Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Brussels Sprouts...Why?

Don't get me wrong.  I appreciate Brussels Sprouts.  I understand why time after time they are featured on top-ten lists of the healthiest veggies on the planet. I respect that they are cheap, relatively easy to grow, and one of the few winter veggies that are locally available to Canadians in winter. I marvel at the fact that between the stalks and sprouts, they've got the Fibonacci Sequence written all over them*.

I tried to like brussels sprouts. I really did.  I roasted them 'till they became sweet and carmelized. I shredded them into coleslaw. I pretended that they were an integral part of every proud Canadian's Thanksgiving Feast.  And you know what? It worked! I managed to make those evil little orbs taste good without making my kitchen smell like rotten eggs. I even bribed convinced my kids to like them.

But why should I have to convince my kids, or even myself for that matter, to like brussels sprouts?
Why, as a human race, do we insist on eating them when there are more nutritious, plentiful, and yes, Fibonaccially perfect veggies on the market.

Like broccoli. And kale, and swiss chard, and spinach. And you know what? They taste better too!

Last night was the last straw. I had come across yet another recipe that claimed it was so good, you'd forget you were eating brussels sprouts: Brussels Sprout Chips.  Note to self: be wary of food that only tastes good when it doesn't taste like what it is.

So what are Brussels sprout chips? Well, they're like Kale chips... except not as healthy or tasty. And they take way too super-longer to prepare as you have to peel off each. Individual. Leaf. 

But, being the trooper  that I am, I made and ate them with kavana (a Yiddish word that loosely translates into enthusiasm) and yes, they were ok tasting.  And yes, they (sort of) didn't taste like brussels sprouts. And yes, my house didn't smell like a rotten-egg factoy. And yes, my kids ate them without any bribery involved.

I left the dinner table feeling pretty positive about the experience. For about an hour. It was precisely 8:37 when I first felt it: Revenge of the Raffinose.

Raffinose is a carbohydrate found in some veggies that can cause stomach aches in some people. In my case, it's only brussels sprouts that make me to feel like the alien from the movie Aliens is trying to punch a whole through my gut. This wasn't the first time I felt this way.  You'd think after last month's belly-clutching, doubled-over-while-trying-to-smile-and-hold-it-together at a family bbq, I'd have been smart enough to lay off the Sprouts.

So, as I lay on my bed, clutching my stomach and curled up in the fetal position, I vowed to never let those little heads from hell enter my house again.  Brussels Sprouts, I curse you!

But that doesn't mean you should stop eating Brussels Sprouts. In fact, I encourage it!** I'll even give you the recipe:

Brussels Sprout Chips

10 of the largest sprouts you can find.
1-2 tsbp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp garlic powder

Preheat oven to 375
1. Cut the stem off the brussels sprouts and remove the dirty outer leaves. Then carefully, remove the other leaves, one by one, until you get to the curly core.  You'll have to keep cutting off little bits of the stem while you work.
2. Once all of the leaves are collected, wash and dry well.
3. Carefully toss with the other ingredients and then spread out on a single layer on a baking sheet.
4. Bake for 5 minutes and then toss 'em around.
5. Bake for another 5 minutes or until they getting brown and crispy.  Let cool a bit so they crisp up even more before serving.

**Because if you eat brussels sprouts, that leave more kale, spinach, broccoli, and swiss chard for me.
*In regards to the Fibonacci sequence, if you have no idea what I'm talking about, check this out:

What about you? Now that you are all grown up, which foods have you decided to ban from your repertoire?

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