Can You Eat Brussels Sprouts Raw?

The winter vegetable from the cabbage family is full of valuable ingredients and refines many a hearty stew or casserole. But can Brussels sprouts be eaten raw, or is it poisonous uncooked?

Brussel sprouts, also known as sprout sprouts, have their main season in the cold season and usually enrich the winter kitchen from September to March. Cold does not bother the cabbage. Quite the opposite, because slightly below zero means the florets taste milder and gain significantly in sweetness and aroma. In the warm kitchen, Brussels sprouts are often used for recipes in spicy stir-fries, soothing stews, or hearty casseroles. As with many other members of the cabbage family, opinions are often divided about the mini cabbages – some love them, while others literally turn up their noses at them because they don’t like the typical smell of cabbage. However, this only occurs when boiling, simmering, or roasting. On the other hand, if you process Brussels sprouts raw, they don’t come out. And indeed, you can eat the vegetable uncooked, because contrary to popular belief, raw Brussels sprouts are not poisonous.

In addition to the lack of a strong scent and the pleasantly crunchy bite, the valuable ingredients, many of which are heat-sensitive and water-soluble, speak in favor of the raw food variant. Raw green sprouts, therefore, contain significantly more vitamins A, B1, B2, and C than when cooked. They also contain up to twice as much potassium and iron as white cabbage, as well as various phytochemicals that strengthen the immune system. In principle, you do not have to cook Brussels sprouts before eating them and you can also enjoy them raw – as long as you follow a few points and tips.

Eating raw Brussels sprouts: brief information

Brussels sprouts are by no means toxic when raw, but rather very healthy, as many valuable ingredients such as vitamins are lost when heated. However, the high fiber content can lead to digestive problems with bloating and abdominal pain. Therefore, you should first approach the consumption of uncooked Brussels sprouts in small amounts. You should also grate it as finely as possible before eating it or cut it into thin slices so that it becomes more digestible and milder.

Eating brussels sprouts raw: tips for consumption

It doesn’t matter whether you want to boil Brussels sprouts or eat them raw, the preparation is the same at first. While freshly harvested Brussels sprouts are quickly cleaned and you usually only have to remove two or three leaves, you should be prepared for purchased goods that around 20 percent end up in the compost or in the organic waste bin. First, wash the sprouts and then cut off wilted leaves and discolored areas with a small kitchen knife. With the raw food variant, it is best to remove the outer dark leaves completely, as these are often firmer or even slightly fibrous. Compared to the light green inside, they are also less sweet and mild in taste.

In addition to vitamins and minerals, cabbage sprouts also contain a high proportion of dietary fiber. In larger amounts, these can lead to digestive problems, bloating, and abdominal pain. This happens in particular when the gastrointestinal tract is not used to processing fiber-rich raw food. Aniseed, caraway, and fennel seeds help and make the vegetables more digestible. If you eat Brussels sprouts raw, you should also grate them as finely as possible or cut them into thin slices so that they are more digestible and taste better.

What is the best way to taste raw Brussels sprouts?

As a rule, the cabbage florets end up finely grated in the salad bowl. A classic vinaigrette goes just as well with this as dressings with a light sweetness or citrus note. Our recipe tip: Try a honey-mustard dressing or a vinaigrette with a dash of lemon or orange juice for the salad, for example. Roasted walnuts or hazelnuts harmonize wonderfully with the slightly bitter taste. If you want to spice up mixed salads with Brussels sprouts, it is best to pluck the Brussels sprouts individually and cut the stalk into fine strips.

How much raw Brussels sprouts can you eat?

Eating raw food is always a matter of habit and a matter of practice for the digestive tract. Vegetable lovers, who generally have a sensitive stomach, should avoid uncooked Brussels sprouts and use them in the warm kitchen instead. It’s best to feel your way around raw Brussels sprouts in small amounts first to find out how your stomach reacts to them. If in doubt, it is advisable to cook the sprouts at least briefly before enjoying them in order to make them more digestible.

When should you stop eating Brussels sprouts?

In your own garden, you pick the florets when they are about the size of a walnut and still tightly closed. In the case of hardy varieties, the harvest can be carried out in portions until spring and as required. When buying, you should make sure that the sprouts are as closed as possible, have no yellow spots, and feel firm when you press them lightly.

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