Hot or cold, chopped in a salad or served as a side, roasted Brussels sprouts are probably one of the best "food favors" you can do for your body and taste buds. I made this recipe as basic as possible, but wanted it give an extra boost of nutrition by adding toasted pine nuts.
All in all, this recipe takes about 45 minutes to make, and that includes trimming off the brown parts the Brussels sprouts. Whether you're making this for a holiday dinner, or just want to have on hand as a healthy side, I promise this roasted Brussels sprouts dish will hit the spot.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts
When I've roasted Brussels sprouts in the past, I've always soaked them, thinking it would prevent them from burning or drying out in the oven too much. I took a chance and went soak-free on these babies. They actually turned out great, and for whatever reason, took about five minutes less to roast.
Do you like Brussels sprouts or do you make yourself eat them?
Even when I was a little kid, I used to love Brussels sprouts. The way they were made wasn't anything special. My grandmother used to simply boil those frozen bags of Brussels sprouts, toss them in some butter and serve them as a side. Maybe it was a kid thing, but I much prefer the tasted of roasted Brussels sprouts to the boiled variety.
Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
You've probably heard this a million times, but Brussels sprouts are on of the healthiest vegetables you can eat.
- Anti-cancer and Cardiovascular Protection: Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous vegetable and an excellent source of a nutrient called glucosinolates. A rather large body of research has shown that regular consumption of glucosinolates offers protection from many forms of cancer and has the potential to protect against cardiovascular disease. You can also find this nutrient in other vegetables, including kale, broccoli and cauliflower.
- Anti-Inflammatory Effect: Brussels sprouts are a good source of omega-3 fatty acids in the form of alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), which has been shown to control our body's natural inflammatory response, but also improve autoimmune conditions. Omega-3 fatty acids are commonly found in fatty fish and walnuts. It's nice that they're also available in these roasted Brussels sprouts!
- Detox Support: Another reason to eat more Brussels sprouts, or any cruciferous vegetable (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale), is that they help support phase 2 detoxification. This is a very big deal if you’re thinking of detoxifying, and probably the least understood. If you want a better understanding of phase 1 vs phase 2 detoxification, read my article here.
Benefits of Pine Nuts
The other star of the show is the pine nut. Not actually a nut, pine nuts are seeds that come from the pine cone of several varieties of pine trees. Pine nuts are often used to make a good pesto sauce, but I wanted to toast these to bring out the flavor and crunch.
- Heart Health: Pine nuts are a great source of something called oleic acid, which is prominent in Mediterranean diets. A monounsaturated fat, oleic acid has been shown to have a positive effect on lowering triglycerides while holding onto HDL (good) cholesterol. This type of fat is also found in other healthy foods, including olive oil and cashews.
- Improves Insulin Sensitivity: The oleic acid in pine nuts has also been shown to improve insulin sensitivity. Insulin sensitivity is a good thing. Think of insulin sensitivity as our bodies way of saying, "Hey, I've had too much sugar. I feel like garbage. Stop feeding me sugar!" The more we can keep our insulin in check, the less likely we are to develop conditions like pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. So go ahead, sprinkle those pine nuts on everything!
Pine nuts are on the expensive side and usually aren't noshed on like almonds or cashews. No one ever thinks, I think I'll grab a handful of pine nuts to snack on. Excess pine nuts are always best stored and sealed in a cool, dark space...like a cabinet. Keep them out of direct sunlight as the precious oil in pine nuts can degrade.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Pine Nuts
Yields: 6 Servings
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 30 - 35 Minutes
- 1 1/2 pounds of Brussels sprouts
- 1/4 cup of pine nuts
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Rinse Brussels sprouts and cut off the ends.
- Place in a bowl with the olive oil and toss.
- Lay out on a sheet pan and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
- As the Brussels sprouts roast, add the pine nuts to a skillet.
- Heat over low to medium heat for about 8 minutes. Keep an eye on the pine nuts, and toss them regularly. You want them toasted, not burned
- Remove pine nuts from heat and set aside.
- Roast Brussels sprouts for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the tops of the sprouts are brown.
- Remove from oven and transfer to a serving bowl.
- Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and serve.
- If you use more Brussels sprouts, simply add a little more olive oil. You won't want to overdo the olive oil or you'll end up with greasy sprouts.
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