Tag Archive for brussels sprouts

Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Bacon Saute

One of my favorite facebook pages shared this recipe for Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes last week and I got inspired.  I knew we had Brussels sprouts ready in the garden and as soon as it warmed up enough to take the kids outside to get them, I was going to make something like this for them.  Tuesday was the only day this week that it got above 40 and we were scheduled to give a tour of our garden to a couple of special visitors, so while we were out there, we hacked off a few stalks and brought them inside to harvest. We still have a few sweet potatoes left from our harvest in the fall, we were good to go on this tasty combination.

It’s been a while since the kids and I had anything to harvest, so they were pretty excited and took turns pushing the wheelbarrow and carrying the stalks.  It was still pretty chilly and windy outside, so we pulled the sprouts off the stalks at the kitchen table.  (Never mind what Mr. Kent had to say when he came home and saw the mess, we don’t need to talk about that, but usually we do pull them off outside when it’s not so cold)

preschoolers harvesting brussels sprouts harvesting brussels sprouts with preschoolers

The original recipe instructed me to grate the sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, but I just sliced the sprouts and diced up the sweet potatoes into small cubes.  We had a lot of Brussels sprouts so I doubled the recipe below and I halved the onions since kids don’t always like a lot of onion in their food.  I had a couple of kids begging for even thirds of this tasty treat.  All of the kids tried it and most of them liked it.  I do have a child or two that only like a few select foods, but they still tried it and that’s a success in my book. 

When you are trying to encourage kids to try healthy foods, be patient, it usually takes a few tries before they will eat it well.  Just don’t pressure them and they will usually work it out on their own.  And remember, not everyone is going to like much of anything unless it’s candy or something. 

First, I chopped up a few pieces of bacon and cooked it until done. 

bacon saute

Then I took it out of the pan and drained it on a paper towel.  In the bacon fat, I sauted the onion until it was translucent.  And then added the sweet potatoes.  I added a half a cup or so of water and placed a lid on the skillet so the potatoes could steam and get tender all the way through.

sweet potato and brussels sprouts

sweet potato saute

Here are the Brussels sprouts freshly harvested by the kids and sitting in my rinsing bowl.  After I rinsed them well, I sliced them and tossed them into the skillet with the sweet potatoes.

fresh picked brussels sprouts

sliced brussels sprouts

brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes with bacon

I cooked them for a minute or two and then added the bacon back on top and sprinkled on some salt and pepper.  This was by far THE BEST Brussels sprout recipe I have ever tried.  Delish!

brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes with bacon 

Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Bacon Saute
Yummy Brussels Sprout and Sweet Potato Saute
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Ingredients
  1. 2 slices of bacon, cut in small pieces
  2. 1 onion, diced
  3. 1 large sweet potato, diced
  4. 4 cups of Brussels sprouts, sliced
  5. salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cook bacon until crisp
  2. Pull bacon out of fat and drain on a paper towel, reserve
  3. Saute onion until translucent
  4. Add sweet potato to skillet with 1/2 cup water and cover
  5. Cook until sweet potato is tender
  6. Add Brussels sprouts, salt and pepper and saute 1-2 minutes
  7. Return bacon to pan
Adapted from Well Fed Family
Adapted from Well Fed Family
Little Sprouts Learning https://littlesproutslearning.co/

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Garden Glory-Brussels Sprouts

This week my little sprouts and I harvested over 48 pounds of produce from our garden, including Brussels sprouts.  That puts us up over 500 pounds total for this season.  Is that amazing or what?  Last year in our small garden, we harvest over 650 pounds of food, but over 250 pounds of it was pears from our pear tree that did not produce this year.  All of our fruit trees were blooming when we got a deep hard freeze this year and none of them produced fruit.  In addition, our pear tree is fighting a severe case of fire blight, so we’re not sure if it will ever make fruit again.  We are going to prune it severely this winter and see if it can make a come back.  We been enjoying delicious pears from that tree for 15 years, and they were missed this year.  Needless to say, we are enjoying quite a bit of produce anyway.

I have been intrigued by how much of what we have grown, but I think in the future I will just weigh it all and not each type of food because it’s very time consuming.  It will be fun to see the totals at the end of the season anyway.

This is Monday's harvest.  Everything but the okra is slowing down, but we are still getting a lot.

This is Monday’s harvest. Everything but the okra is slowing down, but we are still getting a lot.

This week we picked 3 1/2 pounds of okra, 8 1/2 pounds of cantaloupe, 28 pounds of tomatoes, 4 pounds of Brussels sprouts, and some cucumbers, hot peppers, tomatillos, and cabbage.    We also got a couple of green beans and a handful of dry bean pods.

Thursday's harvest we a little less organized.  Still delicious and beautiful though.

Thursday’s harvest we a little less organized. Still delicious and beautiful though.

We went ahead and harvested the remaining Brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, and cabbage today.  I figured if they haven’t made any size increase by now they aren’t going to and we need room for our new crop of those things, so we got all that were left.

Some of the kids never tire of picking.  Zealous for gardening.  :)

Some of the kids never tire of picking. Zealous for gardening. 🙂

kids harvesting cabbage

harvesting brussels sprouts

harvesting brussels sprouts with kids

After harvest time we spent some time picking sprouts off the stalks and building up our fine motor skills.

picking brussel sprouts with kids

brussels sprouts picking with kids

kids harvesting brussel sprouts

What’s happening in your garden this week?  I hope even if you don’t grow, you at least got to taste a homegrown tomato or something this week.  There is not much better.

Starting a Fall Garden in the Sweltering Heat of Oklahoma

For the past two years I have attempted to start a fall garden near this time of the summer. Here in Oklahoma, the temperatures are over 100 most days in August, so getting any seeds to germinate is tough to do. You can germinate them inside, but then you have to keep them under a light. The light heats up the house even more, so it’s annoying to use in the summer.

Gardening with kids

This year, me and my Little Sprouts were super lucky because we had a few cold spells in the summer. It actually got down in the 50’s at night for a few days. These temperatures are unheard of here. In my lifetime, I’ve never seen that. I have been looking ahead at the forecast and watching the temperatures. We were able to put in plantings during two different cold spells and get some things to germinate outside. One of them even came with some rain. What a blessing! We planted seeds outside for carrots, lettuce, peas, green beans, and parsnips.

Here are a few tips for fall plantings: Mulch very well to keep moisture in the soil and roots cooler on these dog days of summer. Gardens need more water when it’s so extremely hot, so here, even though we usually water once a week, we have been watering 2-3 times per week to keep the plants from drying out. In addition, plant seedlings and seeds underneath larger mature plants that will be dying out soon from the heat. This gives your tender vittles a little shade to stay cooler as they sprout. Most of our summer plants are starting to die back or will be soon, so we planted ours among them to give our seedlings some protection as they start.

Kids planting seeds

We also planted seeds in flats inside. They have not done very well, but we planted cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and kohlrabi. I found a few seedlings online for kohlrabi and broccoli so I ordered those and we planted them in the garden. This past weekend I visited an organic nursery in Tulsa and got some cabbage, Chinese cabbage, kohlrabi, chard, kale, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts. I also got a few plants of dill since ours has died off for some reason.

Kid's gardening

The Oklahoma State University website has information on what can be grown in the fall in Oklahoma. You can check it out here: http://osufacts.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-1114/HLA-6009web.pdf

Here are the planting times they list for each kind of plant:

Beans, Bush Aug 10-20 Seed

Beans, Cowpea July 15-Aug 1 Seed

Beans, Pole July 15-30 Seed

Beans, Lima Aug 10-20 Seed

Cilantro July 15-Aug 1 Seed

Corn, Sweet July 15 Seed

Cucumber Aug 10-20 Seed or Plants

Eggplant July 15 Plants

Pepper July 15 Plants

Pumpkin July 15-30 Seed or Plants

Summer Squash July 15-Sept 1 Seed or Plants

Winter Squash July 15-30 Seed or Plants

Tomatillo July 15 Plants

Tomatoes July 1-15 Plants

Beet Aug 1-15 Seed

Broccoli July 15-Aug 15 Plants

Brussels Sprouts July 15-Aug 15 Plants

Cabbage Aug 1-25 Plants

Chinese Cabbage Aug 1-25 Seed or Plants

Carrots July 15-Aug 15 Seed

Cauliflower Aug 1-25 Plants

Collards Aug 1-Sept 1 Seed or Plants

Garlic Sept 1-Oct 15 Bulbs (cloves)

Kale Sept 1 Plants

Kohlrabi Sept 1 Plants

Leaf Lettuce Aug 1-15 Seed or Plants

Leek Sept 1 Seed or Plants

Onions Sept 1 Seed, Sets, or Plants

Peas, green Aug 15-Sept 1 Seed

Rutabaga Aug 15-Sept 15 Seed

Spinach Sept 5-25 Seed

Swiss Chard Aug 1-Sept 15 Seed

Turnip Aug 1-Sept 15 Seed

As you can see there is still time to plant quite a few things for a fall garden. I have been helping the kids plant seeds all summer long. It doesn’t hurt to try it any time and seeds are not that expensive, so we have been doing a lot of experimenting around here.

What have you been up to in your garden?

Delicious Brussels Sprouts

Most of my kids love Brussels sprouts.  My family likes them and they are one of my very favorites.  When I was a kid I hated them, but most people over cook them and that makes them really really not yummy.  When they are lightly cooked and fresh tasting, they are amazing!

We planted some Brussels sprouts in the spring and it took forever for them to produce so we cut them down in the heat of the summer.  Any greens, or cole crops can become bitter when harvested in the heat.  For my Brussels sprouts, a quick blanch was all it took to take the bitterness out of them.  If your sprouts aren’t bitter, no need for that step.

I cut down four stalks of Brussels sprouts.  This is what they looked like piled in a wheel barrow.  Before I started growing them, I never knew how they grew.  I was amazed that the plant was this big!

I cut down four stalks of Brussels sprouts. This is what they looked like piled in a wheel barrow. Before I started growing them, I never knew how they grew. I was amazed that the plant was this big!

 

I cut the leaves off of the stalks.  This is how the little sprouts are growing down in there.  So cute.

I cut the leaves off of the stalks. This is how the little sprouts are growing down in there. So cute.

 

Then I used a sharp knife to cut them off the stalk.

Then I used a sharp knife to cut them off the stalk.

 

I washed the sprouts and prepared a pan of boiling water to blanch them in.  I added salt to the water which also helps remove bitterness from greens.  I blanched them for 3 minutes.

I washed the sprouts and prepared a pan of boiling water to blanch them in. I added salt to the water which also helps remove bitterness from greens. I blanched them for 3 minutes.

 

Then I plunged them into ice water.

Then I plunged them into ice water.

 

Once they had completely cooled in the ice water, I drained them.  They are delicious at this point.  You can make them into a salad or just eat them plain like this.

Once they had completely cooled in the ice water, I drained them. They are delicious at this point. You can make them into a salad or just eat them plain like this.

Next I cut one piece of bacon into small pieces and browned it in the skillet.  I added the Brussels sprouts and sautéed them in the skillet for about 2 minutes until they were just tender, but still bright green.  I use salt and pepper to taste.

sauteeing brussel sprouts

Brussels sprouts are delicious raw, boiled, sautéed, or roasted.  I have never tried them any way I didn’t like them except for over cooked.  I know some pretty picky eaters that enjoyed them with this bacon method.  I cook a lot of vegetables with a piece of bacon for flavor because it helps picky kids take interest in them.  But I cook them for my family and my kids without bacon and they still enjoy them.  Just salt, pepper and olive oil and throw them in the oven until they are lightly brown on the edge, or grate some parmesean cheese over the top as they finish roasting and that is delicious as well.  If you don’t like Brussels sprouts, try cooking fresh ones yourself and if you don’t over cook them, I’m willing to bet you will like them too.