19 Dec The Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts & 10 Great Recipes
These perfect green bullets are right up there at the top of the list of amazing cruciferous vegetables, which is why I have decided to write a blog post about them, after all sprouts aren’t just for Christmas!
I love Brussels sprouts but our family are divided as most families are, however I really can’t stress enough how important including greens, especially Brussels, into your diet is.
Because they are so unbelievably healthy, I have found it my duty and a great challenge sneaking them into recipes and serving them to my unsuspecting family….ssh!
Unbelievably a handful of Brussels sprouts contains a whole lot more vitamin C than an orange, Vitamin C is great for healthy eyes, good skin and immunity. They also contain Vitamin K for bones, Vitamin A for eye health and immunity and Folic Acid & Vitamin B6 for mental health amongst other things. Brussels have higher levels of protein than many vegetables and are loaded with heart and colon healthy Fibre.
On top of that, regular consumption of Brussels sprouts (and other cruciferous vegetables) are known to lower cancer risk and help manage diabetes.
All that and more from the humble Brussels sprout, who would have thought it?
To follow are some of my stealthy and less stealthy recipes, go on give them a try!
Brussels Sprouts & Chorizo
This is a slight twist on the popular Brussels and bacon, it is so simple to make but does help for those not terribly keen on the sulphurous taste of over cooked sprouts.
Heat up a couple of tbsps olive oil in a large pan and add a good few slices of chorizo, cook through before adding a couple of crushed garlic cloves, plenty of seasoning and a handful of sprouts, halved. On a low heat cook with the lid on until softened but not too soft! Serve as a side dish or to make it into a main dish add some brown rice or pasta and a handful of toasted nuts to the mix, finish off with a good drizzle of olive oil.
Another super cool idea along the same lines is sprouts and chorizo/bacon skewers. Makes them more fun!
This makes the Brussels more nutty and not at all soggy and sulphurous as you may remember them from your childhood (if you’re as old as me you will!)
Cut the ends off the sprouts and halve or quarter them, place on a baking tray with a good drizzle of olive oil and seasoning, you can go with just simple salt and pepper or spice it up a bit with some chilli flakes, cumin or nutmeg.
Massage the oil and seasoning in and then place in the oven at 200°C for about 30 mins or until they are beautifully brown and cooked through.
Tangy Parmesan Brussels
Cut as many sprouts as you think you may need in half and lay in a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and the zest of 1 lemon, season with salt and pepper plus a sprinkling of chilli (optional.) Pop into the oven at 220°C for 15 mins, remove from oven and grate over a good handful of parmesan then pop back in the oven for a further 15 minutes when the cheese is brown and has crisped over the sprouts.
This is the sprout equivalent of kale crisps. Separate the leaves and lay them on a baking tray, using your hands massage in some garlic infused olive or coconut oil then bake at 180°C for approx.15 mins or until crisp.
Brussels Sprouts & Fennel Soup
As sprouts are renowned for their wind causing effects, I came up with this ingenious soup that not only tastes great, the clever inclusion of fennel counteracts the gas so it is win, win for the whole household!
Fry up a chopped onion with 1 tsp fennel seeds in olive oil for a couple of mins then add a 2 crushed cloves garlic, a medium chopped potato and two good handfuls of quartered Brussels sprouts. Give the veg a few minutes to cook before adding 800ml vegetable stock and salt and pepper to season.
SproutCannon (it’s not a game!)
Colcannon is one of my favourite comfort foods, it can be made with pretty much any leafy greens you have knocking about, although this Brussels Sprout version is my favourite. I don’t usually use bacon but if you feel like adding some to make it more traditional then go for it!
Boil up enough potatoes for 4 people in a pan then in a steamer on top of the potatoes cook 2 handfuls of quartered sprouts, this retains more of their goodness.
Once everything is soft just mash the lot together with plenty of seasoning, butter and milk (cream if you really have to!) It goes well with any meat dish and makes a perfect accompaniment to cold meats. Serve with an extra dollop of butter in the top.
I love fritters, they are a perfect way to disguise any veg and also are a great way to use up any veg that has no home to go to!
Grate 2 cups of any veg, add a beaten egg and in a shallow frying pan with a little olive oil dollop a spoonful of the mix, it is best to cook them in batches of 4-5, place on a plate with kitchen role and keep warm in the oven. They are great dipped in any dipping sauce.
Sprout Stir Fry & Egg Sprout rice
Sprouts are a welcome addition to any stir-fry or egg fried rice. Cut finely and throw in with onion, chilli, garlic, ginger, pepper, carrots, broccoli and soy sauce. For egg fried rice, add some pre-cooked rice and cook an egg into the mix.
And don’t forget the most important…..
Bubble and Squeak
Left over cooked Brussels are of course perfect in a bubble and squeak topped with a poached egg.
Mash any leftover cooked veg really well, season and fry in spoonfuls, both sides until cooked.
Heaven in leftovers!