Some Things You Probably Didn't Know About Brussels Sprouts
In 1578, Martin Frobisher and his crew celebrated the first Thanksgiving in North America, actually in what is now Newfoundland, Canada. That’s 43 years before the pilgrims landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts.
The English explorers were grateful for their safe arrival in the New World and wanted to give thanks to God. They celebrated with salt beef, biscuits and mushy peas.
Today, Thanksgiving feasts in that part of country still bear some resemblance to that first Thanksgiving meal. Many Newfoundlanders celebrate the occasion with the traditional Jiggs dinner featuring corned beef, cabbage and, peas pudding on the side.
In the rest of Canada, turkey and all the fixings are favoured over the salt or corned beef of a Jiggs dinner. In our province, butter tarts also form part of the tradition for many families. Rich and sweet, they’re simply delicious…..but the calories!
Why not consider adding some healthier options to begin a new tradition this Thanksgiving? Using locally grown and freshly available Brussel sprouts now in season, ready for the holiday.
These cute little miniature cabbage-like vegetables belong to the same family as cabbage, broccoli, collards and cauliflower. They’re high in potassium and a good source of vitamin B6. Just ¾ cup of brussel sprouts provides the daily recommended requirements of vitamin C and K, both important to maintaining good health.
Yet, brussel sprouts also contain alpho-lipoic acid, an anti-oxidant known to lower glucose level and improve insulin sensitivity. It’s been found to decrease the symptoms of peripheral , a common challenge for many diabetics.
Brussel sprouts are simply a good wholesome food cultivated as far back as the days of the Roman Emperors in the land we now know as Italy. They have stood the test of time.
Prepared cold or warm, brussel sprouts can be a tasty and nutritious addition to your Thanksgiving menu. Just remember not to overcook them. Here are two ways to prepare and enjoy brussel sprouts:
Brussels Sprouts and Kale Slaw
Quick, easy and delicious. No stove needed!
1 quart of brussel sprouts
1 bunch of kale
½ tart or green apple
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup almond slivers
1/3 cup grated monterrey jack cheese
1 onion, chopped
2T apple cider vinegar
½ cup olive oil
1T dijon mustard
1 pinch salt
1 pinch black pepper
Whisk together onion, oil, honey, salt, pepper.
Remove outer leaves, trim an remove any hard stems. Chop the brussel sprouts up finely.
Remove ribs from the kale leaves and cut the leaves into fine strips.
Chop the green apple into small pieces.
Combine the brussel sprouts, kale, apple and dried cranberries in a large bowl.
Add the dressing and toss together well.
Top with cheese and almond slivers.
Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
If you know someone who thinks they don’t like brussel sprouts, they’ve probably not tried them prepared this way.
6 slices of bacon
½ cup sliced onions
1 ½ quarts of brussel sprouts
4 garlic cloves, sliced thin
¾ cup chicken broth
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
Cut the slices of bacon into small strips.
Trim and halve the brussel sprouts. If they’re large cut them into quarters.
Heat a large skillet on medium heat. Add bacon. Saute until the bacon is lightly browned.
Remove the bacon from the pan and leave about a Tablespoon of the bacon grease behind.
Add brussel sprouts to the grease and saute cut side down until lightly browned.
Add the sliced onions and saute a little longer until they’re limp.
Add the garlic and continue to saute, stirring frequently.
Add the chicken broth and cook for just a few moments until most of the broth evaporates and the brussel sprouts are tender.
Stir the bacon pieces back into the mix.
Remove from heat and mix in salt and pepper.
Want to try something a little different?
Why not try adding 1 ½ T balsamic vinegar for a bit of spicy tang or top each serving with a little grated parmesan?
However you choose to celebrate, we hope you enjoy a wonderful Thanksgiving. And let us be grateful and say our thanks not just this one day of the year….. but ponder for a moment every day.