Brussels Sprout Salad is literally one of my favorite salads to enjoy. Most people think of Brussels sprouts as mushy musty green vegetables and they can be served that way.
But if you’ve never tried Brussels sprouts outside of that, then keep an open mind. Because they’ve got a world of delicious flavor and texture that can be unlocked depending on how you prepare them. Which is something that I focus on with a lot of my nutrition clients: how can we add nutrition to this enjoyably?
For example, say you’re eating macaroni and cheese and you want to know how you can balance this dinner? If you like Brussels Sprout Salad, then you can boost the nutrition by serving the macaroni and cheese with a side of this salad!
I digress – you’re not here for a nutrition lesson, you’re here to learn how to make the salad, so let’s dive into it!
P.s. This recipe was contributed by Dietetic Intern, Dani Gutenplan.
If you like a little educational session with your recipes, let’s talk about the history of Brussels sprouts before we dive into how to make this salad.
Did you know that Brussels sprouts are named after Brussels, the capital of Belgium? That’s because this cruciferous vegetable is thought to originate from there.
So when you’re trying to decide if you should say brussel sprouts or Brussels sprouts, it’s Brussels sprouts.
As a cruciferous vegetable, Brussel sprouts and thus this Brussel sprout salad, offers many benefits to the body. Offering a source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, carotenoids, and gluten-free fiber, they make for a great way to boost nutrition at a meal.
But not only that, they cruciferous vegetables like Brussels sprouts have been linked to better heart heath. With a 2016 meta-analysis citing that there was ~16% decrease in heart disease incidence in those eating more cruciferous vegetables.
That doesn’t mean if you never tough cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, broccoli etc. that you’re going to get heart disease. But that if you enjoy them, they are a way to help support your heart health.
Additionally, these kinds of vegetables also have been researched to reduce inflammation. With a 2015 study citing that inflammatory markers were seen to lower with an increase in cruciferous vegetable intake.
Basically, Brussels sprouts and other cruciferous vegetables have many benefits to the body. So if you don’t like one of them, spending time finding some that you do like might be worth it. And I hope this Brussels Sprout Salad might be one of those ways you learn to enjoy them!
There are many benefits to enjoying either a cooked or raw Brussels sprout salad. Which version you choose to enjoy depends on your preferences and needs.
Cooked Brussels sprouts might provide more accessible nutrients and might be easier for the stomach to digest. Additionally, it can create a milder Brussels sprout flavor compared to a raw salad.
Raw Brussels sprouts might have more nutrients, more crunch, but may be harder for the body to digest. Additionally, there might be more of a kick to this salad than some may like.
I’ll leave whether you cook or keep the Brussels sprouts raw up to you.
This Brussels Sprout Salad calls for cooking your Brussels sprouts but if you want to enjoy a raw salad, you’ll just need to make some modifications.
You’ll start by cooking the baking so you get some crispy slices to crumble into the salad. Trust me, the bacon makes the Brussels sprouts that more delicious.
Then you’ll toast up the chopped pecans and set them aside. Then you’ll add in the Brussels sprouts and cook them until they have golden brown edges. If you want a raw salad, you’ll skip this and just roughly chop the Brussels sprouts.
After that, you’ll combine everything together and serve for a delicious salad! Enjoy!