When you sit down for that big turkey dinner and all the trimmings today I’m going to ask that you be sure to grab a helping of a side dish you probably let pass right by you each year.
I’m talking about the Rodney Dangerfield of vegetables, the lowly Brussels sprout. Even with all of the health benefits of Brussels sprouts, this veggie that just doesn’t get any respect.
Now I can practically hear your groans as you argue against having to eat these much-maligned veggies. “They stink!” “They’re mushy.” “They’re bitter and just don’t taste good.”
And, frankly, I can’t really argue with you because, to be honest, you’re totally right.
Well…sort of. Let me explain.
The thing is most of us have never had the opportunity to eat a Brussels sprout cooked correctly. Want to know how I know?
Because if we had been served these nutritional powerhouses cooked the right way we’d be loading up our plates with this delicious cousin of the cabbage and even going back for seconds.
The problem comes down to one thing…overcooking.
When you overcook a batch of Brussels sprouts the heat causes a chemical reaction that releases glucosinolate the compound that gives the vegetables that well-known bitter taste and stinky sulfur smell that’s earned them top billing on the “Most Hated” list for kids and adults alike. Overcooking also eliminates some of the health benefits of Brussels sprouts by removing their natural nutrients.
But what if I told you that a well-cooked Brussels sprout is both deliciously sweet and packed with good-for-you nutrients like antioxidants, vitamin C, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin A, thiamine, B6, potassium, and fiber?
The solution is simple, cut a small “x” in the stem of each sprout to help them cook faster and then boil, steam, or…my favorite…bake (just toss them with some olive oil and a dash of sea salt and pepper before baking) your fresh sprouts for no longer than 7 minutes. The result is a delicious vegetable that you’re going to want seconds on when they get passed to you today at your holiday table.
Have a safe, happy, and delicious Thanksgiving!