Purple Brussels sprouts are a unique vegetable that stands out as one of the most attractive members of the Brassicaceae family. These tasty veggies have spot dark purple leaves with green veins and crimson tips. Purple Brussels sprouts are delicious, healthy, and provide a striking side dish. Whether you are an enthusiast foodie or a professional chef, these colorful and delicious vegetables are worth considering. Here is an exclusive review of everything you need to know about purple Brussels sprouts, including where to purchase and store them, how to cook them, and the best meal to serve with.
Purple Brussels Sprouts Origin
Purple Brussels sprouts resemble tiny purple cabbages and are found in the cruciferous family since they are part of the cabbage family. According to Hitchcock Farms, Brussels sprouts were first discovered in the 16th century. They were named after the capital city of Belgium because they have been popular in Brussels for hundreds of years and became famous throughout Europe. The French settlers introduced them to the U.S. shores in the early 1700s. The purple Brussels was later developed by C.N. Vreeken, a Dutch plant geneticist, in the 1940s through a cross between red cabbage and green sprouts.
What Are the Nutritional and Health Benefits of Purple Brussels Sprouts?
Purple Brussels sprouts have been proven to have high levels of several nutrients and are linked to numerous health benefits. These vegetables are low in calories and high in vitamins, fiber, and minerals, making them a healthy option. Purple Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin K, which helps build bone density. The veggies have a high level of vitamin C and anthocyanin, which are rich in antioxidants. Vitamin C helps enhance iron absorption, hence preventing anemia and supporting healthy skin. They have Glucosinolates compounds that have been proven effective in protecting against cancer. The antioxidants can promote a healthier cardiovascular system when part of your regular diet. According to Healthline, purple Brussels sprouts also contain ALA omega-3 fatty acids helpful in promoting the health of your heart, brain, and immune system.
These veggies are also filled with magnesium, potassium, and calcium, which help in enhancing eye and bone health. Characterized by its purple color, this vegetable has disease-fighting phytonutrients that protect your eyes from age-related macular degeneration and eye cataracts. Like their green cousins, purple Brussels sprouts have high amounts of fiber. A half cup of cooked purple Brussels sprouts has two grams of fiber. The fiber will help support a healthy digestive system and decrease heart disease risk. Purple sprouts might help in maintaining healthy blood sugar levels. Several studies have associated an increased intake of purple Brussels sprouts with a reduced risk of diabetes mainly due to its nutrient profile and high fibers. According to Food Revolution Network, regular intake of Brussels sprouts together with a healthy diet can help to maintain stable blood sugar levels. Generally, keep purple Brussels sprouts on the list of vegetables bursting with nutritional benefits.
What Is the Difference between Purple and Green Brussels Sprouts?
While they have many similarities, there are minor differences between the purple and green Brussels sprouts. One of the apparent differences is in color. Purple Brussels sprouts are similar to green Brussels sprouts but have a purple color. However, they are not entirely purple as they have green and purple leaves. However, the purple color is vibrant and makes an elegant dish presentation. If you have not tried both vegetables, you probably wonder if purple sprouts taste differently. Yes, they do have a slight difference in taste! While all Brussels sprouts taste similar to cabbage, purple sprouts are sweeter compared to green sprouts. The flavor of purple Brussels sprouts is still earthy like the green Brussels sprouts but has a slightly milder flavor. Another frequently asked question is whether purple Brussels sprouts require a different cooking recipe? The answer is no and yes. Both green and purple Brussels sprouts can be easily prepared with the same technique. However, purple Brussels sprout heads are not tightly packed as the green sprouts; hence cook quicker.
Purple Vs. Green Brussels Sprouts Nutrition and Health Benefits
Both purple and green sprouts share the same nutritional profile. Both the vegetables are rich in vitamins A, B6, C, and K, as well as a great source of fiber and folate. Nevertheless, the deep purple pigmentation on the purple Brussels sprouts gives it more anthocyanins, delivering more antioxidants. According to the Aggregate Nutrient Density (ANDI) score, green and purple sprouts are among the top 20 most nutritious foods.
Which Is the Purple Brussels Sprouts Season?
Usually, purple Brussels sprouts thrive best in cool weather, with the season running from September to March. The purple hues develop as the plant matures and when the climate gets colder. You will most likely find them during the winter at your grocery store. However, this will depend on where you live. Home gardeners still plant the purple Brussels sprout seeds around four months before the first frost. Places like California have fertile soils and a mild climate that enables production companies to grow the purple Brussels sprouts throughout the year. Purple Brussels sprouts in colder climates like Wisconsin are highly harvested in the fall. In Virginia, the winters are milder, so while they are still harvested in fall, the season is longer by about a month. This is excellent news for kitchens across the country. Foodservice companies source the purple Brussels sprouts via produce distributors regardless of the season. Based on where they are located, most home chefs can conveniently find purple Brussels sprouts at their farmer’s market or local grocery store.
How To Grow Purple Brussels Sprouts
Purple Brussels sprouts are easy to grow and occupy a small space in the garden. They are slow-growing and long-bearing plants that crop throughout the colder winter months. Purple Brussels sprouts thrive best in a firm, well-drained, fertile non-acidic soil as with other cabbage varieties. The plant does like loose roots and produces open sprouts when not firmly planted. You will also need to protect your Brussels sprouts from anything that attempts to eat them before you. According to Plants of Distinction, you should begin to sow the seeds in 1cm deep rows with a 15cm spacing at the end of the match. After one to two weeks, the seedlings will be ready for transplanting in April. Plant the thin seedlings in a spacing of 5 to 7 cm and transfer them to a permanent position when they reach 10 to 15 cm tall, normally before may. By June, the plants should be firmly growing in their final place. The sprouts will start by forming at the bottom, going up to the top for several weeks. Harvest the sprouts by twisting until they break from the plant. You should also eliminate any yellowing leaves as you harvest the lower sprouts. The crop will continuously develop new leaves and more sprouts. Before the final harvest, you can trick the sprout into maturing all at once by cutting the tip of the plant about three weeks before harvesting.
How Do You Cook Purple Brussels Sprouts?
You can cook purple Brussels sprouts by steaming or stir-frying them. Oven-roasted purple Brussels sprouts recipes are famous for bringing out the veggie’s naturally sweet taste. Roasting the Brussels sprouts until they become charred provides an entirely different experience than boiling them. The process is also easy. You just need to trim the vegetables, cut them in half, and toss them with salt and olive oil. Set the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit and put them for around 45 minutes, tossing after every fifteen minutes. Another great method of cooking purple Brussels sprouts is grilling them. Grilled purple Brussels sprouts go well with a barbecue. To grill these veggies, you will need to cook them slightly by boiling them in water for around five minutes or microwaving them for three minutes. After they are partially cooked, thread them on skewers and grill directly over the flame for about ten minutes until they are slightly charred. Flip them regularly to ensure they cook and char evenly. According to Baldor Food, you can also shave raw purple Brussels sprouts and use them in a salad. They make a delicious replacement for lettuce. Whether you boil, braise, sauté or steam, purple sprouts retain their beautiful colors and delicious flavor. This vegetable easily inspires professional and home chefs. You can quickly bring out the best of the purple Brussels sprouts, savory or salad. Some of the different ways to prepare the purple Brussels sprouts include;
- Baking the purple Brussels sprouts in a white cheddar cheese casserole.
- Prepare a tasty and colorful vegetable soup.
- Add crunch in coleslaw with shredded purple Brussels sprouts.
- Pan fried the sprouts and finished with Parmesan and balsamic vinegar
Can Purple Brussels Sprouts Become Blue After Cooking?
Some people have concerns about whether the color of purple Brussels sprouts changes after cooking. The purple color can sometimes turn blue when cooking. Although they still look gorgeous, it’s essential to keep this in mind to avoid surprises. Although not proven, some say that adding a splash of vinegar to the purple Brussels sprouts when boiling them during the pre-cooking predations can help maintain the purple hue.
What Serving Pairs Best with Purple Brussels Sprouts?
Restaurant guests appreciate the flawless pairing of a great entrée and wine. Families at home enjoy the matching flavors of main dishes and favorite veggies. Purple Brussels sprout recipes provide this type of culinary harmony to the table. Some of the best pairings with purple Brussels sprouts include:
- Purple Brussels sprouts pairs well with bacon for a healthy breakfast
- A side meal with grilled chicken
- Pair the purple Brussels sprouts with side game meats
- Oven-roast fresh sprouts with smoked bacon or pancetta
Dipping Sauces, Toppings, and Other Ideas
- Dress your purple Brussels sprouts in honey mustard, hollandaise, or Sriracha aioli.
- Toss the purple Brussels sprouts with pecans and apples and drizzle with some maple syrup.
- Spice the sweet sprouts tang with mustard or vinegar.
- Spice up purple Brussels sprouts with garlic, sage, or Cajun seasonings.
- Squeeze some fresh lemon juice or balsamic.
- Sprinkle your purple Brussels sprouts with some parmesan cheese.
Regardless of what you do, always ensure to season purple Brussels sprouts with coarse salt. This gives a significant difference in the final dish. You can also add a little pepper if you love pepper.
How Do You Purchase and Store Purple Brussels Sprouts?
Purple Brussels sprouts are readily available at a farmer’s market or grocery store. You can also find them in other specialty markets. If you can find them locally, check whether they are available online. You will likely get several retailers willing to deliver them right to your doorstep. If you are operating a commercial kitchen, you should find trusted distributors to provide you with some of the freshest produce year-round. According to Melissas.com, buy sprouts with firm heads and tightly wrapped leaves. You should not see any discoloration or wilt. If the purple Brussels sprouts show any signs of wilting, it’s best not to buy them because they won’t be as fresh or delicious once you cook them. When you get home, it’s best to store these vegetables in the fridge to keep them fresh for one to two weeks. However, it’s best to cook them as soon as possible because they are tastier when fresh.
Can Dogs Eat Purple Brussels Sprouts?
As a pet owner, you probably wonder whether it is safe to share your delicious dish of purple Brussels sprouts with your canine friend. Fortunately, the answer is yes. Dogs can safely eat Brussels sprouts as they are nontoxic to them. So, if your dog loves them, you can go on and share some. However, keep an eye out for any side effects when giving excess gassing for the first time. For any unusual side effects, consult with your veterinarian as soon as possible.
That’s all you need to know about purple Brussels sprouts. These vegetables are rich in vitamins, fiber, minerals, and antioxidants, which makes them a nutritious addition to your dish. Enjoy them for their pleasing flavor and their cooking versatility to keep you inspired. Purple Brussels sprouts deserve to be regularly included in your menu planning. Adding purple Brussels sprouts to a well-balanced diet of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains will significantly impact your health.