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Why Are My Brussels Sprouts Red Inside?

Why Are My Brussels Sprouts Red Inside?

Sometimes, I get adventurous and try to prepare food I am unfamiliar with. And, with certain foods, there is a learning curve.

One of the main things about working with produce you haven’t cooked very often is knowing when that perishable item is good, bad, or rotten.

If you are unfamiliar with Brussel sprouts, read on to learn what to look for.

Why Are My Brussels Sprouts Red Inside?

If you slice into your Brussels sprouts and find a red-brown substance inside, they should be discarded because that substance is mold. Mold can also look gray and be grainy in texture. If this gray variant is seen in your Brussels sprouts, they should be discarded. However, a purple Brussels sprout exists, and it has a purple and white color when chopped into one that is completely healthy.

Why Are My Brussels Sprouts Red Inside?
Why Are My Brussels Sprouts Red Inside?

Signs Your Brussels Sprouts Have Gone Bad

If you are unfamiliar with Brussels sprouts, you may not know what signs to look for to check if they are fresh or not.

Brussels sprouts are basically like miniature cabbages, and a lot of what you would examine on cabbage for freshness applies to Brussels sprouts.

One of the first things you should check about your Brussels sprouts is the color. Brussels sprouts should be a healthy green color, and when you cut into the vegetable, you should see lighter yellow-green leaves.

If a large part of the sprout is brown on the outside, the chances are likely that the sprout will be rotten.

However, if there is minimal browning on the outside leaves, it should be fine to peel those off as long as the rest of the sprout looks healthy.

This removal of outer leaves is quite common in Brussels sprouts.

Your Brussels sprouts should be quite firm to the touch as well. The last thing you want is a squishy sprout.

Squishiness indicates that the sprout is rotten on the inside. And, if you encounter a squishy sprout, your nose may be in for a rude awakening.

If a Brussels sprout has gone bad, your nose will discover it before too long. When cooked, Brussels sprouts are well-known to have a very strong smell. It is equally true that sprouts that have gone bad can stink up a kitchen or refrigerator like no other.

You can be sure that you are cooking with fresh sprouts by doing these things.

Check for a healthy green color, squeeze them to ensure firmness, and smell to see if they are rancid.

If brussel sprouts are red inside it is most likely mold and the brussel sprouts should be discarded
If brussels sprouts are red inside it is most likely mold and the brussel sprouts should be discarded

Brussels Sprouts Best Practices

Some general guidelines should be followed when dealing with Brussels sprouts.

Before purchasing them, I find it is helpful to have a planned menu for when I will use them.

Brussels sprouts can be finicky, and as I mentioned before, you really don’t want them to go bad and stink up your kitchen.

It is important to know that after you buy Brussels sprouts at the store, you have roughly a week to cook them up and consume them before they start to go rancid.

And that is if you are storing them in your refrigerator. Brussels sprouts will last only a day or two at room temperature.

Brussels sprouts are sold fresh in two different forms. You can buy sprouts on the stalk or off it.

If you buy your sprouts on the stem, you can add two to three days to their life in the refrigerator.

But, you will also have to deal with removing them from the stalk when you prepare them.

You can purchase frozen Brussels sprouts at the store or freeze them yourself.

When frozen, your sprouts can last up to a year in the freezer.

However, you must remove moisture from the freezer bag and be wary of freezer burn.

If you have never cooked with Brussels sprouts before, be aware that they will release a very strong pungent odor when cooked.

This smell is normal, and you shouldn’t worry that your sprouts are bad or overripe.

If brussel sprouts are grey inside they should also be discarded as this also is a sign of mold
If brussels sprouts are grey inside they should also be discarded as this also is a sign of mold

Discoloring Inside the Sprouts

Brussels sprouts are like mini cabbages, so they are packed with layers and layers of leaves.

So, you may be wondering how the mold or parasites can get inside these layers while looking relatively fine outside.

Multiple reasons exist that cause Brussel sprouts to mold or decay on the inside.

One of these is that insects can wriggle themselves inside the sprout and start having a feast.

Insects like ants or aphids can get inside the sprout and ruin it.

They gorge themselves and die, and when you cut into the sprout, you will notice gross sections where aphids had their last meal.

Mold is another killer of healthy Brussels sprouts, and it can sometimes get inside the sprout unnoticed.

There is a variety of brussel sprouts that is white and purple inside. This is fine to eat
There is a variety of brussels sprouts that is white and purple inside. This is fine to eat

If the mold sets in, it can travel through the stem into the interior of the Brussels sprout.

Usually, the branch will also discolor, but if it is relatively early in the infection, the farmers may not notice, and they will pick a sprout that is molding.

These molds will manifest when you cut into them.

They will be red, brown, gray, or black in color.

If you chop into the sprout, you will notice this discoloration and also that it looks like layers of leaves have crumbled and become grainy.

Sprouts with these symptoms should be discarded immediately.

Often, if sprouts have mold inside, they will also manifest symptoms of being bad on the outer leaves.

The timing must be almost perfect for the sprout not to have external symptoms and still be bad on the inside.

Usually, rotten vegetables manifest visible outward signs as well.

Brussel sprouts should be white inside
Brussels sprouts should be white inside

Frequently Asked Questions About Why Are My Brussels Sprouts Red Inside

Is there a difference in taste between green and purple Brussels sprouts?

There is a difference between the two. Purple Brussels sprouts are slightly more potent in flavor than traditional green sprouts.

Is mold in Brussels sprouts dangerous to humans?

It won’t kill you if you consume it. But it will make you pretty sick, and, of course, you don’t want mold in your body. The best practice is not to salvage the sprout and toss the whole thing.

Conclusion About Why Are My Brussels Sprouts Red Inside

If you haven’t cooked Brussels sprouts before, now you know what to look for. Remember that these little sprouts are tricky.

The strong smell they make when being cooked is normal.

Pay attention to how they look, smell, and feel, and you should be just fine.

And, if you ever cut into one and find a nasty surprise inside, get rid of it quickly!