Do you love Brussel sprouts? Have you ever thought of keeping a supply of Brussel sprouts? How long are Brussel sprouts good?
These hearty, versatile vegetables can add significant flavors to a variety of dishes一they are more than just a holiday veggie.
So how long do Brussel sprouts last? Let’s find out from this handy guide to storing Brussel sprouts.
This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.
What are Brussel Sprouts?
Brussel sprouts are a staple vegetable and part of the Gemmifera group of cabbages (cruciferous family). Vegetables from this family are low in calories and provide a wide range of nutrients.
Individuals looking for a high nutrient diet should consider incorporating more of these nutritionally dense vegetables in their diet.
This way, your body is guaranteed significant health benefits such as improved bone health, cancer prevention, diabetes management, vision maintenance, and skin health.
How Long Do Brussel Sprouts Last?
Brussel sprouts will last up to four days or even longer in the refrigerator. However, their taste becomes more savory and less sweet over time. They are best consumed between three to four days from the date of purchase.
Store your Brussel sprouts unwashed until you’re ready to use them to prevent them from decaying. The shelf life of these versatile greens will vary depending on their mode of harvesting and storage.
The best Brussel sprouts are typically green in color and firm to touch. And because they grow on a stem, Brussel sprouts will last longer left whole until you’re ready to prepare.
Always choose green Brussel sprouts and avoid the yellow ones or ones with black spots. It’s also worth noting that the smaller the Brussel sprouts, the tastier it is. You should avoid moist and soft sprouts at all costs.
When stored correctly, fresh Brussel sprouts will exceed the purchase date. Of course, all foods have a shorter lifespan if not stored properly.
That said, Brussel sprouts do not have a best before date or a use-by date, so you will have to rely on the picked or purchased date.
How To Tell If Brussel Sprouts Have Gone Bad
While your senses aren’t a perfect test, your nose will go a long way to determine if your brussel sprout has gone bad. Like an old cabbage, a spoilt brussel sprout will smell rather harsh so does the taste.
Sprouts that have been kept for longer will develop a sour taste. Other notable signs include browning of the leaves’ edges and a lightening of the green color. Coarse outer leaves are perfectly normal in Brussel sprouts, and you just need to remove them while prepping.
Cut sprout will develop a grayish-black color on the cut edges as it ages. The same applies to the outermost leaves with black spots or brown edges. You should discard Brussel sprouts with the following signs:
- Insects between the leaves—It might be challenging to spot them; that’s why I recommended you wash the heads thoroughly before prepping the veggies.
- Harsh smell—If your brussel sprout starts to smell like an old cabbage and you can’t stand it, then you have no choice but to dispose of it.
- Squishy or soft texture—A fresh brussel sprout is firm to the touch. If yours has lost the firmness already or feels squishy, discard it with immediate effect.
- Mold or black spots—You should dispose of moldy Brussel sprouts or ones with black spots.
Of course, there are certain health risks related to spoiled foods, and you don’t want to be the victim. Remember to observe proper hygiene and consume your foods at their best before the date to prevent foodborne illnesses.
How To Store Brussel Sprouts To Enhance Their Shelf Life
Brussel sprouts are best refrigerated in plastic bags in the crisper drawer. Unless you’re ready to use them, store your Brussel sprouts unwashed.
It’s also best to leave them attached to the stem until ready to use. Instead of cutting a portion, pick off as many sprouts as you may need and leave the rest attached. You can prolong its shelf life by placing the stem in some water or a paper towel.
You should only put the stem in water and not the entire sprouts as they are more vulnerable to moisture. If you’re storing your Brussel sprouts whole, put them loose in a bowl and cover it with a food-safe plastic wrap like Cling Foil.
Don’t forget to poke a few holes in the wrap before tossing it in the refrigerator. This will extend the shelf life of your Brussel sprouts for up to a week.
If you’re storing your Brussel sprouts in shreds, trim the ends, then put the shredded pieces in a food-safe plastic container before storing them in the refrigerator. Cut Brussel sprouts are at their best within three days.
For an indefinite storage option, blanch the brussel sprout, put it in an airtight freezer-safe container and freeze accordingly. This way, you can include these calciferous vegetables in your daily diet, cutting on food costs.
How To Freeze Brussel Sprouts
While freezing is an option, it goes a long way to ensure your Brussel sprouts stay fresh for an extended period. The process is quite extensive, but it’s worth the time and resources spent.
Here’s how to go about freezing Brussel sprouts:
- Prep—The first step is to trim the heads and remove the coarse outer leaves. Then wash the heads thoroughly and classify them into small, medium, and large sizes.
- Blanch the veggies—Plunge the heads into a large pot of boiling water to blanch. Small heads will take up to three minutes, medium ones four minutes, and larger ones up to five minutes.
Once the blanching time is up, transfer the veggies into a pot of icy water to end the cooking process. If you’re blanching in bigger batches, keep on changing the cold water for complete effectiveness.
- Drain the heads—Place them on a kitchen towel for about 15 to 20 minutes and pat the top dry. Your Brussel sprouts should dry completely before proceeding to the next step.
- Portion and package—Transfer the veggies into separate freezer bags or airtight containers for easy thawing. You can thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or drop the frozen heads directly into the dish. The latter applies to a few recipes.
Tips To Prepare And Store Tasty Brussel Sprouts
1. Be Choosy
Like mentioned before, the sweet-tasting Brussel sprouts are small, firm, and bright green. They should also have compact leaves. Buying them uniformly will facilitate even the cooking of your Brussel sprouts.
2. Keep Fresh
Refrigerate your Brussel sprouts in a plastic bag in the vegetable drawer, where they’ll last for up to a week or even longer.
Sprouts kept with their stalks still attached will last longer than those stored individually. If you intend to keep them for quite some time, put the stalk in water and refrigerate accordingly. Break the sprouts off the stem when ready to use.
3. Draw Out Flavors
Steaming or microwaving will generate the most nutrients out of these versatile greens. You can also slice or shave them thinly and eat Brussel sprouts raw.
Alternatively, roast them over medium heat and enjoy the nutty flavor. To make them even more snappy, toss the sprouts in olive oil, salt, and pepper, then bake in a 425 degrees F oven for approximately half an hour.
If you enjoy your Brussel sprouts crunchy, then go ahead and fry the slices in a pan. This will also improve its texture.
4. Cook to Perfection
Finally, you will want to cook your sprouts to perfection—you don’t want them overcooked. Check out for any discolored outer leaves or soft sprouts and get rid of them.
If you’re steaming or boiling, cut an X in the stem to heat into the thicker core. The sprouts should be ready in about five to eight minutes. To roast, cut the sprouts into halves to promote even cooking.
1. Do Brussel Sprouts Go Bad In The Fridge?
No, Brussel sprouts don’t go bad in the refrigerator unless proper measures aren’t observed. Brussel sprouts will last a day or two at room temperature and about a week in the fridge. Just make sure you follow the storage guidelines for complete effectiveness.
2. Can You Get Sick From Eating Bad Brussel Sprouts?
Yes, you can suffer food poisoning from eating expired Brussel sprouts. Raw leafy vegetables are a primary source of food poisoning and are easily contaminated with bacteria like E.coli and Salmonella.
3. Is It OK To Eat Brussel Sprouts With Black Spots?
No, Brussel sprouts with black spots are rendered unsafe for consumption and should be discarded. Black spots are signs of molds and often appear as a gray powder. You shouldn’t consume uncooked sprouts with wilty, mushy, shriveled, or soggy leaves like cabbage.
4. What Is The Black Stuff On Brussel Sprouts?
The black stuff on Brussel sprouts is most likely insects’ droppings. They are commonly found in the interior of Brussels sprout heads and are caused by aphids and caterpillars. You can get rid of aphids by spraying your sprouts using a hose pipe water.
5. Should You Wash Brussel Sprouts Before Cooking?
Yes, it’s advisable to wash Brussel sprouts before cooking. Freshly harvested sprouts can attract dirt or tiny insects in the outer leaves, so clean them thoroughly before cooking. Brussels sprouts taste good when cooked slightly, so remove them from heat once they are tender.
How long Brussel sprouts are good will depend on your method of storage. When stored at room temperature, it will last for a day or two and about a week in the refrigerator.
Over to you now—what storage options do you use to store your Brussel sprouts? And what are your experiences? Please share in the comment section so that others can learn from you.