For the perfect side dish that’s both full of flavor and nutrients, give these Garlicky Balsamic Brussels Sprouts a try! They are Paleo Autoimmune Protocol compliant, naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and can be made quickly and easily on a sheet pan.
About the recipe
To make these lusciously crisped veggies part of a complete meal, try serving them as a side dish to go with roasted chicken and mashed winter squash. Or for a thyroid-healthy snack attack, you can enjoy them all on their own—especially since the crispy outer leaves and garlic slices from this recipe are hard to resist munching on straight from the oven!
Packed with vitamins
These Garlicky Balsamic Brussels Sprouts are full of phytonutrients that are great for your thyroid.
Brussels sprouts contain these excellent nutrients and benefits:
- Dietary fiber to help your digestion run more smoothly and can even lower cholesterol
- Vitamin A to support healthy skin, eyes, and immune system
- Vitamin C which is perfect for supporting your immune system without stimulating existing autoimmune conditions like Hashimoto’s thyroiditis (½ cup of Brussels provides about 80% of the suggested daily value of vitamin C!)
- Potassium to help lower high blood pressure
- Folate to promote healthy levels of cell growth
- Iron which is great for red blood cell health
Brussels sprouts facts
— Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous veggie. They belong to the same Brassica family as cauliflower, broccoli, kale, and asparagus. Cruciferous or brassica veggies are high in goitrogens. Some people believe that goitrogens block iodine intake in the thyroid gland, which is essential for healthy thyroid function. However, those whose diets contain adequate iodine (most of us in the United States) can safely consume these vegetables in reasonable amounts—especially when cooked.
— Brussels sprouts have been around as an earthy, rich-tasting food source since around the late 16th century! Whether they originated in the city of Brussels has been debated. Still, they gained popularity in the 19th century in Great Britain.
— Brussels sprouts are in peak season during the fall and winter months. These seasons are when they will have the highest nutrients and the best flavor!
— To prepare de-stalked Brussels, first, rinse and pat them dry. Then remove any brown outer leaves and discard them. Trim off the ends and discard. You can now choose to cook them whole or either sliced them in half - or run them through the shredding blade in your food processor.
— Brussels sprouts can be boiled, steamed, microwaved, roasted, or fried! If you prefer a softer vegetable, try the steaming or boiling methods. Though if you like the edges a little crispy, roasting or pan-frying are your best bets.
— To eat them chilled (like a cabbage substitute for coleslaw), first blanch them - then drain, dry, and chill. These extra steps help to reduce the goitrogenic properties in cruciferous veggies that can affect the thyroid negatively.
Tips for cooking Garlicky Balsamic Brussels Sprouts
First, preheat your oven to 425 Fahrenheit. Line a large sheet pan with parchment or a silicone baking mat if desired. Parchment paper or a baking mat is optional, but it will help clean up later much easier since the vinegar will caramelize on the pan if you don’t use a liner.
Next, melt leftover bacon grease or coconut oil, then drizzle the fat over the pan.
Rinse your Brussels very well to remove any dirt. If you use conventional produce (instead of organic or locally-grown), wash your produce thoroughly with water. Then, if you'd like, you could even try a produce washing spray. A produce washing spray helps to remove toxins and pesticide residue that can affect your thyroid health. (See the produce washing spray recipe below!)
How to make grain-free produce wash
To a 32-ounce spray bottle, mix together:
- ¼ cup white wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon plain liquid castile soap
- 10 drops lemon essential oil
- 10 drops orange essential oil
- Then fill with distilled water and shake well—store at room temperature.
- Spray fresh produce liberally with the spray, and allow to sit for 2 minutes. Then rinse off the spray well and pat your produce dry before using in recipes.
Once washed, pat them dry, then get out your cutting board and a sharp chef’s knife. Use your hands to peel off any leaves that look browned or oxidized, then discard.
Trim off the flat ends (where the stalk was connected) and discard. Then slice each sprout in half. A trick to keeping your cutting board decluttered and easier to work with is simply adding the sliced sprout to the prepared baking sheet pan as you trim and halve each one.
Once your Brussels are trimmed and halved, toss them with tongs in the grease/oil on the pan. Flatten into a single layer, then bake them for the first time for 10 minutes in just the fat.
Meanwhile, slice your garlic cloves thinly and set them aside.
After 10 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and sprinkle the sliced garlic cloves on top of the sprouts. Drizzle everything with balsamic vinegar, then toss with your tongs.
Flatten into a single layer, and bake once more in the oven for about ten more minutes, or until the edges are caramelized, sizzling, and deliciously crispy!
Remove from the oven, then sprinkle liberally with Himalayan salt to taste. Enjoy!
Garlicky Balsamic Brussels Sprouts Recipe
The crispy outer leaves and garlic slices from this recipe are hard to resist snacking on while you plate up dinner! Serve these with roasted chicken and mashed winter squash for a complete meal. Serves 4.
- 2 Tbsp uncured bacon grease, melted (or coconut oil)
- 1 lb Brussels sprouts, trimmed and halved lengthwise
- 7 cloves garlic, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- Himalayan salt, to taste
- Heat oven to 425 F, and line a sheet pan with parchment paper if desired.
- Drizzle bacon fat over the parchment, then add the Brussels. Toss and spread out into a single layer.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven.
- Sprinkle the sliced garlic over the Brussels, then drizzle the vinegar over the top.
- Toss well, spread out into a single layer, and bake for another 10 minutes or until caramelized.
- Taste and add Himalayan salt to your preference.