Monday 7 December 2015

Flower Sprouts: The New Vegetable in Town

I have always really liked vegetables. I think one of the reasons my parents were able to support my choice to become vegetarian at a young age was because they knew I would eat a variety of vegetables (cut to my sister a few years later, living off a diet of potatoes and baked beans, but, you know, it’s easier to be the second child, right?).

We always have a decent selection of veg in the house (well, ok, not always, sometimes it’s the day before pay day) and I try to make sure Ebony eats a mix of fresh vegetables each day. She’s inherited my love of veg and will happily eat it steamed, boiled or roasted. She eats vegetables in curries, pasta dishes and casseroles. In soups, pies and hot pots. Sometimes foods fall out of the favour (she hasn’t knowingly eaten a pea for quite some time now), but usually she’s pretty easy going when it comes to food.

I’m always conscious of how important leafy green vegetables are. They are high in calcium, folate, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and iron. You’re advised to eat about three or four portions of leafy green vegetables per week, but we tend to eat at least a portion a day. Ebony will happily munch on raw spinach between meals and loves steamed leafy greens with her dinner.

We tend to eat roast dinners every Sunday during the winter, in part so I can perfect what I’m doing before Christmas Day. When we were offered the chance to try about a brand new leafy green, I jumped at the chance. Really, who says no to free food?

The flower sprout was created by Tozer seeds using traditional seed breeding techniques. Simply put, it’s the love child of the traditional brussel sprout and ever-so-fashionable kale. I am a fan of both of these vegetables (seriously, big veg fan) so the idea of them getting romantically involved and creating a new generation of nutritious baby greens was pretty exciting to me.

Flower sprouts are about the same size as brussel sprouts, but look just like miniature kale. We steamed some on Saturday and enjoyed them with a roast dinner featuring some pretty amazing vegan yorkshire puddings (recipe here). They were easy to cook and took only six minutes in the steamer (compared to 15 for brussel sprouts). I wasn’t really sure what to expect at first but I can honestly say they’re amazing. They taste just like nice kale, not bitter horrid kale, but genuinely tasty kale. They’re much easier to eat than kale because they are in sprout form, and Ebony definitely consumed more thanks to the shape. I’m definitely going to get some in for Christmas Dinner, I think even my brussel sprout-phobic dad will be impressed with flower sprouts.

Disclaimer: The photo of the roast dinner looks really starch heavy, but there were other vegetables hidden out of shot. Also, some of those potato-looking objects are actually yorkshires. Don't worry, I'm not overdosing on deadly nightshades/

Flower Sprouts can be purchased November-March in M&S, Waitrose, Aldi, Asda, Sainsbury’s and Lidl. We were sent some to try in exchange for this review. The review is totally honest, flower sprouts rock, try them!

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