Gone are the days when Brussels sprouts evoked a family groan at dinner. Now sprouts are being hailed as a hang-over cure (more on that later), a cancer fighter and a trendy food.
One farmer is so committed that he farms 2,000 acres of them, with half a million being harvested. Two to three hundred tons of sprouts will be shipped out for the Christmas rush.
Photo: fusion brasserie
First, the health benefits. They have anti-cancer properties, containing sinigrin,which protects against certain cancers by suppressing rogue cells. They contain high levels of Vitamin C. Sprouts are packed with folic acid and prevent birth defects such as spina bifida.
The best way to cook them, according to the farmer who specialises in them: don't over-boil them. Boil them for 4-6 minutes, and don't leave them in the boiling water while you deal with the turkey. Steaming them is better.
He has also created a "sprout smoothie" which is being hailed as a hang-over cure. Made with orange juice, carrots, ginger and cinnamon, this healthy drink is supposed to clear away those fuzzy heads.
Other recipes created by Chef Tocchini include: twice baked souffle, sproutslaw, and sprout canapes for the Christmas dinner.
The enthusiastic chef has also recorded a rap song on the joys of sprouts, calling them the "little green cabbage from outer space that's boiled to death by the British race."
If cooking isn't your thing, there are still sprout wreaths to be hung, buttons to be worn (saying I Hate Sprouts or I Love Brussels Sprouts) and a range of neckties.
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