Just the name brussels sprouts resurrects memories of dinner plate punishment and putrid after tastes. How can you forgive that foul bitterness and sulfurous stench?
You boil anything to bland oblivion and it will taste pitiful. But we’re adults now and it’s time to grow beyond scarring memories of soggy lettuce balls. Let’s learn how to properly prepare brussels sprouts, people.
Why I’m so rampant about brussels sprouts? They’re irresistibly nutritious. And when cooked right, you can unearth their valleys of voluptuous flavor for a caramel-y mouthful and muscular texture you won’t find in wimpy iceberg lettuce.
A brussels sprouts recipe for people who think they hate brussels sprouts:
Thinn’s Brussels Sprout Slaw with Cider Mustard Dressing Granny Smith Apples and Honey Pecans
Inspired by Bon Appetit
1 ½ pounds brussels sprouts, trimmed
1 granny smith apple
1 cup pecan halves
1/4 cup whole grain dijon mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoon honey, divided
Salt and pepper
Pecans: preheat oven to 325°F > spray large sheet of foil with nonstick spray > mix 1 tablespoon honey, pinch of course salt and pepper in small bowl > add pecans to honey and coat well > spread pecans out in single layer on baking sheet > bake pecans for 5 minutes then shuffle around > continue to bake pecans until toasted and honey glaze is bubbling ~ 10 more minutes. Immediately transfer pecans to prepared foil, separate and cool.
Cider Mustard Dressing: whisk mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, and remaining honey in small bowl > add salt and pepper.
Slaw: boil a large pot of water containing a pinch of salt > add trimmed (pull away runt leaves) brussels sprouts > boil until your globes turn bright green (still crisp) ~ 5 minutes > drain sprouts and rinse with cold water > dry sprouts thoroughly > chop their butt off and discard > start with your knife horizontal to the missing tail and continue to slice thin rings across their belly > push through circle center to separate concentric cabbage rings > finely chop or grate granny smith apple and add to chopped sprouts > toss sprouts with dressing and add honeyed pecans > be open minded.
Aside from their brilliant flavor spectrum, I have several nutrition nerd reasons why you should reconsider your brussels banishment.
For one, brussels sprouts are in the cruciferous vegetable class. This is like the Ivy League of vegetables. Brussels sprouts and the rest of the crucifers carnival—kale, collards, spinach, chard and more—have the most powerful anti-cancer effects of ALL foods.
The phytonutrients (nutrients from plants) in brussels sprouts swim around your body for 3-5 days after consumption, balancing unruly processes, bullying free radicals and blessing bodily systems with their magic so you can operate optimally. These phytonutrients (think fight-o-nutrients) are responsible for stimulating the body’s innate defense systems to protect against diseases. They motivate detoxification enzymes and clear carcinogenic crap quickly for the cost of only a few calories (and bad breath).
On the nutrient density scale (# nutrients per calorie), Joel Fuhrman of Eat to Live (my hero) rates Brussels sprouts a 95 out of 100. That’s more than blueberries, flaxseeds and quinoa… so called “power foods”.
Now you’re probably feeling like you’ve been missing out. Well, it’s not too late. And as Fuhrman says “Do not underestimate the effect of superior diet on gradually removing and repairing damage caused by years of self abuse.”
An indisputable nutrition fact: for optimal health, you want to strive to eat a pound of produce daily.