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Eat Well Nov. 14. 2013
Sides

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Red Grapes

Nov. 14. 2013
Sides
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder and CEO

If these blistered Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Red Grapes don’t have your stomach growling, then you must not have a love for brussels sprouts like I do- and I know I’m not alone! This is another incredibly simple vegetable side dish for the holiday season just around the corner. This veggie dish is bursting with sweet and juicy red grapes, reduced balsamic vinegar, and slightly crisp brussels sprouts. As promised, all month long I’ll share many of my personal favorite dishes this holiday season in hope that I’ll inspire you to try something new with a healthier twist. All it takes are very small changes to meals, appetizers, drinks, and desserts to overall decrease the typical calorie-laden meals during the holidays.

Brussels sprouts are one of those vegetables that either make you cringe with the thought of eating them or jump with joy because you love them so, okay maybe not to these extremes, but you get it. Even as a little me, I loved brussels sprouts steamed especially with cheese on top, nowadays I still love them sans cheese. What I remember even more than the enjoyment of eating brussels sprouts was the memory of my mother who grew them in the garden and I was (and still am!) fascinated by the gorgeous brussels sprout stalk- it’s gorgeous!

As with most vegetables, the cooking method changes the texture and flavor profile tremendously such as steaming, boiling, raw, and my favorite roasted. So if you’ve tried them one way and dislike them, I urge you to try brussels sprouts in another way. Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Red Grapes is a great way to introduce brussels sprouts into your diet because it’s slightly sweet and savory. The nutrition profile and health benefits of brussels sprouts are amazing such as heart health, cardiovascular support, digestive support, detoxification, reducing cancer, DNA protection, and a study shows no negative impact on thyroid function due to cooking the brussels sprouts/cruciferous vegetables.

Nutrient breakdown of BRUSSELS SPROUTS |

  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin A
  • Potassium
  • Manganese
  • Folate
  • Fiber
  • Antioxidants } Vitamins A, C, E, isothiocyanates, caffeic and ferulic acid, and D3T (3H-1,2-dithiole-3-thione), which is a unique sulfur-containing antioxidant found in brussels sprouts specifically.
    • Flavonoids } isorhamnetin, quercitin, and kaempferol
  • Anti-inflammatory benefits } Glucosinolate called glucobrassicin may be converted into ITC (indole-3-carbinol) which works as an anti-inflammatory compound.
  • Detoxification properties } glucosinolates, and due to high sulfur containing nutrients which are needed for the bodies detoxification systems.
  • Cardiovascular support

Enough on the science lesson, let’s move on to this recipe! The balsamic vinegar + sweet grapes + earthy and slightly sweet brussels = an amazing flavor combination. If you’d like to have a lower sugar option to this recipe, simply use half the amount of maple syrup and half the amount of grapes.

TIP // purchase your red grapes organic as much as possible, they’re on the “dirty dozen” list for foods highest in pesticide residue.

 

 

Balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Red Grapes
Recipe Type: side
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6+
A delicious, sweet, and earthy brussels sprout side dish with grapes and balsamic.
Ingredients
  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts, whole
  • 1 cup organic red grapes, whole
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C)
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine balsamic, olive oil, maple syrup, and spices/herbs. Stir until combined.
  3. On a lined baking sheet (foil or well oiled), evenly spread brussels sprouts and grapes.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture on the baking sheet, covering the brussels and grapes.
  5. Using a spoon or your hands make sure everything is coated in the liquid mixture.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes- or until brussels sprouts and grapes are soft and blistered.
  7. Garnish with more fresh thyme as needed.
  8. OPTIONAL //
  9. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top
  10. Enjoy!

 Are you a brussels sprouts lover or would you rather pass on a brussels sprout dish? I hope you all try this recipe even if you’re not so keen on brussels, I promise this is a unique and delicious recipe!

With love and gratitude,

xo McKel

The Recipe

Serves 6+

Print

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds brussels sprouts, whole
  • 1 cup organic red grapes, whole
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts, chopped (optional)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon of fresh thyme
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, to taste
  • fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (176 degrees C)
  2. In a small mixing bowl combine balsamic, olive oil, maple syrup, and spices/herbs. Stir until combined.
  3. On a lined baking sheet (foil or well oiled), evenly spread brussels sprouts and grapes.
  4. Pour the liquid mixture on the baking sheet, covering the brussels and grapes.
  5. Using a spoon or your hands make sure everything is coated in the liquid mixture.
  6. Bake for 45 minutes- or until brussels sprouts and grapes are soft and blistered.
  7. Garnish with more fresh thyme as needed.
  8. OPTIONAL //
  9. Sprinkle chopped walnuts on top
  10. Enjoy!

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