Brussels sprouts are a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. They can be found all year long but their peak season is fall through spring. When eaten regularly, cruciferous vegetables provide a wealth of nutritional benefits.
Glucoraphanin, glucobrassicin, sinigrin, and gluconasturtiian are glucosinolates that are found in Brussels sprouts. The unique combination of these glucosinolates offer some cancer preventing qualities. If you are in need of lowering your cholesterol, steaming Brussels sprouts is the preferred cooking method. This gives the fiber more ability to bind with the bile acids in our digestive tract which in turn helps lower cholesterol. Other health benefits include reducing inflammation, improving cardiovascular health and thyroid function, along with having some detox benefits as well.
With that said, roasting Brussels sprouts is an easy and delicious way to enjoy these miniature looking cabbages. An important thing to keep in mind is not to overcook them as they will develop an unappealing sulfur smell. When roasted on high heat, you can achieve some caramelization with a crispy outer texture yet tender on the inside. Toss them with some shallots, pecans, and dried cranberries for a festive variety of flavors and texture.
Brussels sprouts are a compliment to many dishes and are often a popular choice during the holidays. They are one of those cruciferous vegetables that is open to many possibilities and flavors when it comes to preparation. Because of that, they go with almost everything!
2 lbs Brussels sprouts, remove outer leaves, trim bottoms, & cut in half
3 Tbs melted coconut oil (or olive oil), divided
3 medium shallots, thinly sliced
2 Tbs balsamic vinegar
sea salt, to taste
fresh ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup pecans, optional
1/2 cup dried cranberries, optional
1. Heat one tablespoon of your oil over medium-high heat. Add the sliced shallots. Lower heat to med-low and cook the shallots until browned. Set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat the trimmed Brussels sprouts with the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, pepper. Place the sprouts on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
3. Roast the sprouts for about 30 minutes. You want them to have a crispy brown outer appearance but tender on the inside. Add the shallots the last few minutes of roasting to incorporate them with the sprouts.
4. For additional flavor and texture, adding the pecans and/or dried cranberries is a nice touch.