Home Healthy Recipes Do you know the World’s Most Hated Vegetable?

Do you know the World’s Most Hated Vegetable?

written by Guest Blogger October 27, 2011

You probably know the answer to this question because you probably hate them, too! Bindu Grandhi, cookbook author and Live Lighter regular guest blogger, is here today to tell us about the world’s most detested veggie and share with us some recipes to make them taste good!

Brussels sprouts are the vegetable villain not just in the US but worldwide.  Previous honorees included spinach until Popeye popularized it in the 1930’s, then came broccoli, reviled by the first President Bush, who famously said: “I’m president of the United States and I’m not going to eat any more broccoli.”

I happen to love Brussels sprouts and honestly don’t know what folks have against these adorable miniature cabbages. I guess the slightly bitter taste, texture and what many people describe as “a vague aroma of feet” is enough to scare anyone off!

The truth is Brussels sprouts are remarkable and super tasty if you just know how to pick and prepare them.  They’re very high in fiber and protein, rich in lutein and vitamins C and K, all for just 60 calories per cooked cup. Scientists also believe the vegetable may protect against cancer because it’s rich in indole—a phytochemical.

It’s best to buy fresh Brussels sprouts that are still on the stalk, otherwise look for the individual sprouts pre-packaged. Personally, I don’t like the frozen variety.  To boost your odds of a bitter-free batch, buy sage green, tightly closed sprouts about an inch across with no yellowing or brown spots and use them within a day or two.

Brussels sprouts are best served baked, steamed or sautéed.  See below for some simple ideas and try Vasantha’s (my mom) Sautéed Brussels sprouts. It is very important not to overcook Brussels sprouts. Not only do they lose their nutritional value and taste but also they will begin to emit the unpleasant sulfur smell associated with overcooked cruciferous vegetables.

Maybe Brussels sprouts will never become as popular as some other vegetables but I think you should give them a chance. You never know, perhaps one day it won’t be the most hated vegetable in the universe!

Brussels Sprout Preparation Suggestions

Toss 1lb. of sprouts with 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, salt and pepper, and roast at 425ºF until well browned, about 35 to 40 minutes.

Or cut 1lb. of sprouts in half lengthwise and steam until they’re bright green and tender, about 5 minutes, then drizzle with mustard sauce (whisk together 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, 2 Tbsp. orange juice, 1 Tbsp. mustard, and 1 Tbsp. lemon juice). [Recipe from Nutrition Action October 2011]

Vasantha’s Sautéed Spicy Brussels Sprouts

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Serves: 4 Prep Time: Cooking Time:


  • 2 Tbsp. light extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 onions, peeled and diced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, stemmed and finely chopped
  • 1 lb. fresh Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed, and quartered
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ½ tsp. ground coriander
  • ½ tsp. red chili powder
  • ½ tsp. brown sugar
  • Salt to taste


  1. In a 3-quart nonstick saucepan, heat the oil. Add the onions and jalapeno peppers, and sauté for 3 minutes.
  2. Add the Brussels sprouts and sauté over medium-low heat for 10 minutes, until the sprouts are tender.
  3. Stir in the cumin, coriander, red chili powder, brown sugar and salt, and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes more.
  4. Serve hot or warm. This dish goes great with chapatis, rice or grains.


Recipe from Indian Vegetarian Cooking by Vasantha Prasad.

About the Author

Author of Spice Up Your Life, Bindu Grandhi is passionate about healthy and flavourful cooking, especially when it’s flexitarian. She shares her health knowledge with the world by providing practical, healthy and tasty recipes as The Flex Cook.

Like Bindu, I love Brussels sprouts. I simply steam them, add a bit of butter or olive oil, salt and pepper, and gobble them all up. I’m excited to try Bindu’s different suggestions. Have YOU any tips to make Brussels sprouts more palatable?

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Grace Cherian October 27, 2011 at 8:52 pm

Like you, Steph, I steam my brussels sprouts, add a little butter and munch them down.

Head Health Nutter October 29, 2011 at 2:17 pm

So happy to hear there are more people out there that love brussels sprouts! 🙂

Petite Chou October 28, 2011 at 2:35 pm

Hmmm, “most hated vegetable” sounds a bit harsh… I love to munch & crunch a bunch of brussels at lunch, or dinner ~ freshly steamed, sauteed or stir fried. Definitely not overcooked though. Can’t wait to try the recipe from BIndu’s mother which sounds like a delicious dish… and I like that term “flexitarian” too. Try substituting fiddleheads where & whenever you can find them, as a wild & wonderful variation on brussel(s) sprouts ~ for a lighter taste & texture you just might LOVE!

Head Health Nutter October 29, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Yes, Petite Chou (ha ha, love your sense of humour), a bit harsh indeed considering there are at least four people now on this blog who’ve voiced their love of the small cabbage. 🙂

Ah, yes, thank you for your suggestion to substitute for fiddleheads when they’re in season – I just tried them for the first time a little while back and I look for them now in grocery stores every spring!

Matt November 7, 2011 at 3:39 pm

Uh Brussel Sprouts, one of my most hated vegetables. I should probably start eating them though, recent studies show they are great for an aging body!

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