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Food of the Month: Brussels Sprouts

I know what is going through you mind right now!  You are in one of two camps when it comes to brussels sprouts, you love them or hate them.  I tend to fall into the “love them” camp but that was not always the case.  I didn’t grow up eating them so my image of them as a kid was a really disgusting and smelly vegetable.  In my late 30s I decided to give them a try and I fell in love!  Despite their smell (my family always knows when I’ve made them because the house stinks), they contain an array of nutrients that will make you glow from the inside out.

What are they

They are a cruciferous vegetable that grows on a stalk.  Their origins began in ancient Rome but Brussels sprouts were widely embraced in the 16th century in Brussels Belgium hence the name. The smell comes from glucosinolate sinigrin, an organic compound that contains sulfur, which is responsible for the smell.

Health Benefits

Brussels sprouts contain vitamins A, K, C and B-6, Potassium, Manganese, Tryptophan, Iron, Thiamine and lots of fiber all of which help to decrease risk of heart disease, cancer and birth defects in pregnant women.

Storage

They are best stored on the stalk wrapped in a bit of plastic but if you are short on storage space then you can snap them off the stalk and store them in a plastic bag in th refrigerator.

Uses

Brussels sprouts can be roasted, boiled, steamed or pan-fried.

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As we approach Thanksgiving I thought I would share a yummy recipe that my sister-in-law Tammy frequently brings to our Thanksgiving dinner.  It combines the seasonal flavor of cranberries with my beloved Brussels sprouts.  Try them this year for a delicious Thanksgiving side dish!

 

Brussels Sprouts with Balsamic & Cranberries Category

 Source: Richmond Times-Dispatch, November 2013

Ingredients

3 lbs. Brussels Sprouts

1/2 cup olive oil

1 cup balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup dried cranberries

1/4 cup hazelnuts — toasted (Optional Ingredient)

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Trim and clean Brussels Sprouts, then cut them in half if desired (or you can leave them whole). Arrange on two baking sheets and toss with olive oil, then sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast 25 to 30 minutes or until brown. Combine balsamic vinegar and sugar in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low, cooking to reduce until very thick, about 15-20 minutes. Drizzle the balsamic reduction over the roasted sprouts, then sprinkle with cranberries and nuts. Toss to coat and serve immediately.

Nutritional facts (daily value): Calories 247 kcal; Protein 50g (100%); Total Fat 131g (202%)(Sat. 17g (86%)); Chol. 0mg (0%); Carb. 326g (109%); Fiber 61g (243%); Sugars 210g; Calcium 611mg (61%); Iron 21mg (119%)

 

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