Posted by Andrea Nakayama
I’m in shock. I arrived at my parents house for the Thanksgiving holiday last night and my mother greeted me with a folder filled with her chosen holiday recipes ~ clippings from magazines and printouts from the internet.
There, right in the folder, among the selection of gluten-free, sugar-free pies and homemade cranberry sauce, was a Bobby Flay recipe for Brussels sprouts with pomegranate and hazelnuts.
So why am I in shock? Well just a few years ago my mother wrinkled her nose at the thought of eating Brussels sprouts. She vehemently proclaimed her Brussel hatred. And now here they are among her preferred recipe pickings?
Thanksgiving has always been a distinct holiday in my family. As a kid we bucked tradition and traveled to different cities around the country ~ San Francisco, Boston, Williamsburg, Yosemite. It was our time for adventure. Our Thanksgiving dinner was reserved in advance and eaten in a fancy restaurant in our destination city that hosted an exclusive feast. (I particularly remember waitresses walking around with baskets of hot popovers.)
As we got older, Thanksgiving transformed into a holiday that was about my expected engagement (only slightly delayed) that I wrote about last year.
But through the years there are some ingredients of Thanksgiving that have remained the same: fun, family, feasting, turkey, adventure (whether on the road or in the kitchen), cranberries, apple pie and, now, Brussels sprouts!
You may be wrinkling your nose too (I know some of you are). But today I want to share with you an adaptation of the recipe that converted my own mother into a Brussels sprouts lover.
Happy Thanksgiving to you! Eat your Brussels! And thank you so much for being a part of my life.
Hazelnut Crusted Brussels Sprouts
This recipe is adapted from the cookbook Veganomicon, where it appeared as cornmeal crusted Brussels sprouts. This year I decided to switch things up a bit, adding a bit more flavor, protein and seasonal flare. The results were scrumptious. My son Gilbert and I could eat them like candy!
serves approximately 4 to 6
8 Tbspns olive oil
1 to 1-1/2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
2/3 cup hazelnut flour
3 Tbspns chickpea (garbanzo) flour
1 tspn salt
2-1/2 tspn Frank’s Finest BBQ spice blend
1/2 teaspoon each of the following spices plus extra salt to taste: paprika, powdered onion, powdered garlic, thyme, chipotle
- Preheat the oven to 400℉. Prepare a large baking pan by pouring about 2 Tbspns of the oil into it and spreading it around the bottom of the pan.
- Trim and wash the Brussels sprouts, shaking off any excess water, and pat dry lightly with a clean dish towel. Slice any really huge sprouts into two pieces. Place the sprouts in a large bowl, sprinkle with a little salt and dust with 1 Tbspn of chickpea flour, tossing to coat every sprout.
- In a small bowl, mix together the hazelnut flour, remaining chickpea flour, salt and spices. Pour in 6 Tbspns of the oil and mix together with your fingers to form crumbs. Add the Brussels sprouts, toss to coat with the oiled crumbs, and press as much of the crumb mixture as possible onto them. It’s OK if some of the coating doesn’t stick to the sprouts.
- Pour the coated sprouts and crumbs into the prepared pan and roll them around in the oil. Bake for 25 minutes, until the sprouts are browned and tender. Every 10 minutes or so while baking, turn the sprouts and crumbs with a wooden spoon or spatula, moving any overly browned crumbs on the edges of the pan to the center to prevent burning.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS: YOUR THANKSGIVING LIFESAVER
Brussels sprouts are a member of the Brassica family which also includes cabbage, broccoli, kale, and collard greens. They were widely cultivated around Brussels, Belgium during the 16th century, which is how they got their name. I read somewhere that in a 2002 survey, they were named the most hated veggie in Britain. What were those people thinking? They certainly haven’t tried the Brussel sprouts that converted my mom’s taste buds!
Brussels sprouts can be purchased loose (as seen to the left) or on the stalk (as pictured below). When buying these tiny little cabbages, look for a fresh green color, and try to get them when they are tight and compact rather than fluffy. They will be sweeter this way.
The Health Benefits of Brussel Sprouts:
: : One cup of Brussels sprouts contains four grams of dietary fiber. This fiber will aid in digestion, prevent constipation, maintain low blood sugar and keep overeating in check.
: : Myriad antioxidants are found in Brussels sprouts, including Vitamins C, E, and A, as well as the mineral manganese. In addition, the flavonoid antioxidants like quercitin, which can be found in your Brussels sprouts work to protect against the oxidative stress that can increase cancer risk.
: : Brussels sprouts have an impressive amount of vitamin C (1 cup contains over 160% RDA). That vitamin C ensures a healthy immune system that keeps you flu-free through the holidays.
: : Brussels sprouts have several key inflammation fighting factors. They contain a good dose of plant-based omega-3 fatty acids. They contain an impressive amount of vitamin K. And most notably, they also contain an organic compound called indole-3-carbinol that helps to tackle inflammation at the genetic level.
: : The vitamin K in Brussels sprouts promotes healthy bones, helps prevent calcification of the body’s tissues and is key for proper brain and nerve function.
: : That same organic compound that’s turning off your genetic inflammatory markers (indole-3-carbionol) is also helping you to fight cancer ~ especially breast, prostate, ovarian and colon cancers.
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