These amazing recipes will change your view on brussel sprouts forever

-Dec 11, Hannah Hargrave , Nutrition -

Brussel sprouts have got a seriously bad reputation, but as we enter the holiday season these leafy buds become a big part of our festivities. So rather than hold your nose and force them down for the sake of a social dinner party why not learn to cook them properly for a tantalising taste bud sensation.

There is simply no denying that for many of us brussel sprouts conjure up ugly memories from our childhood. When these little green vegetables get wheeled out to accompany our turkey and stuffing we instantly remember them as smelly, soggy balls of horror, which somehow had the power to completely taint the rest of our delicious dinner. 

But poor old brussel sprouts shouldn’t be getting the bad name, the cook should! Because prepped and served up correctly – not boiled, microwaved or steamed – these misunderstood veggies are not only tasty these cruciferous wonders are incredibly good for you too. 

So to celebrate the season and this nutritious sprout we have some tips and recipes to ensure your brussels bring about oohs and ahhs rather than bleurghs.

Related: Jamie Oliver’s quick-fire Christmas

How to cook brussel sprouts

  • Buy them fresh: Brussel sprouts which are tight and firm are fresher than those which are already starting to open a little. Since they last in the fridge for a good week and a half you can buy them fresh and know they’ll keep that way. They can be bought lose or on the stem. 
  • Smaller are sweeter: Larger brussel sprouts taste more cabbage-like than the smaller ones which tend to be sweeter.
  • Cut them all the same size: If you cook them when they’re too big by the time the middle is cooked the outside will be incinerated. Instead aim to cut all your sprouts in half our quarters so they are about the same size. 
  • Dry them: After washing them dry your brussel sprouts well. The drier they are the crispier they will get when roasted.
  • Roast them: If the soggy, soft nature of the brussel sprouts is the problem, then roast them. It’s so easy and they’ll come out crispy on the outside and soft, but tasty on the inside. It takes just 15-20 minutes in the oven too. All you have to do is remove the outer leaves and the hard bottom and then toss them in oil – nut oil gets them really crispy – and let them cook.
  • Don’t boil them: It doesn’t matter how little time you have, don’t boil your brussel sprouts. The smell alone will make you regret it. Brussel sprouts release sulfur the longer they’re cooked and so the more eggy they smell. Not to mention they can taste pretty rotten too.

Related: Make Christmas merrier with a little mindfulness

Recipes

If you’re super busy in the kitchen but still want to wow with your brussel sprouts these two quick and simple recipes are perfect for you.

Roasted honey, balsamic brussel sprouts

Serves 4

Ingredients:

1 1/2lbs brussel sprouts 

3 tablespoons olive oil – or nut oil

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons of runny honey

Salt and pepper to season

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºc

2. Prep the brussel sprouts by washing and trimming them

3. Cut the brussel sprouts lengthwise in half

4. Place the brussel sprouts in a large bowl and toss with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, salt and pepper

5. Put the brussel sprouts on a large baking tray and roast for 20 minutes

6. Place the brussel sprouts back in the bowl and add the remaining olive oil, the balsamic vinegar and honey too. Coat until even.

Garlic, parmesan brussel sprouts

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

1lb brussell sprouts

3 garlic cloves finely chopped

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

3 tablespoons olive oil 

Salt and pepper to season

Method: 

1. Preheat the oven to 200ºc

2. Prep the brussel sprouts by washing and trimming them

3. Cut the brussel sprouts in half lengthwise if too big

4. Put the brussel sprouts in a large oven proof dish or on a baking tray

5. Add the parmesan, garlic, salt and pepper and olive oil and toss the brussel spouts

6. Roast for 20 minutes or until crisp and caramelized. 

If you’re looking forward to the holidays but not what over-indulgence might do to your waistline then you might like to know how to beat the bloat this festive season and see how Dr Hilary Jones suggests keeping healthy this Christmas too.

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