Phil and both really enjoy brussel sprouts and try to include them in our meals during the cooler months. For some reason many people do not like these vegetables and I wonder if it is because there is a tendency to overcook them which makes them mushy and not very palatable. Ours are cooked in the microwave along with carrots, sweet potato, broccoli and cauliflower plus other vegetables as well at times. I don't add water or salt so the only liquid is the water where the vegies have been rinsed prior to cooking. I drain off any liquid before serving which keeps everything nice and dry and still quite firm and delicious. I am convinced that microwaving vegetables is as healthy as steaming and a lot less trouble as well. When I cook them, after taking off a couple of older leaves, I cut a 'cross' in the stem part underneath which helps them cook quickly and seems to keep them nice and firm. If they are extra large I will cut them in half but then you have to be careful they don't overcook.
"BRUSSEL SPROUTS: This vegetable is part of the brassica family, also known ass cruciferous vegetables which includes cabbage, cauliflower, bok choy and cress. These vegetables contain cancer-fighting glucosinolates, but brussel sprouts top them all when it comes to total content.
It is said this vegetable were originally bred from wild cabbages found in Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan, though their name suggests otherwise. Brussel sprouts were cultivated in Belgium from the 16th century onwards, though other earlier versions were reported in ancient Rome. Another source says they are native to Belgium, and were cultivated exclusively in a region near Brussels until World War 1, when consumption spread across Europe.
They are a great option for vegetarian meals when combined with whole grains. They are naturally low in sodium and fat and they have a ton of vitamins A,K.C (more than an orange), B6, folate, potassium, fibre, iron, selenium, and calcium plus all those antioxidant, cancer-fighting compounds mentioned above.
Studies show that brussel sprouts can help lower cholesterol as the fibre-related nutrients bind with intestinal bile acids, helping them to pass out of the body. This forces the body to replenish lost bile acids by tapping into the existing supply of cholesterol, which reduces it."
I found the above information (and more) on www.treehuger.com.
NOTE: On thinking back to my youth I realise we never ate broccoli, broad beans or brussels sprouts and I don't think they were even sold in Perth shops. Our main vegies back in the 1930s-1950s were potatoes, carrots, green beans, peas, cauliflower, cabbage and in stews and casseroles we used turnips, onions, carrots and swede turnips and our salads consisted mainly of lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, celery and spring onions. I feel it was because of the arrival of many migrants after WW2 that so many of today's range of vegetables became available to us. I do remember back in the 1950s some plants coming up in our back garden in Walcott Street and we had no idea where they'd come from or what they were. They turned out to be broad beans and they were the first we'd ever seen. We picked them and cooked them and quite enjoyed them. We also had some self-sown cape gooseberries grow and they were delicious too.