Packed full of nutrients and flavour, these maple balsamic Brussels sprouts with walnuts are the perfect side dish! Plus, you can top these with my healthy vegan bacon bits for added protein and flavour! Brussels sprouts are a tasty and healthy vegetable choice. If you’ve only ever had overcooked, boiled Brussels sprouts as a kid and think you aren’t a fan of this vegetable, I highly recommend trying out a flavoured and properly cooked Brussels sprouts recipe.
This recipe is simple to make and full of flavour. These sautéed Brussels sprouts are also a great choice in the warmer months as you don’t have to turn your oven on and heat up the house!
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Health Benefits of Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts are a type of cruciferous vegetable that offer numerous nutrients. They also may help fight inflammation and may help to prevent clogged arteries.
Brussels sprouts aren’t just tasty, they’re also packed full of important nutrients including fiber, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, several antioxidants, folate and minerals including iron, calcium and magnesium. This maple balsamic Brussels sprouts recipe with walnuts is a great way to make this healthy vegetable incredibly tasty.
When it comes to vegetables, sometimes they need a flavour boost to get us to eat more and that’s ok! Making sautéed Brussels sprouts like these are a great way to pack in flavour, so you can also pack in the nutrition.
Some studies have shown that compounds found in cruciferous vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, are antioxidants 1. Antioxidants found in Brussels sprouts help to neutralize compounds, such as free radicals 2. Free radicals are damaging to the body, which is why the body has defense mechanisms in place to neutralize them.
Research also suggests that free radicals may cause inflammation in the body 2. Having extra antioxidants around, like those found in Brussels sprouts, may be beneficial for decreasing inflammation in the body. Based on findings from several journal articles, Brussels sprouts may assist in the reduction of inflammation and reduce the risk of pro-inflammatory diseases 2.
Vegetables, including Brussels sprouts, have been shown to help prevent cardiovascular disease 3. Researchers are starting to explore specific types of vegetables and their distinct impact on heart health. One category of vegetables is cruciferous vegetables which includes Brussels sprouts along with broccoli, cauliflower, kale, and collard greens,
Consumption of cruciferous vegetables has been linked to a reduction in artery wall thickness 4. An Australian study found that for every 10 extra grams of cruciferous vegetables consumed per day, there was a 0.006 mm reduction in average thickness of the carotid artery wall 4. Although a 0.006 mm reduction may not sound significant, even a 0.1 mm decrease in carotid wall thickness is associated with a 10-18% decrease in risk of stroke and heart attack 4.
This study had limitations, but it does look promising that cruciferous vegetable consumption may help protect the heart from atherosclerosis, the primary cause of many heart diseases.
Add Bacon to your Brussels Sprouts for a Protein and Flavour Boost
Looking for a way to increase protein intake? Try adding my delicious healthy vegan bacon bits to this maple balsamic Brussels sprouts recipe. The bacon bits are made using tofu, which is a great plant-based protein source. They are super simple to make and are an excellent crispy addition!
The walnuts in this vegan Brussels sprouts recipe also add a boost of plant-based protein and healthy fats including omega-3s. You can substitute for another type of nut if you don’t have walnuts on hand. Almonds or pecans would be a great choice in these sautéed Brussels sprouts!
Maple balsamic Brussels sprouts with walnuts are the perfect side dish. Packed full of flavours, this recipe is great source of several key nutrients. Brussels sprouts offer great health benefits including potential anti-inflammatory effects and they may help with the prevention of clogged arteries. So, give them a try. Even if you think you don’t like this vegetable, keep an open mind!
Let me know if you love or hate Brussels sprouts in the comments below!
Maple Balsamic Brussels Sprouts with Walnuts
- Cutting Board
- Steamer (insert for pot)
- Large pan
- Wash the 2 cups of Brussels sprouts. You can slice a bit off the bottom of the Brussels sprouts if they are discoloured/ brown. Cut the Brussels sprouts into halves or quarters, depending on their size (small ones into halves, larger ones into quarters).
- Place the Brussels sprouts into a steamer for 5-7 minutes, until they are bright green in colour and starting to become tender. If you don’t have a steamer, place into a pot with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil for 4-5 minutes. Drain away any water as needed.
- While the Brussels sprouts steam, dice the 5 tbsp of onion.
- Bring a pan up to medium heat and pour in the 1 tbsp of oil with the 5 tbsp minced onion and the 3 tbsp chopped walnuts. Sautee for 3-5 minutes, until the onion softens and is translucent.
- Toss the Brussels sprouts into the pan and add the 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 2 tbsp maple syrup.
- Sautee the Brussels sprouts for 3-4 minutes.
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- Suppression of inflammatory mediators by cruciferous vegetable-derived indole-3-carbinol and phenylethyl isothiocyanate in lipopolysaccharide-activated macrophages
- Inflammation, free radicals, and antioxidants
- Cardiovascular health benefits of specific vegetable types: A narrative review
- Cruciferous and Total Vegetable Intakes Are Inversely Associated With Subclinical Atherosclerosis in Older Adult Women
This post was written with help from Emily Scott, University of Guelph AHN student.