I say brilliant brussels but it hasn’t always been the case! My mum, who was a great cook, used to under cook them to avoid over cooking them and any time we had Sunday lunch out the brussels sprouts were, without fail, mushy and soggy!
I avoided them wherever possible. I was determined, though, that my children would have a different experience. I’ve roasted them, pan-fried them, added herbs and spices and all sorts of ingredients to make them palatable. And guess what, they really are delicious when cooked right.
where do brussel sprouts originate from?
Brussel Sprouts are native to Brussels, Belgium, hence the name. They are mini cabbages and belong to the brassica family, which include cabbage, of course, broccoli and cauliflower.
does over-cooking brussel sprouts affect their nutritional benefits?
Over-cooking can affect the flavour, consistency and colour as well as depleting some of the nutritional benefits of Brussels sprouts. And why would you want to eat soggy, mushy Brussel sprouts!
so why are brussel sprouts so nutritionally beneficial?
Brilliant Brussels provide vitamin K which improves blood clotting and bone health. Vitamin K assists calcium absorption and reducing the removal of calcium in the urine. Lower intake of vitamin K can leave us with a higher risk of fracturing bones in later life.
Brussel sprouts are also one of the best plant sources of omega-3 fats, a good source of anti-oxidants especially Alpha Lipoic Acid (see below for nutritional link) known as a powerful antioxidant that can fight inflammation in the body.
Roasting Brussel sprouts in olive oil and garlic alone is delicious, but with the addition of some other flavoursome ingredients, will bring them to another taste level.
Although Green Lentils are complex carbohydrates, they also have a high protein content, are naturally gluten-free and fibre rich. They are a decent source of iron which vegetarians can sometimes be lacking in.
Dukkah is a great addition too, it has so many levels of flavour, from spicy to sweet and also gives some texture. The depth of Dukkah’s health benefits are found in its ingredients, see how to make one of my versions here.
I love Pomegranates and do find myself adding them to salads and vegetable dishes regularly. They give a nice juicy crunch and their health benefits alone are spectacular. Pomegranates are rich in anti-oxidants, just look at their gorgeously coloured seeds. They are anti-inflammatory and loaded with vitamin C.
There are various ways to customise Brussel Sprouts with herbs, spices, nuts, etc to suit your own tastes. So if you’ve given Brussels a wide berth lately, give them another chance to shine, they really are worth it health and wellness-wise!
- 300 grams/4 cups Brussel Sprouts, peeled, trimmed and halved
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1-2 cloves Garlic
- 1 teaspoon Flaked Sea Salt
- 200 grams/1 cup Green Lentils
- 2 tablespoons Dukkah
- 80 grams/3 ounces/½ cup Pomegranate seeds
- Pre-heat your oven to 350°F/180°C/160°C fan.
- Place the halved Brussel Sprouts in a bowl with the Olive oil, Garlic and Flaked Sea Salt. Toss until fully coated.
- Place the Brussel Sprouts on a baking tray and roast for around 30 minutes. Check and stir the sprouts around. Return to the oven for another 10 minutes, making sure they brown nicely without burning.
- Take the Brussel Sprouts out of the oven and place in a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the Dukkah and Pomegranate seeds to finish.
All cup measurements are approximate.
For more on the brilliant, nutritional benefits, see the nutritional links below.