Two Thirsty Gardeners: Christmas Brussels sprouts guide

Two Thirsty Gardeners Brussels sprouts Nick Moyle, one half of our regular green-fingered and home-brewing bloggers, Two Thirsty Gardeners, dispenses his Top 5 tips for choosing the tastiest Brussels sprouts for your traditional Christmas Day lunch. Pick the best and then take a look at our "Five Ways With Sprouts" piece in Issue 4 for recipe ideas and, who knows, even the most staunch sprout-haters may be tempted to change their minds!

"At this time of year any thoughts of vegetables often feature Brussels sprouts. So here are our top five tips for the most controversial Christmas trimming."

  1. For freshness cut, or buy, the whole stalk and only sever the individual sprouts immediately prior to cooking (which involves bacon and chestnuts in our kitchens).
  2. If you’re growing your own then you have a few different types to choose from, including a purple variety which might give gran a shock.
  3. For an extra bounty, harvest the bunch of leaves assembled on top of the stalk and cook like you would a cabbage.
  4. Only use sprouts while their leaves are tightly packed – loose leaved, ‘blooming’ sprouts taste bitter.
  5. Sprouts contain a complex sugar called ‘raffinose’, which humans struggle to break down, and a small amount sulphur. It’s the combination of these substances that causes the sprout’s unfortunate side effects.

Did you know?

You may be surprised – and alarmed – to discover that some people make wine from sprouts. We suggest you don’t. Instead, put your feet up, crack open a bottle of your favourite tipple, and enjoy. Cheers!

If you’ve any questions about this post, please leave a Comment below by logging in or signing up (it only takes a moment) and we’ll pass your queries on to Rich and Nick, and get a reply posted.

Look out for more from Two Thirsty Gardeners next Friday, and do explore their blog!

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