Can you believe it’s only two weeks until Christmas Day? Whilst mid December normally entails a mass amount of panic and running around like a headless turkey ( don’t roll your eyes – the Christmas jokes are just going to keep on coming ) this year I’m so much more laid back than in previous years, albeit I did have a wobble at the beginning of the week, but for now I’m fully embracing every teeny tiny bit of Christmas and LOVING IT.
Admittedly I’m now on first name terms with the Amazon delivery guy and I’m starting to wonder just how many more parcels I can keep on smuggling under my jumper as I pass the living room in stealth mode without raising suspicion.
I just absolutely love this time of year -the decorations, the beautiful centre pieces, the smell of gingerbread filling the kitchen, the dark evenings and stunning light displays that line the streets.
It’s all just so magical and because this year has been challenging on so many levels, I’m trying my very best to ensure my children experience an as “normal” Christmas as possible so we’ve been binge watching all the Christmas Movies – It’s A Wonderful Life, Miracle on 34th Street and of course the Christmas Chronicles.
What’s the one Christmas film you watch every year?
However, all joyous celebrations aside – if there is one subject that is bound to cause a divide in our house every year, it’s the subject of Brussel Sprouts.
Do you Love them or Loathe them? What side of the fence do you sit on?
I think it’s fair to say that despite what side you fall on – lover or hater – there’s’ one thing we can all agree on and that’s in recent years, the Brussel Sprout has undergone a truly phenomenal makeover.
From the days when they were nothing but soggy, over boiled and completely under valued balls of mush which we pushed half-heartedly around our plate, to the now fashionable, crunchy, versatile dish that comes covered in bacon, chestnuts, cranberries and more.
Yes, this humble little cruciferous vegetable sure knows how to make a comeback and is now one dish we’re proud to serve up. Let’s be honest; the 80’s like fashion just wasn’t the best era for our beloved mini green cabbage was it?
The smell that would permeate through my house on Christmas morning was enough to traumatise even the un-fussiest of ten year olds. But thankfully thirty years later I absolutely love them and not just for Christmas dinner.
As soon as they’re in season they’re a regular on my food shop, much to the horror of my husband and kids. However, whether you’re a fan or not – you’d be hard missed to deny the nutritional potential of these super greens.
Brussels sprouts are packed with essential nutrients, including vitamin K, which is necessary for blood clotting healthy bones and just half a cup contains around 2g of fibre. They’re packed full of vitamin C which will help your body to absorb iron as well as small amounts of vitamin B6, potassium, iron, thiamine, magnesium and phosphorus. Not bad hey.
Here are some of the major nutrients in a half cup (78 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts
• Calories: 28
• Protein: 2 grams
• Carbs: 6 grams
• Fibre: 2 grams
• Vitamin K: 137% of the RDI
• Vitamin C: 81% of the RDI
• Vitamin A: 12% of the RD
• Folate: 12% of the RDI
• Manganese: 9% of the RDI
Nutritional Source: 10 Benefits of Brussel Sprouts Health-Line
For some truly inspirational ways to prepare your Brussel Sprouts this Christmas – check out my five favourite recipes below:
Maple Bacon Brussel Sprouts
These gloriously glossy sprouts by The Good Housekeeping Cookery Team are both sweet and salty.
If you’re looking for a vegetarian version swap out the bacon lardons for either chestnuts or pecans.
Maple Brussel Sprouts and Bacon Recipe
Recipe & Image: Good Housekeeping
Roasted Brussels Sprouts and Cinnamon Butternut Squash with Pecans and Cranberries.
Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels sprouts with Pecans and Cranberries by Julia’s Album is one of my absolute favourite dishes.
The combo of pecans and cranberries is the perfect side dish to any Christmas Dinner, plus the best bit is that its super healthy, vegetarian and rich in digestive boosting fibre.
Recipe and Image: Julia’s Album
Brussels Sprout, Cranberries and Walnuts
This dish is literally like Christmas in a bowl – there’s brussels, Cranberries, Walnuts and Orange.
I don’t think it gets any better than this amazing recipe by Rachel Cooks
Brussels Sprout, Blue Cheese and Walnut Gratin
With the restrictions of lockdown lifted ever so slightly for the five days of Christmas, we’re off to my parents house this year and guess what??
I’m in charge of creating a vegetarian dish and the brussels sprouts and this dish by Waitrose is the dish I’m so excited about making. I literally can’t wait to try the combo of blue cheese, walnuts and brussels sprouts.
Image and Recipe: Waitrose
Crispy Citrus Maple Brussel Sprouts with Pickled Carrots and Hazelnuts
A truly vegetarian staple to any Christmas Dinner. Wow your guests and family this incredible combo.
Image and Recipe: The Hive