Brassy Brassicas: Brussels Sprouts


It has been busy around here— it is that time of year, you can relate! With the business, my intentionality with eating two cups of brassica a day has waned slightly. But after reading an article entitled “You Are What You Eat,” in the New Pioneer Food Co-op newsletter (we're still members at the Iowa City Co-op), I am re-focused!

In 2000, Dr. Terry Wahl, a physician in Internal Medicine at the University of Iowa, was diagnosed with M.S. By 2003, she had become wheelchair dependent. In 2007, after intensive study of the medical literature, she changed her diet and developed a new intervention. Six months later, she was doing the unthinkable…riding her bike to work every day!

She explains, “The biochemistry of life cannot happen without the building blocks.” Multiple studies have shown that 75% of Americans are mineral deficient. “I looked at my diet and asked how it was meeting the needs of my cells.” Her favorite foods to promote are cruciferous vegetables— brassicas!!!

If eating brassicas can help reduce the effects of a degenerative disease, just think of what they can do for a healthy body!! So today, I thought I’d spend a little time focusing on a member of the family: Brussels Sprouts. When Pete and I were first married, I would practically gag every time we ate “boiled” Brussels Sprouts. I joked that when we had kids, I’d have to leave the night we had them, because I wasn’t sure I could keep the “chef’s bite” rule. That was before we learned the secret of roasting, to create sweet carmelization!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees, if possible use convection, otherwise increase to 425 degrees.
Cut Brussels Sprouts in half, sprinkle with olive oil, salt & pepper to taste and cook for 40-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

As another option, add balsamic vinegar in addition to olive oil, salt & pepper.
Or roast with olive oil and then add a balsamic reduction after removing from the oven. Pine nuts also pair well with the reduction.

Balsamic Reduction:
Simmer ½ c balsamic vinegar with 1 T brown sugar (if desired) on medium heat for 15 minutes until mixture thickens. Stir occasionally. Avoid cooking too long, otherwise it will become sticky and hard.

In a hurry?? Try this “fast roasting version” to significantly reduce the time!! http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/05/dinner-tonight-dan-barbers-br...

I’m excited to try this Brussels Sprout Salad soon:
http://glutenfreegirl.blogspot.com/2010/11/brussels-sprouts-salad.html

And a few others to sample:
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Carmelized Onions & Bacon http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2010/02/roasted-brussel-brussels-spro...

Melissa’s Brussels Sprouts
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/paula-deen/melissas-brussels-sprouts-...

Tyler Florence’s Bacon & Brussels Sprout Hash
http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/tyler-florence/bacon-and-brussel-spro...

Momofuku Brussels Sprouts
http://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2008/02/dinner-tonight-momofuku-bruss...

Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Cauliflower
http://www.vegetariantimes.com/recipes/7642?section=

Go eat some Brussels Sprouts and to read more about Dr. Terry Wahl, including how to participate in her M.S. research, visit: http://www.terrywahls.org/index.html

Laughing...

Ha! I laughed along reading this post. I would have been in the 'have to pass on brussel sprouts night', too. My family growing up loved them. They revolted me. I actually can't wait to try the carmelized version. They look delectable in your photo. It's amazing how different non-boiled, fresh grown brussels sprouts can be.

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