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Are Brussels Sprouts Keto?

Packed with nutrients, high in fiber and low in carbs, the answer to Are Brussels Sprouts Keto is YES! With all the info you could ever want to know about how Brussels sprouts are a keto superfood – read on!

keto brussels sprouts with almonds and brown butter in a serving dish

Brussels sprouts have such a bad reputation, and people either seem to love them or hate them, with no middle ground for tolerance.

Are you a sprouts lover or hater?

If you’re a hater, it could be because you’re used to the funky, nasty, bitter sprouts from your childhood.

Interestingly, the Brussels sprouts of 20 years ago are not the same as today. Farmers have been actively working to grow the bitterness out of them. That’s right, but using select varieties and with careful cross-pollination, they’re able to produce sprouts that are less bitter and less funky than they used to be.

So if you’re a hater and haven’t tried them in the last 20 years, give them another chance!

Fresh raw organic brussels sprouts stalks on white background. Top view, flat lay, copy space.
Brussels sprouts grow on thick stalks.

Are Brussels Sprouts Keto Friendly?

Yes!

Of course if you start adding other non-keto higher carb ingredients to your dish, then it isn’t going to be keto. But with just 4 net carbs per half cup of Brussels Sprouts, they’re a tasty keto option.

It’s hard to measure just a half a cup of Brussels sprouts because they’re all different sizes, so weigh them if you’re looking for an accurate measure. A one half cup serving should be about 78 grams.

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Brussles Sprouts Nutritional Info

Sprouts are packed with nutrition. Just check out this breakdown in just a half a cup of these green globes:

  • Calories: 28
  • Protein: 2 grams
  • Carbs: 6 grams
  • Fiber: 2 grams
  • Vitamin K: 137% of the RDI
  • Vitamin C: 81% of the RDI
  • Vitamin A: 12% of the RDI
  • Folate: 12% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 9% of the RDI

Other Health Benefits

Brussels sprouts have also been linked to other health benefits such as lowering blood pressure, they may help in the fight against cancer because of the high levels of antioxidants, and they helps to improve digestion because they are high in insoluble fiber (the good fiber that helps constipated ketoers).

How to Buy Brussels Sprouts

Please, do me a favor and only buy FRESH Brussels sprouts! Frozen sprouts are mushy and nasty and … well, don’t get me started again.

When you’re at the market, look for fresh sprouts. They’re not that expensive and they’re usually available all year long.

Choose firm sprouts with tight leaves. And, try to get them all about the same size. I choose larger sprouts if I’m going to shred them or just use the leaves, and smaller sprouts if I’m going to cook them whole.

Getting them about the same size means they’ll cook at about the same rate, avoiding overcooked nasty mushy sprouts.

How to Clean Brussels Sprouts

Resist the temptation to pop these little gems into your mouth raw, without cleaning or trimming.

You see, Brussels sprouts can harbor little tiny bugs. Yes, that’s right, little bugs.

But, with careful cleaning and inspection, you can enjoy your sprouts in all your favorite dishes.

  1. Using a sharp paring knife, trim a bit off the stem end of the Brussel sprout.
  2. Pull off a few of the exterior leaves.
  3. Inspect the stem area of the sprout for dark gray dots that can flake off. Those are bugs. If you see that, either trim them away or discard the sprout.
  4. Continue until all the sprouts are trimmed and inspected, and then continue to prepare them according to your recipe.
Trimmed and peeled brussels sprouts.
Cleaned and trimmed.

How to Cook BrussEls Sprouts

Sprouts can be sauteed, steamed, boiled, fried, BBQd, and baked. They are hugely versatile, and they pair so nicely with other flavors. From salads to sautees, there are lots of ways to eat them.

However

Do NOT overcook the Brussels sprouts!

Sprouts should be cooked until tender crisp – that is they still have a bit of crunch in the middle. If you overcook them they become mushy, nasty, skunky globes of funkiness. Trust me. Don’t overcook them!

Roasted – Sprouts can be roasted on a sheet pan. They’ll need some fat, so drizzle them with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast them until they’re golden brown on the bottom.

Pan fry – Hot heat and a bit of fat turn sprouts into a lovely dish. They cook quickly, so don’t walk away!

Shredded – Halve the sprouts then slice them into shreds. Toss them into slaw, or just top them with your favorite dressing.

Deep fried – Ever had deep fried Brussels sprouts leaves? Trust me, these are good!

Are Brussels Sprouts Freezer-Friendly?

So, here’s my answer on that. NO!

OK technically you can freeze sprouts and you can buy them frozen from the supermarket. But frozen sprouts go watery, nasty, mushy, and funky when frozen and thawed. Do yourself a favor and eat them fresh!

You can freeze leftover Brussels sprouts but again, they’re not going to be pretty when you thaw them. If you’re in a pinch, freeze them.

Recipes Using Brussels Sprouts

Here are a few of my favorite recipes featuring Brussels Sprouts:

Are Brussels sprouts better raw or cooked?

You can certainly eat them both ways, but raw sprouts may contain higher nutrition value.

Are Brussels sprouts just baby cabbage?

No, not at all. While Brussels sprouts and cabbage are related, sprouts are their own kind of vegetable.

Do you need to soak Brussels sprouts before cooking?

Not at all. Just trim them up and then cook them in your favorite recipe.

By Chef Jenn

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