eat your brussel sprouts

As someone who likes to eat seasonally as much as possible, living in the Northeast enables me to literally savor all the different times of the year.

Each season brings something exciting on the locally-sourced food front. I relish winter for its root vegetables and varieties of squash. Spring brings the first baby greens, peas, and herbs, while summer delivers a bounty of local fruits and vegetables. And, if the weather cooperates, those summer vegetables continue to grow into the fall. In fact, I get tomatoes in my garden up to the first frost and the dark leafy greens can even live through some light snow.

Unquestionably, my favorite fall food is Brussels sprouts. These unusual vegetables, which resemble mini cabbages growing on a thick stalk, are nutritional powerhouses. Brussels sprouts are cruciferous vegetables and, as such, have cancer-fighting properties. They are high in fiber, phytonutrients, many important vitamins and minerals, and sulfur. You may have noticed that smell if you overcook them!

Brussels sprouts are quite versatile. They can be eaten raw or cooked. To be honest, I never liked these as a kid; my grandmother would boil them and the smell was overpowering. Years later, I rediscovered them and couldn’t believe how delicious they were when roasted. My family loves them this way – made simply in olive oil and a little salt. Sometimes, as an extra treat, I will add a bit of pure maple syrup right before they’re done cooking.

To eat them raw, I suggest grating or slicing them very thin. They’re an easy addition to your favorite slaw.


2 pounds Brussels sprouts, 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, sea salt (optional)

1. Place baking pan in oven and preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Rinse and cut each sprout in half. If you are lucky enough to buy them on the stalk, remove from stalk first, and then rinse and cut.
3. In a medium sized bowl, combine Brussels sprouts with just enough olive oil to coat. Sprinkle with sea salt and mix again.
4. Place them in rimmed baking pan and stir every 10 minutes.
5. Sprouts are done when they start to turn brown and are tender to a fork, approximately 40 minutes.

Note: Leftovers are delicious added to salads or just eaten as a snack.

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