National Sprout Day is celebrated every year on July 23. The holiday appreciates Brussels sprouts, spreads awareness about the vegetables’ nutrient content, and aims to encourage more people to eat them.
History of National Sprout Day
The Brussels sprouts we are familiar with today were developed from cabbage. This was done between the 13th and 16th centuries in Belgium. Brussels sprouts were very popular in Europe throughout the 14th to 16th centuries. However, their production didn’t begin in the U.S. until the 18th century, when French settlers brought them to Louisiana. Over the next few decades, the vegetable spread throughout the U.S., and plantations in California began in the 1920s, reaching peak production during the 1940s.
Thousands of acres of land are now planted with Brussels sprouts in Santa Cruz, Monterey, and San Mateo in California. Most Brussels sprout plantation occurs in California; however, a smaller percentage of the crop grows on Long Island, New York, and Skagit Valley, Washington. The U.S. produces more than 30,000 tons of Brussels sprouts per year.
Brussels sprouts are packed with vitamins, nutrients, and minerals. They contain vitamins A, B1, B2, B6, B9, K, and C. The small-cabbage vegetable also serves as a source of copper, potassium, manganese, fiber, choline, phosphorus, and omega-3 fatty acids, making it very healthy. The sprouts grow in many rows on a single stalk. They are usually about a half to one and a half inches in diameter. However, even though Brussels sprouts are a highly nutritious vegetable, about half of the people who try them do not like them. A study from Cornwall College explains that a chemical in Brussels sprouts makes them taste bitter to people with a specific gene.
National Sprout Day timeline
16th-century texts mention Brussels sprouts.
French settlers kick off the crop's production by bringing Brussels sprouts to Louisiana.
Farmers start cultivating Brussels sprouts in California.
Californian farmers produce about 98% of commercially grown Brussels sprouts in the U.S.
National Sprout Day FAQs
What makes Brussels sprouts smell?
Brussels sprouts produce a sulfur-like smell when overcooked. This smell is a turn-off for most people.
Do Brussels sprouts have seasons?
Brussels sprouts are in peak season from late September to mid-February.
Where are Brussels sprouts from?
Brussels sprouts are known to have originated in Brussels, the capital city of Belgium.
National Sprout Day Activities
Eat Brussels sprouts
You can take part in National Sprout Day by enjoying a delicious meal with Brussels sprouts. They are an extremely nutritious food.
Share the holiday
You can share the holiday with your family or friends to encourage them to eat Brussels sprouts. Posting updates about the day on your favorite social media platform could also work.
Grow Brussels sprouts
If you’re a Brussels sprout fan, you can plant them in your garden. Imagine: you could go out and pluck a few fresh heads as soon as they become mature.
5 Interesting Facts About Brussels Sprouts
They look like cabbages
Brussels sprouts look like baby cabbages because they are a member of the cabbage family.
They have low calories
One cup of cooked Brussels sprouts amounts to only 56 calories.
They contain lots of protein
Each cup of Brussels sprouts contains about four grams of protein, which is a lot for a vegetable.
They don’t need to ripen
Brussels sprouts don’t need to ripen before you eat them, unlike most other fruits and vegetables.
They are rich in vitamin K
Brussels sprouts contain more vitamin K, a blood thickener, than you need.
Why We Love National Sprout Day
They are loaded with vitamins and minerals
Brussels sprouts contain more than a dozen vitamins, such as the immunity-boosting vitamin C, red blood cell-producing vitamin B9, and electrolyte-maintaining vitamin B1. They also contain minerals like iron, potassium, and copper.
They are rich in antioxidants
Antioxidants are compounds that slow down or prevent cell damage from occurring. Brussels sprouts contain anti-inflammatory kaempferol, anti-aging beta-carotene, and cancer-fighting glucosinolates.
They are vegetarian superfood
Brussels sprouts are fantastic for vegetarians because they contain high amounts of iron and vitamin B6, which are difficult to get in a plant-based diet. They also contain a lot of protein, another hard-to-get nutrient for vegetarians.
National Sprout Day dates