Brussels sprouts—cousin to cabbage—are cute, little green balls of good-for-you veggies. Some are intimidated by Brussels sprouts’ strong flavor but we say, embrace it!
SELECTING THE BEST SPROUTS
Use color as an indicator of freshness when choosing sprouts. They should be bright green with no dark, curled leaves. Avoid sprouts with a strong, sulfurous smell or that have any holes or blemishes. The best sprouts are firm to the touch…not puffy.
SECRET TO SUCCESSFUL SPROUTS
These hardy vegetables have a delicate flavor when cooked properly. The key to the perfectly cooked sprout is to snip off just a bit of the stem before cutting in half and removing any discolored or loose leaves from the outer part. Make sure to rinse sprouts very well in a colander to clean and remove some of their bitterness. To keep your sprouts tasting (and looking) their best, please, do not overcook! This can lead to a bitter taste and a mushy texture. Remove them from the oven before they turn a dull green color.
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My oven roasted Brussels sprout recipe kicks up the heat by adding an international Latin twist, with a dash of chili powder. It will be hard for kids to say no to these spicy mini cabbages! They contain high amounts of vitamins A, K, B6 and C, as well as folic acid and dietary fiber. Just six Brussels sprouts contain 90% of the daily-recommended intake of Vitamin C. Wow! Another excuse to gobble these right up: Roasting Brussels sprouts helps them better retain their nutrient content, as opposed to boiling.
Covered in heart healthy extra-virgin olive oil, these sprouts are also slimming, thanks to their naturally low calorie count and because they are covered in chili powder, which contains fat-burning capsaicin. Fresh lemon juice and zest contributes even more Vitamin C, and keeps sprouts from becoming sulfurous or bitter. The garlic clove serves as an anti-bacterial, and gives sprouts a savory, spicy flavor. With so many strong flavors, we used a touch of freshly-ground white pepper and drizzle of balsamic vinegar to bring everything together.
A SPECTACULAR SIDE
Serve these spicy sprouts as a side dish alongside chorizo, simply grilled salmon, or combine with cooked quinoa. Got extra Brussels sprouts? You can drizzle them with olive oil and squeeze some fresh lime juice on them for a hint of a tropical taste. Store any leftover Brussels sprouts in a plastic bag and freeze. These sprouts are best eaten fresh out of the oven. Storing them for too long in the refrigerator may make them soggy.
OVEN ROASTED CHILI BRUSSELS SPROUTS
1 pound Brussels sprouts, halved
4 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil
¼ TSP sea salt
¼ TSP freshly ground white pepper
½ TSP chili powder
1 garlic clove, minced
2 TBSP fresh lemon juice
1 TSP fresh lemon zest
2 TBSP balsamic vinegar, for serving