The Ultimate Thanksgiving side: Bacon Brussels Sprouts

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Brussels sprouts. The Rodney Dangerfield of vegetables: “They get no respect!” So I’m here to testify that these awesomely bad cabbages are the coolest kids in the veggie department.

What are Brussels sprouts?
Brussels sprouts are members of the Brassica family and therefore kin to broccoli and cabbage. Brussels sprouts are now known to top the list of commonly eaten cruciferous vegetables. Their total glucosinolate content has been shown to be greater than the amount found in mustard greens, turnip greens, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, or broccoli.

So what makes these guys so good?
Glad you asked. They are chalked with vitamin K and C, giving you over 100% in daily value per cup. These guys are also high in fiber, a good source of manganese, vitamin A, folate and potassium. They also contain traces of B vitamins and omegas. According to World’s Healthiest Foods, “Brussels sprouts can help us avoid chronic, excessive inflammation through a variety of nutrient benefits. First is their rich glucosinolate content. Glucosinolate found in Brussels sprouts help to regulate the body’s inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system and prevent unwanted inflammation. Glucosinolates are important phytonutrients for our health because they are the chemical starting points for a variety of cancer-protective substances. All cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates and have great health benefits for this reason. But it’s recent research that’s made us realize how especially valuable Brussels sprouts are in this regard.” Brussels sprouts can also aid in cardiovascular support by helping to lower cholesterol and even has the ability to reverse blood vessel damage.
To read more about why these little guys are so good for you, visit here.

Besides the fact that they are healthy, they are also pretty darn tasty, too. Especially when cooked in, wait for it… BACON FAT! Mmmmm…. Bacon fat. ::makes Homer Simpson drooling sound:: I know some of you gasped at the fact that I would want you to cover these “healthy” vegetables in fat. But fat, from good sources, such as farm raised pigs, has it’s benefits. If you’re afraid of the fat, you can just steam them but you will totally be missing out. Click here to read why fat is good for you.

Okay, so on with the recipe. This is SUPER cinchy and will be at my Thanksgiving table this year and you should consider serving it, too! I mean, it has bacon in it. Who doesn’t love anything cooked with bacon. I would consider taking a bite out of a tennis shoe if you told me it was cooked in bacon fat and covered in bacon, but I love bacon.

I hope you enjoy this simple side dish over the holidays!

Bacon Brussels sprouts

Ingredients:
1 lb Brussels sprouts, halved (if small) or quartered (if larger)
4 slices of bacon
Salt and pepper to taste
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions:
Heat a large pan to medium heat. Cook bacon until crispy. Pull out bacon and set on a plate with paper towels to absorb the extra fat. With the leftover bacon fat, add the Brussels sprouts and cook until tender, about 7-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Crumble the bacon over the Brussels sprouts. Top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.

A tip from this little red bird:
If (and I use that term loosely) I have any leftovers, I usually through them in my breakfast the next morning. Great mixed in with two eggs, and some more bacon. (-:

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