We want to avoid chemical residues and support the development of alternate ways to grow food without that risk. So we choose organic produce.
As we go this route, we don't insist on perfect, blemishless vegetables and fruit. (Reasons why...)
Here are organically grown Brussels sprouts, from our own Margaret Thele of Sage Advice (how could we run the Forum without her priceless help?!). You may have bought some of this crop from her at the Old Winery Farmers' Market in Farmington, Michigan.
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Brussels sprouts may look a little rough on the outside...
but all is fine if the sprouts are plump and firm.
An imperfect exterior can be peeled away. (The peeled leaves can become chicken food or go to the compost.)
In 30 minutes we have cleaned a large stem of its sprouts -- snapped off the sprouts, stripped the marred leaves and trimmed each stub.
Time is a small price to pay for a chance at better health and fewer environmental problems. We listen to fun music and relax as we work.
We popped these buds into salted water to soak. Some we'll steam with onion, garlic and pepper. Some will be halved and sauted in olive oil to serve with sweet fruit such as apple chunks or grapes. We might even stir fry a few and add bacon. Yum!
Of course, they can be eaten raw, as well. Our son denies it now but we once lost half our sprouts harvest to his plucking and snacking ways.