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Food Factor: Shake and Bake Brussels Sprouts


Growing up, Brussels sprouts were the vegetable every kid on TV loved to hate. Most people think they hate these cute little veggies that resemble tiny cabbages, even if they’ve never tried them.

While Brussels sprouts may have more of a bitter flavor than some vegetables, with a few tips and tricks, you can add this very healthy seasonal vegetable to your weekly meal plan.

First, look for small, tight sprouts that are about 1 to 1.5 inches in size. You want sprouts that are uniformly sized so they cook evenly. Small sprouts are typically sweeter and less tough than larger sprouts.

Next, experiment with different seasonings and toppings to see what you like best. You can find loads of recipes online for oven-roasted Brussels sprouts, but I recommend starting with a basic coating of olive oil and seasoning with salt and pepper so you get a true sense of this veggie’s flavor. Popular additions are balsamic vinegar reductions or glazes, lemon, Parmesan cheese, bacon or ham, and mustard.

Finally, different cooking methods will change the texture of Brussels sprouts. Steaming makes them softer than roasting. One recipe I found combines steaming the sprouts in a covered skillet and finishing without a lid to get that delicious browned, caramelized flavor on the bottom of the halved sprouts. Pro tip: You have to cut them in half if you want them to get nicely browned, no matter your cooking method. You need a flat surface to be in contact with the skillet or sheet pan for browning to occur—otherwise, you just have little green sprouts rolling everywhere.

One of my favorite recipes features crunchy panko breadcrumbs. You can use regular breadcrumbs, too, or experiment with Italian-flavored breadcrumbs.

Given the amount of vitamin C, potassium, and fiber in Brussels sprouts, this seasonal vegetable is a winner for your healthy lifestyle!

Shake and Bake Brussels Sprouts

1 pound Brussels sprouts

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/4 cup panko bread crumbs

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a zip-top gallon-size bag, place trimmed Brussels sprouts, extra-virgin olive oil, panko breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese (optional), kosher salt, and ground black pepper. Seal the bag and shake until Brussels sprouts are coated.

Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are tender.


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