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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