To many people Brussels sprouts are disgusting, green leafy balls that give off an awful taste and odor. Lots of people try to stay away from this vegetable at all costs.
After all, childhood experiences of being forced to eat a horrible-tasting dish their mom made could be traumatizing. But here’s the thing: Brussels sprouts are not as bad as you’ve believed them to be.
People have gotten so used to the idea that they taste bitter and stink up the house. As such, they don’t want to give them another chance. But in fact, when cooked properly, these little green balls are actually quite delightful!
So, want to know what Brussels sprouts taste like? Well, keep reading to find out! Who knows, this power-packed vegetable may just become your new favorite side dish.
What Do Brussels Sprouts Taste Like?
The taste of Brussels sprouts depends on the way you cook them. This is why many folks think they’re bitter. But, believe it or not, when you cook them properly, Brussels sprouts have a sweet, nutty, smoky flavor that’s hard to resist.
It tastes somewhat like its larger cousin, cabbage, just a bit milder. As for the texture, Brussels sprouts have a nice crunchy exterior and a tender interior.
Brussels sprouts also vary a bit in taste depending on their size. Like other fruits and veggies, smaller ones have a better and sweeter flavor than more mature ones.
As for the vegetable’s nutritional value, sprouts are brimming with a ton. These guys are loaded with Vitamins A, C, and K, along with Potassium, Folate, and fiber. All the more reason to add them to your daily diet!
How to Cook Brussels Sprouts
There are several ways to prepare Brussels sprouts. No matter what method you choose, the key is to not overcook them.
Over-cooking the Brussels sprouts gives them that foul taste and odor. Yup, that was the big blunder our parents and grandparents made that gave this poor cruciferous such a bad reputation.
So, don’t make the same mistake they did and cook your Brussels sprouts the right way. Here are some options:
- Your best chance at giving Brussels sprouts maximum flavor is to roast them. This method will bring out the natural sugars in the veggie and gives them that crispy and caramelized goodness.
Prepare your Brussels sprouts by slicing off the hardened stems at the bottom and pulling off the tough outer leaves.
Next, coat the sprouts in a mixture of olive oil, salt, and pepper and transfer them onto a baking sheet.
Place the baking sheet on the center rack of the oven. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Shake the pan every 5 minutes to ensure the sprouts brown evenly. You’ll know they’re done when the outer leaves turn dark brown.
- If roasting isn’t an option, you could also saute your Brussels sprouts. They will also caramelize with this method. The key is to not overcrowd your pan because that will steam the sprouts, not brown them. Here’s a great recipe for sauteed Brussels sprouts:
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, pour one tablespoon of bacon fat and a tablespoon of olive oil. Saute garlic for 30 seconds and add the sprouts and some chopped onions. Sprinkle them with a bit of brown sugar and salt. Cook for one minute and then stir.
Cook for another 4-5 minutes until they turn bright green. Add some apple slices and let the mixture sit for another 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add pecans, dried cherries, and bacon. Drizzle with your favorite vinaigrette. Yum!
The most important thing you need to know about Brussels sprouts is cook time. Because no matter what seasonings and ingredients you add to the mix, if you cook them longer than they need, you’ll only end up with bitter sprouts. Be sure to cook them between 20 to 40 minutes, and not a minute longer.
Cook time will vary depending on the size of your brussels sprouts, oven temperature, and how you personally prefer your veggies to be cooked.
How to Make Brussels Sprouts Taste Good
Brussels sprouts will taste even better if you season them well. You can’t go wrong with the basics – olive oil, salt, and pepper. A mixture of butter and lemon will work great as well!
If you want a nice smoky flavor, mix it with some bacon, pancetta or sausage.
For sweeter Brussels sprouts, flavor them with honey, maple syrup, balsamic vinegar, or fruit juice. It will help tone down that bitter taste people are so wary of!
Give your Brussels sprouts a savory and nutty flair by topping them with Parmesan cheese.
Did you know that you can eat Brussels sprouts raw, too? They make a good salad ingredient, as long as you massage them with olive oil first. This will help soften the leaves and make them taste better.