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Brussels Sprouts are considered the most scandalous of all vegetables. Next to politics, they can evoke very strong feelings and arguments around the holiday table. People tend to have a decisive opinion about these leafy globes. Simply put, you either love them or you hate them!
These mini cabbage-like veggies are small but mighty…and I’m not just talking about the smell. They have numerous health benefits. Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables, closely related to broccoli, cabbage, and kale. They are bursting with vitamin C, K, folate, and fiber! As an additional benefit, sprouts are incredibly filling, so you eat less. Plus, current research shows they support a healthy gut and can help fight cancer! So don’t be so quick to turn your nose up at these babies.
I truly believe that if you don’t like Brussels sprouts, you just haven’t had them prepared right. For one, disregard your first experience with them. They were probably boiled, and they should never be boiled! It makes them slimy and gross and kills all the good stuff that helps our bodies. Brussels sprouts are best roasted or steamed or roasted….(not a typo). They can quickly become more caloric when you add all the good stuff like bacon, so beware. I must confess that my favorite is to bathe them in olive oil and sprinkle them with pancetta. Cut in half, roasting in the oven is my jam! The leaves on the outside get all crispy and charred, while the inside remains soft and tender.
As often as we make them in our house, I had to come up with new ways to use them. One such gem I discovered was shredded sprouts. They are easily shredded in a food processor or purchased already shredded. Then they can be sauteed in a skillet with a little butter, olive, or avocado oil. Alternatively, they can be roasted this way as well, and used for tacos! Wrapped up in a warm corn tortilla… add a few beans, onions, and roasted corn, topped with crispy Brussels sprouts, it will blow your mind! Or add them to your favorite potato pancake or latka recipe! Topped off with a poached or fried egg….. “muah!”
What better time than now to give Brussels sprouts another go. Whether you’re a hater or a lover, they’re in season now. Yes, they are available year-round, but October through December is the true season of Brussels sprouts. Maybe that’s why traditionally they make it or break it at our holiday dinner tables.
Oh Brussels sprouts, how I love thee! I don’t know who will be at my table this holiday season, but I do know Brussels sprouts will have a place of honor. And if it’s just my immediate family, which I hope not, that just means more Brussels sprouts for me!
*Disclaimer: I am devout and biased towards the following vegetable.
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