Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Eat Your Sprouts this Season

As a member of the cruciferous family, Brussels sprouts are a nutrient powerhouse. 1/2 cup provides half your daily needs of vitamin C, helping to keep your immune system strong during this cold weather. It also protects your cells from damage.

That same 1/2 cup provides nearly 100% of your daily needs of vitamin K, necessary for blood clotting and to strengthen your bones. Brussels sprouts are an excellent source of folate which can decrease stroke and heart disease risk. It is also a great source of vitamin A and potassium.

A recent study showed improved DNA stability in white blood cells after daily consumption of 1.25 cups of Brussels sprouts. It appears the vegetable blocks the activity of certain unfavorable enzymes helping to give DNA protective benefits. 

Brussels sprouts contain many other phytonutrients such as glucosinolates and isothiocyanates. These compounds reduce the risk of cancer by eliminating potential carcinogens from your body. Isothiocyanates may also reduce your heart attack risk.
Steaming helps to retain the most nutrients, followed by roasting and sautéing. To reduce the bitter taste slice the sprouts in half to release some of the thiocyanates, a bitter compound.

Boiling greatly reduces the bitter flavor but decreases the nutritional value substantially so this is not the best option. Roasting can bring out the natural sweetness in the sprouts and pairing it with something acidic, such as vinegar can play off the flavor of the sprout nicely.

For a delicious side dish to any meal try our fall inspired recipe below.

Mustard Grilled Brussels Sprouts
Serves: 4

1lb Brussels Sprouts
2 tbs Olive oil
2 tbs Whole grain mustard
4 wooden or metal skewers

Directions: Rinse Brussels sprouts, trim the stems, and pull off any dark outer leaves. Place Brussels sprouts in a pot of boiling water and lower heat to a simmer. Cook 3-5 minutes until sprouts are tender.

Place sprouts in a bowl of ice water to cool down. Drain and toss sprouts with olive oil followed by the mustard until well coated.

Skewer sprouts evenly onto wooden or metal skewers. Place over medium-high heat grill and cook 4-5 minutes each side until slightly charred and warm. Enjoy!

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