Katie's Healthy Bites: Glorious Brussels Sprouts

by in In Season, November 8, 2009

brussels sprouts
I refuse to believe my clients when they tell me they don’t like Brussels sprouts. My response is always to ask two questions:

1. Have you ever tried them?
2. Have you ever tried them properly prepared? That is, not out of a can or overcooked!

The Basics on Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts have a bad reputation, and I think it’s because they have fallen victim to years of poor cooking techniques. These beautiful little green globes are absolutely delicious and, let me add, ridiculously good for you. A cup only has 65 calories, and they come packed with vitamins A, C and K as well as folate and fiber to name a few. The list goes on.

Bet you didn’t know this: Brussels sprouts grow on a stalk. In fact, bunches of 20 to 40 of these little green guys are attached to a stem that can reach up to three feet high. Of course, you’ll mostly find them sold loose, but you can find them still attached at some markets. It’s an amazing sight.

Shopping & Storage Tips
They are in season from now through the winter. Look for sprouts that are green, compact and uniform is size — this ensures even cooking. You can store them uncooked in the refrigerator for seven to ten days. Or blanch them for a few minutes and freeze them for several months.

Ways to Love Them
Now, as for serving these veggies so they’ll earn the praise they deserve, the key is to not overcook. You can steam, blanch, roast and even fry them. If done correctly (follow recipe directions and cooking times closely!), the flavor will wow you. Brussels sprouts pair well with sweet flavors such as apples and cranberries and savory ingredients such as bacon or mustard.

My recipe below marries Brussels sprouts with other fall flavors. I love this dish because of the variation of colors and textures and the mix of sweet and savory vegetables. Serve it as a side for a weeknight dinner or as part of your holiday feast.

Roasted Fall Veggies
Serves 8

• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 3 carrots sliced half-inch thick
• 2 cups Brussels sprouts, halved
• 1 large turnip, cut into large cubes
• 3 medium parsnips, sliced half-inch thick
• 1 medium sweet potato, cut into large cubes
• 1 cup pearl purple onions, peeled and whole
• 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
• 2 tablespoons fresh oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried basil
• Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place vegetables in a large, rimmed baking sheet. Toss with herbs, olive oil, salt and pepper to evenly coat. Roast for 35 to 40 minutes or until tender.

Nutrition Info:
Calories: 91.7, Fat: 3.7 grams, Saturated Fat: .54 grams, Protein: 1.2 grams, Carbohydrates: 14.6 grams, Sodium: 113 milligrams, Cholesterol: 0 milligrams, Fiber: 3.4 grams

TELL US: Love ‘em or hate ‘em?

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Comments (21)

  1. Kimberly says:

    I never liked them until I tried the FRESH ones. Delicious! The frozen ones are awful compared to fresh.

  2. Joe says:

    Try slicing the sprouts about 1/8" thick, and sauteing them with chicken broth and whatever seasoning you feel like. You can put a cover on the pan for the last 5 minutes if you want them more tender.

  3. Linda says:

    Stir-fried sliced sprouts with large shrimp and red pepper flakes are delicious too. You can add
    the broth or Oriental sauce of your choice; if desired.

  4. Katie says:

    I always thought I hated Brussel Sprouts until I tried a recipe last Thankskiving with mustard, bacon and onions. I swear i could have eaten the whole dish by myself. Absolutely delicious! I can't wait to try more recipes!!

  5. katie says:

    Katie…I love then with mustard as well…I like to saute them with shallots, whole grain mustard and apple slices…great for the fall!

  6. chris says:

    Another really great addition is to toss them with anchovies and their oil–sounds gross but after they're grilled in the oven on a high heat–delish!

  7. Jaclyn says:

    My father-in-law, both of my children, all of the women in my mom's family and myself love, love, love, love, love, love them. When I ask for them at my in-laws house I make a point to inform my mother-in-law that there are four people present that love them. AND they are very healthy, also helps with women in their memory, and that if they like cabbage they will like brussel sprouts too cuz they are like baby cabbage only this guys grow on a stalk and not in the ground itself.

  8. Mio says:

    Oh, great BRUSSELS sPROUTS ideas!!!!!! And yes, they have the "S" at the end of BriusselS :-]

  9. Mio says:

    Of course my eyes aren't too good, so I added an i after the r in Brussels…..sorry!

  10. Patty says:

    Yum, that sounds great. I'll try tonight. thanks for what sounds like a super easy and nutritious meal

  11. Madonna says:

    That sounds absolutely wonderful!!! Thank you for sharing, I can't wait to try them!! My husband always says that he doesn't like them from when he was younger but thought your recipe sounded good enough to try! Thank you, I can have brussel sprouts again!! :)

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