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Ruffsta
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brussel sprout leaves.. the big ones

i was wondering if it's possible and healthy to eat the big brussel sprout leaves.. these things are huge on my plant - so my neighbor one day (portuguese that he is - as am i, just he's a lot older than me and i never even heard or thought of such a thing), said - "you could probably use that to make soup as if you with kale. i might come and get some if you don't mind."

so are they worth cooking?
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applestar
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I know you can eat them because I accidentally cut a young B. sprouts plant while cleaning up spent broccoli. But if you take the leaves, wouldn't you take away from sprout production energy source?

...or do you mean after the sprouts form? I think I've read that you are supposed to remove the leaves as sprouts form -- but why is that? What does that do?

Another notion is to eat the top -- I read that you are supposed to cut the top off at some point. Those leaves would be nice and tender.

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I haven't done it, since I don't grow brussels sprouts, but I don't see why not (as long as you don't take so much to slow down the plant growth as Apple notes).

Brussels sprouts are in the same family (brassicas) with cabbage, broccoli, etc and they are all pretty closely related. We eat the cabbage leaves. We don't usually eat the broccoli leaves, but they are perfectly edible and I do use them in all the same ways that I would use cabbage. i.e cooked and raw.
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btrowe1
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As the brussels grow you pick off the leaves so the plant grows the brussels bigger here's a few pics of mine, 1 is from 7?27/12 the others are from 8/31/12, They stand close to 4' tall right now and the brussels are about quater size.
[img]https://i1264.photobucket.com/albums/jj496/btrowe1/2012gardenpictures014.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1264.photobucket.com/albums/jj496/btrowe1/2012gardenpictures015.jpg[/img]

[img]https://i1264.photobucket.com/albums/jj496/btrowe1/2012gardenpictures008-1.jpg[/img]

gardenvt
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I have never eaten the leaves - in fact, I just pulled some of the bottom ones off yesterday and put them to compost.

[url]https://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/blogs/editor/2009/01/beyond-brussels.html[/url]

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Ruffsta
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apparently you CAN eat them... you can replace kale with it when making soup or any other greens like collard greens.

here are some links:

[url]https://www.epicurious.com/articlesguides/blogs/editor/2009/01/beyond-brussels.html[/url]

[url]https://blog.bolandbol.com/2010/10/22/brussels-sprout-soup-without-the-sprouts/[/url]

[url]https://whitneyrebecca.wordpress.com/2012/05/23/stuffed-brussel-sprout-leaves/[/url]

[url]https://www.specialtyproduce.com/produce/Brussels_Sprouts_Leaves_3958.php[/url] - very good link

i will be making some portuguese soup today using the leaves. 8)
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TheWaterbug
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btrowe1 wrote:As the brussels grow you pick off the leaves so the plant grows the brussels bigger
I don't understand the logic behind that. Leaves make the sugars and starches that the plant uses the build the sprouts. How does picking the leaves make the sprouts bigger?
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Ohio Tiller
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TheWaterbug wrote:
btrowe1 wrote:As the brussels grow you pick off the leaves so the plant grows the brussels bigger
I don't understand the logic behind that. Leaves make the sugars and starches that the plant uses the build the sprouts. How does picking the leaves make the sprouts bigger?

I know why but it works real well with Oakra when I take an oakra pod I cut the leaf it was growing with and the next one grows mush faster than if I just leave the leaf.

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Ruffsta
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just made portuguese soup a little while ago with the leaves - it came out so good! just like kale, i did notice they had a semi sweeter taste, but nothing much... just a hint.

definitely will grow these and use them in soups again! A++ if i get sprouts, that'll be a bonus - but the leaves alone is worth growing brussel sprouts.
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applestar
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Ooh! So, can you post this Portugese tyle Brussels sprout leaves soup in the recipe's forum? 8)
I wonder how it would turn out made with leaves from my purple Brussels sprouts (Falstaff)?

I found this regarding removing the leaves:
Commercial gardeners remove the leaves to accelerate harvest, but this practice is not essential in the home garden. Some gardeners believe that the sprouts develop better if the lowermost six to eight leaves are removed from the sides of the stalk as the sprouts develop. Two or three additional leaves can be removed each week, but several of the largest, healthiest, fully expanded upper leaves should always be left intact on top to continue feeding the plant. About 3 weeks before harvest, the plants may be topped (the growing point removed) to speed the completion of sprout development on the lower-stem area.

Harvesting
The small sprouts or buds form heads one to two inches in diameter. They may be picked (or cut) off the stem when they are firm and about one inch in size. The lower sprouts mature first. The lowermost leaves, if they have not been removed already, should be removed when the sprouts are harvested. Harvest sprouts before the leaves yellow.
https://urbanext.illinois.edu/veggies/brusselssprouts.cfm

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Maybe the "leaf removal" practice has something to do with sun exposure? E.g., more sun = enhanced growth?

I admit that I've only tried to grow brussels sprouts once, and that was back in Berkeley. They were such incredible aphid magnets that I just couldn't keep up with the aphids. We got a handful of edible brussels sprouts that year (I hadn't figured out several things yet, like soaking the harvested stuff in salted water, or how dilute/strong to make the soap mixture, much less cycling it through every five to seven days), and I couldn't see sinking that kind of energy into less than one meal's worth of eats.

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btrowe1
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Waterbug,
I don't know why but the sprouts seem to jump in size after the leaves are pulled, I was told this trick by my older neighbor, the one who told me to plant radishes and let them go to seed in my cukes and zucs, it seems to work.

We've been picking and eating them now for the last 2 weeks. I've heard it takes a good frost to sweeten them up, thus I have 2 plants that I'm trying to leave alone. I haven't touched their leaves as much and the sprouts on them are very very small.

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!potatoes!
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re: leaving brussels sprouts' leaves: remember, the sprouts aren't in any way fruits, they're leaf material. removing big old leaves makes the plant want to replace them, and the primary leaf growth at that point in the year is in the sprouts themselves, so that's where they put their energy. i think it would be a useless strategy in just about anything else.

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applestar
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So... Remove the bottom leaves of this one?
[img]https://i290.photobucket.com/albums/ll272/applesbucket/5C54CA8C-1292-472A-ADAC-CA741D72C3FB-26636-00001206807E1C05.jpg[/img]

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!potatoes!
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yup - at least halfway up the stem (though maybe not all at once?)

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Ruffsta
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applestar wrote:Ooh! So, can you post this Portugese tyle Brussels sprout leaves soup in the recipe's forum? 8)
I wonder how it would turn out made with leaves from my purple Brussels sprouts (Falstaff)?
i don't think there would be much difference between the green or the purple.. i'll have to try the purple next year.

just customize it the way you want, i don't add beans in mine - but my mom does in hers.. i also add chicken pieces, my mom doesn't always add it - it's all about customization.

[url]https://www.barefootkitchenwitch.com/the_barefoot_kitchen_witc/2009/10/calo-verde-portuguese-kale-soup.html[/url]

[img]https://images.tastespotting.com/thumbnails/112512.jpg[/img]


also, you can make just chicken noodle soup and just add the leaves.. just cook the leaves the last 10 - 15 min (until leaves are dark and tender).. i think they'll go good in just about any soup.
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Re: brussel sprout leaves.. the big ones

I've been reading some of the posts here regarding growing brussel sprouts. I would like to point out that, as many of you have mentioned, the leaves are very important to the growth of the plant and should be left on until the brussel sprouts are harvested. What is removed, however, are the tops of the plants. You see, in all plants, the growth hormone responsible for the plant's growth upward, is concentrated in the top of the plant. When the top is removed, it forces the hormone to grow the plant in other areas, namely the side shoots. With brussel sprouts, you must wait for the sprouts to form. Then, typically several months before the anticipated harvest date, you remove the tops of the plants. This forces the brussel sprouts to become larger until they are ready to be harvested. The leaves continue to nourish the plant, but once the sprouts are harvested, the leaves too can be harvested and used in a variety of recipes. The leaves are sweet and mild, similar to collard greens and very nutritious, as are all brassicas. I hope that clarifies any confusion.

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Re: brussel sprout leaves.. the big ones

The soup they are referring to is caldo verde. Portuguese would be using portuguese Kale, tronchuda beira which looks a lot like collards with a large round leaf. It resembles the Brussel's sprouts leaf as well. Other kales are substituted in caldo verde so I would think the Brussel's sprouts leaves could work as well.

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Re: brussel sprout leaves.. the big ones

OF COURSE you can eat them! I actually like them better than the broccoli leaves, they tend to not get a big and tough!

Enjoy!
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