Michelle enjoys healthy cooking, and she has all of her salad and stew recipes memorized.
A Quick Easy Meal of Brussel Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are part of the cabbage family and are good for your heart and blood vessels. They are among the cancer-preventing foods that are rich in antioxidants, along with broccoli, cabbage, mustard greens, kale, and cauliflower.
Many people do not like Brussels sprouts' bitter taste. One way to get rid of the bitter taste is to remove the outer leaves before cooking. I experimented with this recipe several times to get it just right (i.e. get rid of the bitterness).
The lemon juice, garlic, butter, and Parmesan cheese seem to help to counteract the bitterness. However, just like lox and cream cheese, Brussels sprouts may be an "acquired taste."
Gourmet folks insist that sprouts are really special when picked when they are very small because then you can enjoy the best nutty flavor. Researchers at the University of Georgia found that refined Europeans wanted their Brussels sprouts to only have a diameter of 1-1/4cm, while Americans want a diameter between 2-1/2 and 5 cm!
Brussel sprouts contain an ingredient called sulforaphane, which is believed to have potent anti-cancer properties. Broccoli also has this ingredient. Boiling reduces the level of the anti-cancer compounds, but steaming and stir-frying do not cause significant loss.
Brussels sprouts also contain indole-3-carbinol, a chemical that will boost DNA repair in cells to block cancer cell growth.
If anyone is taking heart medication containing anticoagulants, eating Brussels sprouts in excess is not a good idea, since Brussels sprouts contain vitamin K, doctors have determined that a heart patient’s condition will worsen if eating too many Brussels sprouts.
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2 servings as a side; 1 serving as a main dish
- 1 lb Brussels Sprouts
- 1 cup Water
- 3 Garlic cloves, minced
- Juice 1/2 Lemon
- I Can't Believe It's Not Butter Spray
- 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1/2 Tsp Kosher Salt
- 1/4 Tsp Ground Pepper
- Cut the bottom stems off of the raw Brussels sprouts and let the outer skins fall off if they will. If using frozen Brussels sprouts, this step will not be necessary.
- Heat 1 cup of water in a sauce pan on high heat until boiling, and add the Brussels sprouts. Add the garlic, cover with a lid and turn down to get a simmer (very low heat). The lid to the sauce pan should form condensation from the steam. Check every 10 minutes to check if they are the consistency you like. I simmer mine about 10 minutes where they have a slight crunch to them. When the sprouts are at your desired consistency, take the pan off the heat.
- Place the Brussels sprouts in a strainer. Then put them back in the sauce pan and add the Parmesan cheese, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Cover and let cheese melt. Variation: if you wanted to use real butter for more flavor, add about 1 TBSP real butter at this point and let it melt with the cheese.
- Put on a plate and spray with I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter. You can add more parmesan, salt, and pepper for taste if you like.
Brussels sprouts are part of the "brassica" family of vegetables, which also includes cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, turnips, bok choy, and rutubaga. They are believed to help prevent heart disease and are among the cancer preventing foods rich in antioxidants. Brussels sprouts contain the highest amount of folate out of all vegetables in the brassicas family.
Choose small sprouts which have a better flavor than large ones. Keep in a cool dark place to conserve nutrients, flavor, and texture. Cutting, chewing, and cooking brassicas release compounds called indoles, which may help to prevent estrogen-related cancers. A 3-ounce serving of most brassicas supply over 68% of an adult's total daily vitamin C requirement.
Key Nutrients of Brussels Sprouts (per 1 -1.25 cups)
Vitamin C (mg)
Vitamin B6 (mg)
Beta carotene (mcg)
Vitamin E (mg)
Preparing the Brussels Sprouts Is Easy
Garlic may interfere with diabetic drugs. Doses of garlic should not be given as a remedy to those on anticoagulant therapy, or to pregnant women, as they may cause contractions.
The Benefits of Eating Garlic
The medicinal benefits of garlic have been recorded since ancient times. Archaeological evidence indicates that garlic has been cultivated in Central Asia from at least 3000 BC. A member of the onion family, garlic has been used to treat bronchitis, colds, whooping cough, and influenza. An average serving of garlic is less than ½ ounce. The quantity of nutrients supplied is low compared to the daily recommended intakes. However, every clove is full of sulfurous compounds that fight infections.
Choose plump, unbruised bulbs that are neither soft and soggy, nor starting to dry. Avoid torn skins and bulbs with sprouts. Keep for several weeks in a dry place where air can circulate, and away from other vegetables.
Garlic is well known for its ability to help circulation and inhibit colds. Garlic’s antibacterial effects are also well documented. In World War I, surgeons used garlic juice to stop wounds from becoming septic.
Garlic may reduce levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, increase levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, and decrease blood fats. The allicin and other compounds appear to bring about this effect. Studies have found that low blood fats and high garlic consumption are common, and that adding fresh garlic to cooking may help decrease the risk of heart disease.
When garlic is crushed, it produces Ajoene, one of the volatile substances produced, and appears to reduce the formation of blood clots. Powdered garlic (equal to 2.5g of fresh garlic) has been shown to lower blood pressure. Garlic has also been shown to fight many of the bacteria that cause food poisoning, including Salmonella. Since garlic has antifungal properties, it has been reported it is more effective than drugs against fungal infections such as yeast infections.
Due to allicin compounds, it is thought that garlic can prevent stomach cancers in the stomach wall. Because garlic’s antibacterial effect is so important, it can help act against Helicobacter pylor, the bacteria that causes stomach ulcers, which in turn can become cancerous.
© 2012 Michelle Dee