Gluten Free Living – 2014
Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries is sensational! First off, let me warn you that a Brussels Sprouts recipe has to be awful good for me to eat it–let alone post about it! I’ve NEVER been in love with Brussels sprouts as the bitter taste has never been appetizing or pleasing to my palate. But that was remedied with this recipe! My husband has always loved Brussels sprouts and even though I’ve never enjoyed them, I’ve tried to find recipes throughout the years where I could at least tolerate eating them. I doubt whether I’ve made Brussels sprouts more than a handful of times in 36 years of marriage. Unfortunately, I’ve had little success until now.
I was in my dentist’s office last week and Jennifer, the dental assistant, was telling me how she made them. She had found the recipe on a card in a grocery store years before and after cooking them this way she started eating Brussels sprouts. First, after washing the Brussels sprouts you cut them in half lengthwise. I’ve never done that before and I think it really helps release the bitterness when you partially blanch the Brussels sprouts. I put 3 heaping tablespoons of sugar in a pot of water and bring it to a boil. Then I added the Brussels sprouts to the water and allowed them to sit in the boiling water about 3 minutes. The water still doesn’t come back to a boil by this time. But the process allows the colors to just pop in color and I believe the sugar water helped remove the bitterness from the sprouts. After draining the sprouts I placed them in a greased baking dish and sprinkled them with garlic powder, pepper and Himalayan sea salt. Then I brushed the sprouts with olive oil and baked them about 30 minutes. That’s all Jennifer did in her recipe, but I felt they needed something more. So after looking at this recipe, I topped the sprouts with pecans and craisins and baked them another 5-10 minutes until the pecans had toasted up nicely.
For a Brussels sprouts hater, this recipe turned out spectacular! I was really impressed. I even served it for company along with Texas BBQ Ribs, Seasoned Oven Fries, Parmesan Baked Yellow Squash and a luscious salad. Now, I normally would NEVER consider serving Brussels sprouts to company. But as it happened I knew the folks we had invited over liked Brussels sprouts. So, when I saw the fresh ones at Sprouts the other day, I thought I would try one more time to make them in a way I could enjoy them. For other ways to cook Brussels Sprouts, see this post.
I’ve eaten Brussels sprouts before where they were not even fork tender so I had to deal with hard veggies along with a bitter taste. Ugh! Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries were perfectly done–no bitterness, nice crunch from the pecans, and a tiny bit of sweetness added to the casserole with the dried cranberries. Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries is simple, tasty, healthy, low calorie, vegan, and gluten free. And it’s the only Brussels sprouts recipe you’ll see me recommend unless and until I eat another one that I enjoy.
If you’re looking for a fabulous holiday casserole, Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries is the one! It’s delicious, refreshing and has a beautiful presentation. If you’re just looking for a way to use up garden produce, then this is also an excellent way to prepare Brussels sprouts for family suppers. Even your most finicky eaters may find themselves enjoying Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries. I sure did.
Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries is a great recipe for those who normally don’t like Brussels sprouts.
Partially blanching the sprouts in sugar-water helps remove the harsh bitter taste of the sprouts.
Adding dried cranberries and pecans adds elegance, crunch, and delicious savory flavors to the casserole.
Here’s what I did.
Wash Brussels sprouts and halve lengthwise. Place in a pot of boiling water that has 3 heaping tablespoons of sugar added. Allow Brussels sprouts to stay in the water about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and drain. Oil a 9×13″ glass baking dish with olive oil. Add partially blanched Brussels sprouts. Brush sprouts with olive oil.
Sprinkle Brussels sprouts generously with garlic powder, pepper and Himalayan sea salt. Don’t worry that some of the outer leaves come off the sprouts. They will brown up and add a nice crunch to the casserole after baking.
Bake at 350 for about twenty to thirty minutes or as soon as the Brussels sprouts are barely fork tender.
Top sprouts with pecans and cranberries and return to oven an additional 5-10 minutes until pecans are toasted.
Partially blanching the sprouts in sugar-water and then oven roasting them is what causes the sprouts to absorb so many wonderful flavors (while leaving behind the harsh bitter taste!)
Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries is a great recipe for holiday casseroles.
This recipe is healthy, low calorie, gluten free and vegan.
Here’s the recipe.
BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH PECANS AND CRANBERRIES
(Recipe adapted from Whole Foods Market)
- 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts, washed, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- ¼ to 1/3 cup olive oil
- garlic powder
- Himalayan pink sea salt
- 1/3 cup chopped pecans
- 1 cup dried cranberries
- 3 tbsp. sugar
- Place water and sugar in a large saucepot and bring to a boil.
- Wash Brussels sprouts and trim ends from bottom.
- Cut in half lengthwise.
- Add to boiling water and allow sprouts to stay in water about 3 minutes.
- The water will probably not come to a boil.
- This blanching allows the Brussels sprouts to pop in color before baking.
- Drain Brussels sprouts.
- Grease or oil a 9×13” glass baking dish.
- Place Brussels sprouts into prepared dish.
- Brush with olive oil then sprinkle very generously with salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Bake at 350 and stir every 10 minutes until the sprouts have roasted for about 30 minutes.
- Add cranberries and pecans and stir to combine.
- Bake an additional 5-10 minutes or until heated through.
Doesn’t this side dish of Brussels Sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries look terrific?
I have never been able to eat Brussels sprouts before this recipe! Yum.
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