Sustainable Living

Eat Local In Every Season: Brussels Sprouts

Why Local?

As we move into fall in southwestern BC, farmer’s markets with their beautiful abundance of local fruit and vegetables are beginning to wind down.  This year my family participated in a CSA (community-supported agriculture) food box from a local farm for the first time. 

What is a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) box?

The idea behind these boxes is that the community buys food directly from local producers and supports these producers in their work to grow food in a sustainable manner. We paid a cost in advance and then went to the farm on scheduled days to pick up a box of fresh, local produce.

We loved the weekly visit to the place where our food was produced, meeting the people that produced it, and the freshness of the food on our plates!

With that in mind I’ve decided that, between my garden and our local producers, to attempt to continue my focus on local vegetables as a mainstay of our diet throughout the fall and winter.  This is new to me and so I thought I would document the foods and recipes that I try in hopes that you’ll join me in eating local year-round!

Growing Brussels Sprouts

For this first post I didn’t have to travel very far to harvest some fresh veggies for dinner as we’re growing brussels sprouts in our very own winter garden. This is my first time growing brussels sprouts and I’ll admit I had no idea how they grew!

My husband and I kept looking at the plants trying to figure out how the sprouts would appear on the stem… and here they are! They’re surprisingly hard to pull off of the stem so I tried cutting them off with kitchen scissors and it worked really well.

An interesting fact about brussels sprouts: apparently they keep growing all winter and actually get better and sweeter after a frost. I’m looking forward to seeing how these plants continue to grow in the coming colder months!

How brussels sprouts grow

Eating Brussels Sprouts

Another admission: I have never liked (or thought I didn’t like) brussels sprouts so I’m sure it came as a bit of a surprise to my husband that I wanted to plant them! And we planted so many!

I felt that there must be a way to prepare them that I’d like them and that it was worth it a try in order to have fresh vegetables on the table from our yard throughout the winter. I tried this Sauteed Brussels Sprouts recipe and they were delicious! In fact, they almost didn’t make it to the dinner table because I ate most of them in the kitchen.

The brussels sprouts from my garden had a few bugs on them, being fresh from the garden, so I removed the outer layers and sliced the tough stem off before soaking in salt water. I then sliced them quite thinly, not just in half as the recipe states, and I didn’t have any nuts so just left them without.

Next time I’d love to try them with pine nuts or parmesan or both!

Other Brussels Sprouts Recipes I Plan to Try

What’s your favourite way to cook brussels sprouts?


  • Clarissa

    I love brussel sprouts! I just finished off a big bag in my fridge actually. I love that image you posted of how they grow – I had no idea! It’s so funny to me how trendy brussel sprouts have become in the last few years, I feel like when I was a kid, that was the vegetable everyone loved to hate!

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      That’s awesome! I think you’re right that their reputation has improved over the years. I always knew them as a vegetable people loved to hate too 🙂

  • Jaya Avendel

    We used to think Brussels sprouts were impossible to cook so we never tried them, but last year we picked up a bag and roasted them with dressing and parmesan. Delicious! We mostly eat them on salad or as a side, so I definitely want to try them sautéed with pine nuts!

    Our CSA share is coming to end with the season, which is sad. It was wonderful to get fresh tomatoes and lettuce and eggplant all summer. 🙂

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      That’s awesome you participate in a CSA share too. We are so lucky and grateful that our local farm has a fall and a winter CSA box. That doesn’t seem to be the norm for most, but is something we’re excited about!

      Roasting Brussels sprouts in dressing and parmesan sounds great too! 🙂

  • Castlesandturrets

    I actually really love Brussel sprouts – my mum used to cook them with bacon, chestnuts and some sort of sauce, but I love your suggestions of having them with either pine nuts or parmesan, would be delicious I’m sure!

    • A Sustainably Simple Life

      It’s good to hear that someone loves them! I feel like they do have a bad reputation, but done right they can be delicious 🙂

What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments!