Saturday, April 2, 2016

Brussels Sprouts for the B!

Ok So I know that Brussel Sprouts are not everyone's favorite veggie, but what do you know about them? And have you tried them Pickled? Hang around and I'll pass along more some information on those flavorful mini cabbages.

So I've decided that B will be for Brussels Sprouts this year and I other than my kiddo I can hear a collective groan. Would you believe that I think these guys have gotten a bad rap from our mothers who boiled them and plopped them unappetizing on our plates when we were young. Brussels Spouts are in the Cabbage family but the way they grow is interesting, most people have only seen the end result, in a plastic bag, a bit wilted in the produce section. Did you know they actually grow on the stalk of the plant. In fact you they are good space savers for your garden. You can get a large harvest in a small space. The sprouts grow as buds along the stem that can grow from 2 to 4 foot tall. Image result for brussels sprouts
Image from Mother Earth News
Like other brassiciaceae they grow best in the fall or early spring, frost often sweetens the flavor. Plant late summer, or late winter for a harvest in 90 to 180 days depending on the weather. The entire stalk can be harvested or the buds can be harvested from the bottom to the top over a period of time.

While they can be boiled, roasted or grilled, our favorite is pickled! I'll even share our favorite recipe with the more adventurous, and as a plus it's easy. This recipe calls for water bath processing but there are others that can just be refrigerated.

We start with about two pounds of sprouts, rinse, trim and cut them in half. Then soak them in a bowl of salted water for 15 minutes, while you are gathering your other supplies and heating your jars.

  • Two pounds should make you 5 pint jars, so you'll need 5 jars, lids and rings
  • 5 cups of water
  • 5 cups of white vinegar
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 11/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes (to be divided)
  • 7 tablespoons of pickling salt

Drain and Rinse the sprouts well. 
In a large pot bring the water, vinegar and salt to a boil, over medium heat until the salt has dissolved. 
Take heated jars out of the canner and add to each jar 1 clove of garlic and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper flakes, and fill each jar with spouts, pack tightly. 
Pour vinegar mixture over the sprouts up to 1/4 of the top, take a knife and run it along the inside of the jars to make sure all air was been expelled.
Wipe the tops of the jars and put on lids and rings. 
Place jars in a canner with at least one inch of water over the top of the jars bring to a boil and process for 10 mins.

Take the jars out of the water and place jars on a towel and cover with a towel to protect from drafts.
Once the jars have cooled, this could take over night or at least several hours, check the tops to make sure that they have sealed.
It's not quite ready yet, you'll need to wait at least another 3 weeks while they sit in a cool dark place.
Once they are ready don't be concerned about the smell when you open them. It's strong but it's normal. Then enjoy, they are great right out of the jar.

Thanks for stopping by and be sure to check out the A to Z Blogging Challenge for all kinds of blogs. I'll be back on Monday with "C"! Until then you can find me in the Garden!