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Brussel Sprouts
Good quality Brussels sprouts are firm, compact and vivid green. They should be free of yellowed or wilted leaves and should not be puffy or soft in texture. Avoid those that have perforations in their leaves as this may indicate that they have aphids residing within. If Brussels sprouts are sold individually, choose those of equal size to ensure that they will cook evenly. Brussels sprouts are available year round, but their peak growing period is from autumn until early spring.

Store unwashed untrimmed Brussels sprouts in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator. Stored in a plastic bag, they keep about 10 days. If you freeze Brussels sprouts, blanch them first for between three to five minutes. They will keep in the freezer for up to one year.

For about 20 years, we've known that many phytonutrients work as antioxidants to disarm free radicals before they can damage DNA, cell membranes and fat-containing molecules such as cholesterol. Now, new research is revealing that phytonutrients in cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussels sprouts, work at a much deeper level.

Human population as well as animal studies consistently show that diets high in cruciferous vegetables, such as Brussel sprouts, broccoli, kale, cabbage and cauliflower, are associated with lower incidence of certain cancers, including lung, colon, breast and ovarian cancer.

In addition, a cup of Brussels sprouts contains a whopping 1122 IU of vitamin A plus 669 IU of beta-carotene, both of which play important roles in defending the body against infection and promoting supple, glowing skin.

Brussels sprouts, is a hardy, slow-growing, long-season vegetable belonging to the cabbage family. In the proper season of the year, it can be grown with fair success in most areas of the country. In mild areas, or where there is deep snow cover, the sprouts may survive the winter.

The "sprouts" (small heads that resemble miniature cabbages) are produced in the leaf axils, starting at the base of the stem and working upward. Sprouts improve in quality and grow best during cool or even lightly frosty weather. Brussels sprouts require a long growing period, though newer hybrids have greatly reduced this requirement. In all but the most northern states, summers are usually too warm for completely satisfactory production from spring plantings. Plants set out in late spring to early summer grow satisfactorily and mature high-quality sprouts when the fall weather begins to cool

Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C, the body's primary water-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin C supports immune function and the manufacture of collagen, a protein that forms the ground substance of body structures including the skin, connective tissue, cartilage, and tendons. A large study conducted on nearly 20,000 men and women in England found that people with the highest vitamin C levels had half the risk of dying from heart disease, stroke or cancer. Risk of dying from heart disease was reduced by 71% in men and 59% for women in the group with the highest vitamin C levels.Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of vitamin C, the body's primary water-soluble antioxidant. Vitamin C supports immune function and the manufacture of collagen, a protein that forms the ground substance of body structures including the skin, connective tissue, cartilage, and tendons. A large study conducted on nearly 20,000 men and women in England found that people with the highest vitamin C levels had half the risk of dying from heart disease, stroke or cancer. Risk of dying from heart disease was reduced by 71% in men and 59% for women in the group with the highest vitamin C levels.