Love them or hate them, there are many health benefits of Brussels sprouts. They’re packed with nutrients that are known to prevent and reverse many conditions. Brussels Sprouts a very versatile ingredient, too. They can roasted, pan seared, added to salads, stir-fried, or even used as a pizza topping!
Brussels Sprouts Love
Every food blogger knows that a sure-fire way to get negative comments on a social media post is to share a recipe that includes Brussels sprouts.
I get negative comments about sprouts from my health coaching clients, too. I often ask what their favorite and least favorite vegetables are in our first session. One client declared, “I’m not going to eat those little green soccer ball things!” I promised I wouldn’t make him eat them, but after just a few sessions, not only was he cooking them on a regular basis, he really loved them!
I completely understand the Brussels sprouts push back, because I used to hate them, too. My mom made them often. I think she was buying them frozen and boiling them, and they were nasty. They were bitter and mushy, and they smelled awful.
When I met Dennis many years ago, he said sprouts were one of his favorite veggies, but at the time, they were probably the only vegetables I didn’t like. I challenged myself to find ways to cook them that I would enjoy. After roasting them a few times, I was hooked. I soon began experimenting, and now I can’t get enough of them.
Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite veggies now, and I usually eat them at least twice a week. Sometimes I just roast them and serve them alongside mac and cheese, while other times I make a salad with them, throw them into a stir-fry, and yes, even top a pizza with them.
I’ve read that you need to eat a food ten times before you start to develop taste buds for it, but for me, I think I only needed two or three sprouty meals before I started to like Brussels sprouts. The easiest way to cook sprouts is to roast them. Roasting brings out the sweetness of any vegetable, so it’s probably the best way to ease them into your diet, too.
To prepare sprouts, you need to trim off any of the thick stem that might still be attached. Then, you should peel away any other leaves that are damaged or dirty. I like to slice my sprouts in half to roast or pan-fry them. If you’re going to steam or boil them, it’s a good idea to make a cross-shaped cut in them.
While I guess they do look like little green soccer balls, sprouts actually grow on large stalks. They’re considered a cruciferous vegetable, and they’re part of the cabbage family. (Sprouts look more like mini cabbages that soccer balls, but whatevs.) They’ve been a popular vegetable in Brussels, Belgium, for hundreds of years, hence their name.
These tiny cabbages are nutritional powerhouses, and they have many health benefits, so it’s a good idea to include them in your diet. Not only are they low in calories, they’re loaded with vitamins, minerals, and even protein.
- Cancer Prevention– The sulfur containing compounds that give sprouts their bitter flavor has been known to combat certain cancers.
- Bone Health – The vitamin K found in sprouts helps calcium absorption. They also contain calcium, so they’re a win-win for bone health.
- Blood Support– Vitamin K is also important for blood coagulation. (If you’re on blood thinners, it’s important to talk to your doctor before eating foods rich in vitamin K.)
- Good Vision– They’re chock-full with vitamin C, which helps keep eyes healthy.
- Enhanced Immunity– Of course, vitamin C is known to strengthen the immune system and reduce the severity of colds.
- Iron Absorption – Vitamin C helps with iron absorption, which prevents anemia.
- Healthy Skin – Vitamin C isalso known to fight skin damage caused by the sun as well as help form collagen, which supports the skin.
- Digestive Regularity – Sprouts are loaded with fiber, which helps with digestion. It also helps feed the gut’s beneficial bacteria.
- Manage Diabetes – The alpha-lipoic acid found in Brussels sprouts is known to lower glucose levels and increase insulin sensitivity.
- Lower Risk of Chronic Disease – Sprouts are high in antioxidants, which help lower inflammation in the body as well as the risk of developing chronic diseases.
Cornmeal Crusted Brussels Sprouts – These little bites are a terrific appetizer for date night or dinner parties. They’re a great snack for Netflix binging sessions, too!
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad with Maple Mustard Dressing – Made with just a few ingredients, this salad is a delicious side dish.
Brussels Sprouts Salad – This dish is a fun change from the usual garden salad.
Cruciferous Crunch Salad – Move over coleslaw! This salad is destined to become everyone’s favorite cookout side dish!
Brussels Sprout Pizza – Pizza night gets a healthy spin with this recipe!
Sweet and Sour Brussels Sprouts – Your favorite takeout meal gets a healthy makeover in this dish!
Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts with Caramelized Shallots and Toasted Pistachios – This delicious side dish was inspired by an item at a favorite local eatery.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts – It doesn’t get any easier than this dish!
Festive Garlicky Roasted Vegetables with Lemon Tahini Drizzle – Don’t wait until the holidays to make this tasty side dish! It’s also great served cold as a salad.
What’s your favorite way to cook sprouts?