For some reason, the faithful mini cabbage (aka Brussels sprout) has a bad rap. I suppose this is because people have been tortured by boiled-to-mush dishes served up by well-intentioned grandparents. Yes, they have a slight bitter taste, but it is important to keep in mind that some of our most treasured treats are bitter including chocolate and coffee. Brussels sprouts are teeming with health benefits from cancer prevention to joint protection and it’s worth it to given them another chance to impress your palate and heal your body. In the end, it all comes down to how they’re prepared. By adding a sweet dressing to these mini marvels, they’ll soon become a family favourite!
Five reaons to eat more of these super sprouts:
1. Brussels sprouts are being researched as a true cancer fighting superfood. They contain glucosinolates that prevent the development and spread of cancer cells that can lead to bladder, breast, colon, lung, prostate, and ovarian cancer.
2. Brussels sprouts have the power to reduce the inflammation in your body with its high flavonoid content. Quercetin, one of the better-known flavonoids, has the power to work as an antihistamine, reducing allergic reactions.
3. Can you believe that one cup of Brussels sprouts contains 100 mg of vitamin C? That is almost twice the amount of vitamin C found in an orange. Vitamin C is a key nutrient for building collagen in your joints and skin. Smokers lose vitamin C with every cigarette they smoke making them more susceptible to aging rapidly!
4. Brussels sprouts are powerful detoxifiers They work by increasing levels of glutathione-S-transferase, the enzyme that detoxifies environmental toxins such as hormone-disturbing xenoestrogens we are exposed to from plastics and pesticides. Fall is a great time to do a clean sweep of your body before it goes into hibernation mode.
5. The fibre and sulforaphane found in brassica plants such as Brussel sprouts has been shown to protect your tummy from ulcers! Sulforaphane reduces the amount of H. pylori bacteria that can cause a chronic low-level inflammation of the stomach lining.
Brussel sprouts with honey-mustard balsamic dressing
4 cups Brussel sprouts
1 medium sweet onion, peeled and chopped or sliced
2 cups sliced parsnips
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoon of olive oil
2 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp grey or pink sea salt
1. Trim Brussel sprouts (or pluck them off the stem if you have the luck to find them fresh). Cut a small X in the stem end, so they cook evenly.
2. Place sprouts, onion, parsnips and water in a medium pan. Cover and cook on medium-high heat for 10 minutes, or until tender. Pour any excess water out when done keeping sprouts in pan.
3. Mix olive oil, honey, vanilla, mustard and balsamic into a sauce and drizzle on top of the cooked sprouts, parsnips and onions. Add salt and stir gently to blend.
4. Roast in oven at 350 degrees F for 30-40 minutes until golden brown.
Julie Daniluk hosts Healthy Gourmet (OWN: the Oprah Winfrey Network), a reality cooking show that highlights the ongoing battle between taste and nutrition. Her first book, Meals That Heal Inflammation (Random House) is now available and will help people enjoy allergy-free foods that taste great and assist the body in the healing process.