaged or wilted outer leaves. If cut in wedges, steam ten to 15
minutes. If shredded, steam three to eight minutes.
How to steam: Bring one inch of water to boil in the bottom of a pan. Place a colander or
a collapsible steaming basket in the pan. Then put the vegetables in the colander or
steamer and cover it tightly. Reduce heat to medium-low, but make sure it is high enough
to keep the water bubbling.
Brussels sprouts: Remove loose leaves. Trim each stem and cut a cross in the bottom to
speed cooking. Arrange one pound (4 cups) in a 1 1/2 quart covered dish. Add 1/4 cup
water. Microwave for four to eight minutes on high power until tender (easily pierced
with a fork) Stir once during cooking.
Cabbage: Place one pound (a small head) of wedges in a covered dish with two
tablespoons water. Microwave four to six minutes. Stir once.
Note: For red cabbage, also add two teaspoons of vinegar.
Source: University of Maine Cooperative Extension
Brussels Sprouts with Scallions
1 pound Brussels sprouts
1 tablespoon margarine
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Steam Brussels sprouts until tender. Drain well. Meanwhile, melt margarine in a skillet
and sauté scallions until tender. Add the cooked Brussels sprouts to the pan and stir to
blend the vegetables. Add lemon juice and pepper (to taste).
5 ½ cups shredded cabbage
3 celery ribs, thinly sliced
1 large carrot, shredded
1 each medium green, sweet red and yellow peppers, julienned
1 medium onion, halved and sliced
¼ cup sugar
¼ cup lime juice
2 tablespoons canola oil
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, celery, carrot, peppers and onion. In a small bowl,
whisk the dressing ingredients. Pour over cabbage mixture. Toss to coat. Cover and
refrigerate for at least an hour, stirring occasionally.