Tricks for cleaning really buggy produce?

I bought brussels sprouts (on the stalk) at the farmers market and just happened to get a quite buggy one. I took the sprouts off and soaked them to get rid of grit and the bugs, but I've changed the water 5 times now and I'm still getting bugs in the water. Is there a trick to make this go faster? Hot water? Vinegar? Just forge ahead and cook them and convince myself I'm eating black pepper?

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Susan W
Susan W December 3, 2015

Extra protein? I don't think there is a solution that will help in this instance, but have you sliced one in half to see if the layers of leaves are embedded with bugs? If so, how do you feel about shredding them all on a mandolin and dunking all of that in water? If the infestation is too great, I may begrudgingly toss them..in your outside garbage so they don't move on to other produce or plants in your house. At least you know your farmer does practice organic farming.

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Susan W
Susan W December 3, 2015

Disregard my solution of shaving them on a mandolin. After I posted it, I had visions of shredded bug feet in your brussel sprouts and skeeved out. The link below that SMSF provided has a less gross solution.

Lindsay-Jean Hard
Lindsay-Jean Hard December 3, 2015

ahaha "shredded bug feet" -- simultaneously skeeved out and giggling

C Sangueza
C Sangueza December 3, 2015

Soaking them in salty water, usually will kill the bugs and then they will float free.
If they are too far embedded though the salty water may not penetrate.
Good luck.

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SMSF
SMSF December 3, 2015

Most likely the bugs are aphids - they sure love brussels sprouts and I guess we can't blame them for it : )
Here's a post that addresses exactly the issue you're having:
http://www.liveearthfarm.net/aphids-the-yucky-bug-and-how-to-prep-brussels-sprouts/

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Lindsay-Jean Hard
Lindsay-Jean Hard December 3, 2015

I guess my black pepper idea wasn't an original one! Thanks SMSF

702551
702551 December 3, 2015

For people who don't want to read the entire post provided by SMSF, here's the one sentence summary:

"Cut off the parts with the aphids."

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