Everyday Superfoods Part II- Brussels Sprouts ( Student Guest Blog Feature)

I am happy to be sharing part II of my student guest blogger’s ( Leigh Merotto) Everyday Superfoods series. Today’s feature food is none other than brussel sprouts!

Everyday Superfoods – Brussel Sprouts 

It’s that wonderful time of year again, where the leaves are a beautiful display of colours and the crisp air is a refreshing change to the hot and humid summer we experienced. Better yet, Ontario farmers are in harvest season, and so we can still take advantage of local produce before the winter comes. Brussel sprouts are a fall vegetable grown in North America, that offer some wonderful health benefits, making them an ‘everyday superfood’.

Brussel sprouts often get a bad rap for being disliked by picky eaters, and have been overshadowed by their famous family member “kale” in the nutrition world lately. Nonetheless, I consider them  an everyday superfood because they can be prepared in a variety of delicious recipes. Like kale, Brussel sprouts belong to the mustard family of flowering plants called Brassicaceae, which also includes kale, cabbage, kohlrabi, napa cabbage, turnip and rutabaga.

Some tasty ways to prepare these tender sprouts are:

  • Roast with root vegetables such as turnips, sweet potatoes and carrots
  • Sautee in a pan with oil and garlic
  • Finely slice and add to salads
  • Shred and use in place of cabbage in a coleslaw
  • Combine with leeks and potatoes to make a pureed soup

If you aren’t super savvy in the kitchen, know that you can throw brussels sprouts in the oven at 350-375 F for 5-7 minutes, and they will come out just fine. 

Now I am sure you are wondering, what are their ‘superfood’ health benefits? Well, these little sprouts are loaded with vitamins, minerals and fiber, while also being low in calories,  giving you a serious nutritional bang for your buck.

One ½ cup serving of cooked Brussel sprouts, or approximately 8 sprouts, provides you with about 6 grams of fiber, as well as significant amount of folate and potassium. Brussel sprouts are also rich in antioxidants, particularly vitamin C, vitamin K and beta-carotene (the precursor for vitamin A). Some Canadian’s may fall short in their intake of fibre, potassium and vitamin A, making brussel sprouts an optimal health solution. 

Though they are relatively affordable all year long, brussels sprouts taste the best this time of year , provided they are grown nearby in Ontario. So stock up, and let these little green gems give you the nutritional boost your body craves.

Recipe Feature  

Caramelized Brussel Sprouts with Chestnuts and Cranberries


  • 8 cups Brussel sprouts, cleaned and cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 cup fresh, whole cranberries
  • 1 cup roasted and peeled chestnuts (packaged are fine)
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper

Cooking Instructions

Preheat oven to 425 F. Heat a large pan on medium heat, with 2 tbsp. of the olive oil.

Add garlic and shallots to pan. Sautee for 2-3 minutes, occasionally stirring to prevent burning. Add Brussel sprouts, sea salt and pepper to pan, then stir to incorporate. Sautee for 5-6 minutes until they begin to brown. Add chestnuts, stir, and sautee for 1 additional minute.

Turn off heat and transfer to a large baking dish. Add cranberries, sprinkle orange zest and evenly drizzle maple syrup and remaining olive oil. Mix all ingredients together.

Place baking dish in oven for 25 minutes, until Brussel sprouts are tender, stirring at the halfway mark. Makes 20, ½ cup servings, more then enough for a family dinner plus leftovers. 



Andy De Santis RD MPH