Diabetes Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Christine Zalnieraite

2022 Mar 04

3 min read

Brussel Sprouts are the most reviled vegetable of the produce world. The mere mention of these mini cabbages can make people’s tongues curl. Americans and Europeans alike actively despise them. It’s very true that if you boil them too much they end up a horrid grey mush and crispy brussels sprouts that haven’t been cooked for long enough are as equally unappetizing.

Why is it then, that though brussels sprouts were once the most hated vegetable in America, we seem to have a newly-developed ongoing love affair with them? They seem to be on the menu of every high-end restaurant and TV food programs are awash with ways to eat them.

It’s All in The Science

There is the debate that your love or hatred of brussels sprouts is in your genes and your ability to identify glucosinolates – the compound that gives cruciferous vegetables their distinctive taste.

Scientists and agriculturalists hit this issue head-on and in recent years, the brussels sprouts varieties we see in the supermarkets are much less bitter.

They Lack Versatility But …

Unlike many other vegetables, there is not a great deal you can do to sprouts to make them attractive to people who don’t like them. Invariably, brussels sprouts appear as a side dish basted with butter and a dash of black pepper.

Then some bright spark decided to see try roasting brussels sprouts and they gained a taste that was more appealing to some palates. Someone else came along and shredded their sprouts and instead of boiling or steaming them, then sauteed them in olive oil over medium-high heat. This way cooks them evenly and quickly and a quick, simple veggie dish to add to any dinner was born.

By far the greatest revelation in the culinary journey of brussels sprouts was when some unknown person combined them with bacon. We all know everything tastes better with a bit of bacon but this veggie/pork combo seriously took off. It is now firmly cemented as a side dish for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

The Brits, in particular, really embraced brussels sprouts with bacon. Previously, plain boiled sprouts were a part of the traditional Christmas dinner, even if it was the only day of the year the vegetable was ever served in a household. Roasted Brussels sprouts with bacon is the second most popular side dish at a UK Christmas dinner.

If you want to learn to love brussel sprouts, try this recipe.

Basic Recipe for Brussels Sprouts and Bacon

Ingredients:

  • 2 dozen brussels sprouts trimmed and halved
  • 1/2 lb diced bacon
  • salt and black pepper to taste

Method:

  1. Cook the bacon in a dry skillet over medium-high heat until it is crispy
  2. Leaving the grease in the pan, remove the bacon and put aside
  3. Add the brussels sprouts to the skillet and stir to coat them evenly in the bacon grease.
  4. Put the lid on the pan and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. When the brussels sprouts are close to being as tender and browned as you want, add the bacon back to the pan and stir.
  6. Stir to mix then cook uncovered until they are ready
  7. Season with salt and black pepper
  8. Serve immediately

Brussels sprouts with bacon is one of the great tastes to have hit the food world in recent times and they can be prepared in more ways than you might imagine. It should be easy to adapt the basic recipe to develop a number of healthy and delicious side dishes your family will love.

Written by

Christine Zalnieraite

Christine is a registered and licensed dietitian (RD, LD) with more than eight years of professional experience. Christine is an expert in dietetics that includes human nutrition and the regulation of the proper individual diet. She alters patient's nutrition based on their medical condition and individual needs. Education: Master’s degree in Human Nutrition and Food Safety and two Bachelors of Science - Bachelor in Clinical Nutrition and Dietetics, and Human Nutrition and Food Safety. Also, she continues to deepen her knowledge in Ph.D. studies of Medical Science and Dietetics.

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