The Best Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

by laury on April 9, 2014 · 5 comments

One of our favorite vegetables in our house are Brussels sprouts. It’s funny because, as a child, I wanted nothing to do with them. In fact, they made me gag. As an adult, I figured out that it is all in how you prepare them!

Do you have issues getting your husband to eat vegetables? Luckily, as PICKY as my husband is, this is one area I do not have to worry about. If it is for you, well, hopefully this recipe will change things. My secret?

Bacon fat.

Yes, you read that right. If you told me a few years ago I would happily be cooking with rendered bacon fat, I would have looked at you like you had 3 heads. Today, after research I have found that this is one the healthiest and most flavorful ways to roast your veggies. For years, we have been told to avoid the solid cooking fats, sticking with liquid vegetable oils, but unfortunately for those who have religiously followed that advice, it’s the other way around. You will NEVER find canola, soybean, or other vegetable oils in my kitchen. I do still sometimes roast with olive oil, but don’t feel so good about it. Olive oil is best used after the cooking, sautéing over medium heat, or in a salad dressing. Even olive oil can turn unhealthy when heated. And then there’s the whole controversy about olive oil not being what it claims to be! Yikes!

BaconFat

Think about how your great, great grandparents cooked? Duck fat, tallow, even lard. The claims about avoiding saturated fats, and well, fats in general was based off of bad science from the 1950’s (which in turn caused us to eat more carbs, sugar, and processed foods, worsening our health).  It’s incredibly important to note that not ALL animal fats are created equal! You are ONLY as healthy as the animal you are eating. So rendering fat from regular ole’ bacon loaded with nitrates, and fed GMO corn and soy is one of the WORST things you could eat. On the other hand, rendering fat from uncured, pastured, organic bacon is the way to go. Using companies like U.S. Wellness Meats or Applegate Farms, or a local farm you know and trust.

5 Reasons To Ditch The Vegetable Oils (and Margarine!):

This includes, canola, soybean, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, vegetable, and corn.

  • Vegetable oils are extracted in a factory, usually from genetically modified crops heavily sprayed with chemical pesticides.
  • Oils such as canola go through extra processing and the end result is very rancid and foul, so they will add fragrance and color to the oil to make it edible. You ever notice how you can small when restaurant food goes rancid in your fridge? That’s most likely the cooking oil they use.
  • Then, there is even additional processing, hydrogenation, (you may have heard of this) if this oil is going to be turned into a solid such as margarine, aka, trans fats.
  • The high omega-6 content in these polyunsaturated vegetable oils cause inflammation in your body, and this is what leads to high cholesterol, new studies show. We need a healthy balance of omegas-6 and omega-3 fats in our bodies, and animals raised on pasture will give us that. Not overly, factory processed vegetable oils.
  • Vegetable oils will make you fat. It’s true, eating a diet with these processed oils will increase appetite, Omega-6 is known as the cannabis of fats, an imbalance will give you the munchies!

Butter (and ghee!) has definitely made a comeback, and chances are you not only have heard about the amazing benefits of coconut oil, you probably have a jar of it in your kitchen. This saturated fat cooking oil, once demonized by mainstream medical (and still not full accepted by them), is now widely enjoyed, and we are reaping the benefits!

As a rule of thumb, we should be enjoying food as close to nature as possible So doesn’t it make sense when it comes to our cooking fats as well? Butter from grass-fed, pastured cows, coconut oil pressed from coconuts, olive oil (the REAL stuff), cold-pressed from olives, and solid fats from healthy, organic, pasture-raised (and uncured when that applies) animals!

I use coconut oil a lot to roast or cook in high heat, but coconut oil and Brussels sprouts are one thing I am not a fan of together. I can do it, but always preferred olive oil. Until this!

Rendering Your Fat:

So first, you want to start rendering your fat. If you cook your bacon in the microwave, just stop now. Not a good idea. Not as tasty, not as healthy, and you’re wasting all that beautiful fat that can be put to good use! I cook mine up in acast iron skillet until it browns, then I lye the strips on a plate lined with paper towels, one on the bottom, one on top, and it gets super crispy as it cools! Then, I get a bowl, and place one paper towel on top of the bowl, and pour the liquid bacon fat through the paper towel (it is probably a good idea to use a glass pyrex bowl with a lid). It’s as simple as that! Store it at room temperature, just like coconut oil. Melt it before using it to roast veggies and I promise, your husband, boyfriend, former veggie hater will see those greens in a whole new light!!!

 

The Best Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts

The Best Oven Roasted Brussels Sprouts Method:

I chop off and discard the stems from my sprouts first. Then, if they are large I cut in quarters, smaller ones I cut in half The more leaves that fall off, the better. This is my favorite part. In fact, I may put Weezy to work one day on removing ALL of the leaves and just roasting those for a snack! Seriously, it’s the first part to go, those little leaves never make it to my dinner plate after they come out of the oven!

Then, I roast them in 1-2 Tablespoons of bacon fat, seasoning with salt and pepper for about 30 minutes. That’s it! Simple.

bORSARI

I love to pair these with some wild Coho salmon (another thing I have gotten VERY picky about eating. No farmed fish here! Did you know farmed fish gets fed chicken poop in addition to the GMO corn and soy? DISGUSTING!)

I make my salmon in a foil pouch, seasoned with Borsari, lots of fresh lemon juice, and a little grass-fed butter at 400 degrees for about 20 minutes, (depending on the size of the filet). This is one of my 3 year old daughter’s favorite meals!

Salmon

Enjoy!

See you soon with a 20-week pregnancy update! Half-way there!

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 GiGi Eats April 15, 2014 at 10:55 pm

THE PERFECT MEAL RIGHT THERE! And I am dead serious. I LOVE this meal, LOVE IT – salmon is my life and B.Sprouts with FAT are PHENOMENAL! :) Couldn’t agree MORE with you about the oils too by the way! They’re death!
GiGi Eats recently posted..That’s A Haunted House 2

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2 laury April 16, 2014 at 1:48 pm

Thanks, girl!!!!

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3 jen April 16, 2014 at 1:01 am

one way to tell olive oil has been altered if it does not turn solid when cold. As much as this pains me being half Italian to say Greek olive oil is the best its greener and has much more flavor so you tend to use less. we had Brussels tonight and the dog goes crazy for them its so funny seeing as most humans hate them lol! have you ever bought them still on the stalk not sure why but when you leave them on the stalk and roast them they come out even more tender!

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4 laury April 16, 2014 at 1:48 pm

That’s a great tip!! I did not know that one! And I am half Italian as well but do prefer Greek olive oil for that reason. So funny your dog loves them haha! I never bought on the stalk because I always look at it as much more work..but I will have to try. After this post my husband made them even better. I can’t even deal. He boiled quickly then sauteed over medium heat with butter, garlic and a touch of olive oil to finish it off. They were SO flavorful and tender, like a burst of garlic and butter party in my mouth. Wish he did that before I posted this because THAT was the best Brussels dish I have had!

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5 Shan April 20, 2014 at 4:31 am

I haven’t been by your page in awhile and am so happy to see you are blogging more regularly again! Congratulations on your baby boy! I have a little girl the same age as your daughter and an 8 month old boy :). The dynamic between them is amazing… watching them play together is enough to just make my heart burst! Looking forward to more of your great recipes!

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