Why You Should Stop Tossing The Outer Brussels Sprouts Leaves

Brussels sprouts might be best known as the bane of children everywhere, but it's worth giving them another try. According to NPR, thanks to the magic powers of Dutch plant breeders, the typically bitter, and obnoxiously odorous vegetable now has a far more palatable flavor. They were able to breed out much of the older more bitter flavors, and have resurrected the Brussels sprouts reputation.

Another huge boost is in their preparation too. According to Eating Well, boiling Brussels sprouts is the wrong way to go. Not only does it make for mushy texture, it releases more of their signature stink as well. The best move is to prepare them with a quick roast in the oven instead (via Kitchn).

The first step is to trim them properly. The stem needs to be sliced down just enough to take the chewy bite away, but without taking too much of the sprouts structure along with it. Then the sprouts need to be halved, and placed cut side down onto a hot baking sheet to perfectly crisp up in the oven.

While the prep might seem time consuming at first, at least the clean up is a breeze. Be sure to save all of the extra leaves that fall off while you're trimming, and add those to the baking sheet as well instead of throwing them away.

Add the trimmed leaves to the baking sheet

The secret to these perfectly roasted Brussels sprouts is that the cut side caramelizes on the baking sheet while the outside of the sprout, and any loose leaves are left to crisp up (via Kitchn). Not only does this release less of Brussels sprouts' undesirable odor, but it also makes for amazing flavor as well. With this method though you can avoid the smell, add to their natural flavor through roasting. You can also bake up a snack for later at the same time.

According to Kitchn, instead of throwing out all of those leaves that fall off in the trimming, just add them to the baking sheet instead. This gives them the opportunity to crisp up as well. They basically become little sprout chips that you can finish off with a sprinkle of your favorite seasoning. Then you can add them as a garnish, keep them as a snack for later, or serve them with a dip as an appetizer.

They're so good that Brookland's Finest Bar & Kitchen in D.C. sells deep fried Brussels sprouts leaves on their own (via NPR). They make someone go through the painstaking process of disassembling every sprout, but another great option is to just add the trimming to your baking sheet instead.