How Long Are Brussel Sprouts Good For?

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How Long Are Brussel Sprouts Good For?

Brussel sprouts are a widely consumed and popular vegetable – enjoyed by many all around the world, and consumed in almost as many different dishes. 

While unliked by some, particularly those who do not like to eat their vegetables, the humble sprout has continued to be a delicacy and a firm favorite in households all over the world. 

But how long will Brussel sprouts generally last, and how can this be extended as much as possible? 

How Long Do Brussel Sprouts Last? 

When we talk about the lifespan of the Brussel sprout, this really depends on how they are stored, how they are purchased, the freshness of the sprouts themselves, and the climate of the country you live in. 

All of these things play a distinct role in governing their lifespan, and the wrong move can seriously limit their longevity

On The Stalk

One of the best ways to purchase Brussel sprouts is when they are still on the stalk. These are usually found at farmer’s markets, but are still not as common as you might think.

However, when they are left on the stalk, and subsequently kept in cool storage, then they will easily last for a week or two before they start to go bad. 

If you live in a colder environment, or at least in a climate that doesn’t get too hot, then you could also leave them outdoors – mimicking their natural state when left in the field. 

In The Refrigerator

If you purchase packets of picked Brussel sprouts from the supermarket or grocery store, then these should be kept in the refrigerator.

When stored at a normal temperature, they will usually last for a period of three to five days

In The Freezer

If you store them in the freezer, as many people do when keeping them for longer periods (or indeed buying in bulk), Brussel sprouts can generally last for approximately six months, after which they should be defrosted and eaten, or thrown in the garbage. 

This is better for those who like to buy in advance, or those who have grown their own sprouts in large quantities and want to ensure their freshness for eating. 

How To Know They Have Gone Bad? 

When Brussel sprouts have gone bad, there are specific characteristics that you should take note of. 

Black Spots

One of the most notable signs they have gone bad is the appearance of black spots on the leaves. These are caused by fungus, and are a sign that the vegetable is rotting.

As such, if there are black spots on your Brussel sprouts, then they should not be consumed. 

Limp Leaves

The leaves of Brussel sprouts should be firm and crispy, and limpness is a sign that they are on their way to being past their best. 

Similarly, you should be on the lookout for wilting, coarseness, discoloration, and of course, any small insects that might have beaten you to chowing down on the Brussel leaves. 

These are all signs that the sprouts have gone bad, and should be disposed of rather than eaten. 

Rotten Smell

As with any vegetable, a telltale sign of them going bad is the smell – which will be pungent and rotten in odor. 

They could also smell like old cabbage, a smell caused by the bacteria in the vegetable that is causing it to rot from the inside out.

If sprouts, or indeed any other vegetable, has this smell, then they should be thrown away and not eaten. 

How Long Are Brussel Sprouts Good For?

Slimy Texture

Another sign of bad Brussel sprouts is a slimy texture. This should be a good enough sign for anyone that they have gone bad, and anyone who has made up a salad bowl will know what this feels like. 

Fresh vegetables should be firm, crunchy, and crisp to the touch, and anything other than this should raise suspicion. 

Bad Taste

Of course, if you cannot discern their quality from the above signs, then there is always the taste test.

It should come as no surprise that rotten Brussel sprouts will taste bad, and if this is the case, then the taste should be unpleasant to say the least. 

What Happens If You Eat Bad Brussel Sprouts? 

While the side effects of eating bad Brussel sprouts will not be life changing, they can be unpleasant depending on how far along they are.

While we would expect any rational human being to avoid noticeably rotten vegetables, mistakes can be made, and accidents do happen. 

If this is the case, then people should be on the lookout for: 

  • Stomach pains
  • Diarrhea 
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

While none of these are probably going to kill you, they are the signs that something was not right with your Brussel sprouts – and are cause enough to avoid bad vegetables in general. 

Can You Cut Off The Bad Leaves? 

Depending on how far gone the Brussel sprouts are, you might be able to salvage some of the inner leaves for cooking. 

If you peel back a few of the bad leaves, and the inside is firm and a good color, then you should be okay to cook and eat them without consequence. 

However, if they are squishy and off color, then you should throw them away rather than risk stomach problems!

Final Thoughts

And there we have it, everything you need to know about Brussel sprouts, and how long they will last!

It’s true that Brussel sprouts are a popular vegetable, consumed by countless people in many ways all around the world.

However, like everything, the Brussel sprout has a lifespan – and while longer than most, you still shouldn’t wait around too long before eating them!

So if you want to know the lifespan of Brussel sprouts, or the best ways to keep them fresh, then this is the guide for you. Something tells me you won’t be disappointed!

Further Recommendations:

Video: Storing Brussel Sprouts

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