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.
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!
These Garlicky Balsamic Brussels Sprouts are full of phytonutrients that are great for your thyroid.
Brussels sprouts contain these excellent nutrients and benefits:
— 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.
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.
Then, rinse your Brussels very well to remove any dirt. If you use conventional produce (instead of organic or locally-grown), be sure to use 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!)
To a 32-ounce spray bottle, mix together:
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!
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.
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