Thursday, March 24, 2011

Brussel Sprouts...reject or no?

Out of all the vegetables out there, I think brussel sprouts might be one of the most unpopular. This is totally not research based, but I'm guessing if you polled 100 people and asked what their least favorite veggie was, that brussel sprouts would be among the winners...or lack thereof. In other words, brussel sprouts are kind of the reject in the vegetable world.

Until recently, I would have been one of those people who claimed an intense dislike for the little green guys. I can remember eating them once when I was a child, and while I don't remember anything about the flavor or why I disliked them, I clearly remember a strong dislike. And that dislike lead to about 20 years of my life without another interaction with this member of the wild cabbage family. (according to wikipedia!)

Additionally, according to wikipedia, brussel sprouts contain sulforaphane, which is a chemical with strong anti-cancer properties. They also a source of indole-3-carbinol, a chemical which boosts DNA repair in cells and appears to block the growth of cancer cells. Sounds pretty fabulous, right? 

As a mature 26 year old, I decided I couldn't continue going through life calling brussel sprouts yucky without giving them another chance. It's only fair, right? Based on a little google research, I determined that roasting the mini cabbage lookalikes would be the best method of cooking.

To begin, you peel the outer layer or leaves off the sprout.
If you have a cute little helper, put her to work!

And then cut off the tough stem. 
 Rinse / wash thoroughly. Or don't. I won't judge!

Cut the sprouts into halves, or fourths if they're big. 
Next, I would encourage you to drizzle yours with olive oil, maple syrup, and salt and pepper. I'm embarrassed to admit I had NO oil in the house - no olive oil, no vegetable oil, nothing. So I melted some butter and used that with the maple syrup and S&P. In my mind, I figured it would basically be the same thing. I used 2 tbsp melted butter and about 3 tbsp maple syrup. 

Spread onto a greased baking sheet. 

Roast in the oven for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees. According to everything I read online, you'll want them to get dark and sort of burnt looking - it means the edges are caramelizing and this should make for better tasting brussels. 

The verdict? 

Not bad! While I didn't LOVE them, they were pretty good. There was NO maple syrup flavor at all, but I don't know if there was supposed to be, or if the syrup maybe counteracted a bitterness or something. I'd say the flavor was a little bit broccoli-like. I'd definitely be willing to eat them again, but I don't see it being something I'd crave.


  1. totally going to copy this!!! i need new ways to get Kye to eat veggies and this sounds interesting...who knows maybe i'll even like them?!?

  2. ok, i've never cooked these before! but i think i want to try.

    maple syrup, eh? crazy. never would have guessed it! this will be my next experiment, i'll let you know how it goes :)

  3. Very interesting! I imagine that a lot of people don't eat them because they are so tough, but the roasting would take care of that. These might be really good added into a stir fry or something where you could mask their flavor but still get the good healthy benefits?

    Thanks for posting this, you may have inspired me to try these!!

  4. My MIL loves brussel sprouts - just steamed with salt and pepper.

    I may have to give them another try though - they look delicious!

  5. I LOVE brussel sprouts. I'll even eat them raw as a snack. Roasting is the best way to prepare them. My husband likes when I roast a chicken and put the sprouts in the pan so they roast in the chicken drippings. That's pretty much the only way he'll eat them :)

  6. I like brussel sprouts. I don't LOVE them, but I do like them. I'm going to have to try this recipe and THEN maybe I'll love them :)

  7. I think that I would say that I don't like them, but I can't even remember ever trying them. They actually look really good. I will have to try this!

  8. We are a happy brussel sprout eating family ... once I discovered a recipe that I could tolerate! I never bothered offering brussel sprouts to my kids because of my childhood experience, but I like the looks of the vegetable found a recipe we love. We roast almond slivers in butter and oil (in a deep pan), so the butter gets a nutty flavour. Then we add halved brussel sprouts to the mixture cover and steam. My son told me that liking brussel sprouts must be similar to liking spinach, but he gobbles them up and asks for more.

  9. love this idea ... and love your blog! thanks for finding me too! love the encouragement ... that's the rewarding part of blogging is how we can encourage one another! look forward to reading more of your post!

  10. I am a sprout rejector but my hubs likes them do I might give your recipe a go!

  11. I actually think they're pretty good. If we have them (and it's been awhile) we usually steam them though. This looks interesting.

    NO oil?! Holy cow!!! Well, if you're in need of purchasing oil, and apparently you care about nutrition, I would highly recommend doing some reading about coconut oil. It is becoming our go-to around here for just about all our oil needs. We order ours from Tropical Traditions, but there are lots of brands. You just want to make sure you get something that is extra virgin and unrefined. Let me know if you have any questions!

  12. I roast them all the time but don't use maple syrup. I sprinkle them with garlic powder. My husband will ask for them.


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