The Beloved Brussels Sprout - Health Benefits + Recipes August 13 2013 by Simone Denny
Love them or loathe them the humble Brussels Sprout is, like any good parent would have told you as a child, very good for you! I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve recently discovered some great recipes but I feel like the Brussels Sprout is coming back in vogue. It’s reinventing itself from that overcooked little ball of dull green, that was pushed to one side of the plate, into something much more dynamic and delicious. Still skeptical? Maybe try out the recipes below, read about the health benefits of Brussels Sprouts and then make a call.
Brussels are a very good source of vitamin C. You can obtain 142% of your recommended daily intake (RDA) of vitamin C from just 100gms of sprouts. The vitamins C, A and E and the mineral manganese found in the sprouts make them excellent antioxidant and natural free radical fighter.
Excellent Source of Vitamin K
Brussels Sprouts have a very high level of vitamin K (100gms is 147% of your RDA). Vitamin K helps in bone formation and strengthening and is also intrinsic to the blood's ability to clot blood. Vitamin K also acts as an antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent, and is essential for proper brain and nerve function.
Good for Pregnant Women
In addition to being a great source of fiber and containing essential vitamins needed during pregnancy, Brussels Sprouts are an excellent source of folate. Just ½ cup of sprouts provides 47mcg of folate. Folate is essential for foetal growth and development and is also one of the few nutrients known to prevent neural tube birth defects, such as spina bifida. The high levels of vitamin C found in sprouts can also help with the absorption of iron, which an important mineral during pregnancy.
May keep Cancer at Bay
Brussels Sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable; these types of vegetables are known to contain compounds called isothiocyanates. Isothiocyanates are believed to help with the elimination of potential carcinogens from the body. Due to the antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification benefits obtained from Brussels Sprouts, it is believed they naturally help with any imbalances in these areas, therefore help to ward off cancer.
Nourishing Hub Caramelized Brussels Sprout Salad
I ran into my lovely friend at the supermarket last week and when I asked her what she was having for dinner and she replied ‘Brussels sprouts – do you have a recipe’? I recalled I’d made up a recipe last season and I rattled it off off the top of my head. Here is the official version…
500g Brussels sprouts (about 18 sprouts)
1 - 2 tablespoons of maple syrup (100% pure)
2-3 tablespoons of olive oil
1 salad bowl of baby spinach leaves or mixed greens
¾ cup of cooked brown lentils
½ cup of chopped tamari almonds or macadamia nuts
¾ block of feta (crumbled or chopped)
½ cup of olive oil
Juice of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
2 teaspoons of honey
2 teaspoons of dijon mustard
1 pinch of Himalayan rock salt
Trim Brussels Sprouts and cut lengthways in half. Steam them over boiling water for about 6 minutes (they should turn bright green). Heat a large frying pan over medium/high heat and add olive oil and maple syrup. Add Brussels Sprouts cut-side down and allow them to cook for about 5 minutes – try to wait until they turn a golden brown colour before turning them. Cook for approximately 3 minutes on the other side.
Add the remaining ingredients into a salad bowl and toss lightly – add Brussels Sprouts to the salad.
Add dressing ingredients to a jar and shake until well combined.
Drizzle dressing over the salad
Kale + Silvered Brussels Sprout Soba Noodles
Recipe from the Sprouted Kitchen
1 bunch tuscan kale
5 tsp. toasted sesame oil
10 brussels sprouts
1 plump clove garlic
1 Tbsp. rice vinegar
1 tsp. low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds (white or black)
2 pinches red pepper flakes
4-8 oz. soba noodles
4 slivered green onions, for garnish
Slice the kale leaves from their stems and discard the stems. Working in batches, stack the leaves, roll them up tightly lengthwise, and then thinly slice them crosswise into narrow ribbons. Put the ribbons in a large bowl with 1 tsp. of sesame oil and 1/4 tsp. salt. Massage the leaves with your hands until they glisten.
Discard any funky outer leaves from the brussels sprouts. Slice them paper thin (mandoline works best) then toss them with the kale.
Pound the garlic until smooth in a small mortar (I used a bowl and minced the garlic fine). Stir in the vinegar, remaining sesame oil and soy sauce. Pour the dressing over the greens and toss well. This much can be done in advance and kept in the fridge until ready to serve, or enjoyed alone as a salad.
Bring the water to a boil. When starting the noodles, finish the salad with the sesame seeds, pepper flakes and green onions. Cook the noodles according to package instructions and drain well. Toss the noodles with the greens. The noodle salad can be served warm or cold.