Harvest of the Month: All About Brussels Sprouts

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Here at Gourmet Gorilla, we are all about seasonality. Because we source our food locally, we purchase our food based on what is seasonally available in the region. This is what ensures that our meals are fresh, delicious and sustainable. Our seasonal menu is just one reason why we love Harvest of the Month.

What is Illinois Harvest of the Month?

Harvest of the Month celebrates a different in-season, locally grown food item each month. With over 100 recipes and fun facts to choose from, Harvest of the Month is a great educational tool that will help you and your child learn more about seasonal produce!

September’s Harvest of the Month: Brussels Sprouts!

This vegetable is as tasty as it is healthy! Did you know that a half a cup of brussels sprouts contains more Vitamin C than an orange? Here are some fun facts that you can share with your student or child that are sure to make them excited about this cruciferous superstar:

 

1.  They get their name from the fact that they were widely cultivated around Brussels, Belgium during the 16th century.

2.  Sprouts contain high levels of vitamins A and C, folate, and dietary fiber.

3.  Sprouts fan Linus Urbanec from Sweden holds the current world record for the most brussels sprouts eaten in one minute. He swallowed 31 on November 26, 2008!

4.  When combined with whole grains, brussels sprouts make a complete protein.

5.   Last year, a team of scientists and local schoolchildren used the energy from 1,000 brussels sprouts to light a Christmas tree on London’s Southbank (now there’s a science fair idea!).

 If those fun-facts weren’t enough to pique your child’s interest, try this tasty recipe, brought to you by the Illinois Farm School and Harvest of the Month:

Orange Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

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Ingredients:
6 slices turkey bacon
20 brussels sprouts
juice of one naval orange (I got about
¼ cup)
1 shallot, peeled and quartered
¼ cup olive oil
2 teaspoons stone ground mustard
2 teaspoons cane vinegar (any kind
would work)
2 teaspoons real maple syrup
½ teaspoon of salt

Directions:
1. Remove the base of the brussels sprouts by cutting off just the very bottom part of the stem (it’s white). If you cut too much off, the leaves will fall apart, so be careful. Slice the brussels sprouts in half.

2. Puree the orange juice, shallot, olive oil, mustard, vinegar, maple syrup, and salt in a food processor until a smooth sauce forms. Set aside.

3. Cook the turkey bacon in a hot pan. Drain on paper towels. When cool enough to handle, chop into small pieces.

4. Return the same pant to medium high heat and add the brussels sprouts to the pan, cut side down. Gently push the brussels sprouts around the pan, keeping them cut side down. You might need to do it twice depending on how many you can fit in your pan at one time. After about five minutes, when the brussels sprouts have browned slightly on the cut side and the pan is hot, pour he sauce in with the brussels sprouts. It will sizzle like crazy; that’s perfect! Pick the pan up by the handle(s) and shake it a little bit so that the brussels sprouts move around in the pan. They burn easily, especially once the sugars are there, so do this quickly (1 minute or less).

5. Serve hot as a side dish or main. Enjoy!

This Blog Post was brought to you by Anna Crofts, Client Account Representative