It’s time for us all to admit we have shifted from a kale obsession to Brussels sprouts.The athlete in me is also overjoyed – or, should I say, the cramping athlete in me is overjoyed?
The Athlete’s Friend
Brussels sprouts are part of the cruciferous vegetable food group, which offers some of the most powerful health-promoting foods essential for overall performance. In addition, Brussels sprouts are a good source of iron, potassium, and protein.
“Every time someone comes over to eat and I serve Brussels sprouts they say, ‘I don’t like them.’ To which I reply, ‘Taste it and move on if that is the case.’ I never have leftovers.”
Since I sweat like an open faucet and currently follow a ketogenic paleo diet, potassium intake is a huge issue. Eating a lot of bananas and sweet potatoes doesn’t allow me to maintain ketosis, so my workouts can sometimes cause cramping issues due to lack of potassium. Brussels sprouts have proven to be the unsung hero for my sweat-filled workouts.
Every time someone comes over to eat and I serve Brussels sprouts they say, “I don’t like them.” To which I reply, “Taste it and move on, if that is the case.” I never have leftovers.
This gal was not raised on sprouts, so I have had to create versions that work for my busy schedule and paleo lifestyle. Here are a few of my favorites. You can also use them to make Mason jar meals. They require few ingredients and are downright simple and delicious!
Brussels Sprouts and Bacon
- 1/2lb sugar-free bacon
- 10 Brussels sprouts, cut in half
- Cook bacon to desired doneness in a pan large enough to hold sprouts.
- Remove bacon and cut into 1/4-inch pieces.
- Add Brussels sprouts to bacon fat, cooking over medium heat for about 5 minutes each side. Add bacon the last 3 minutes and toss to mix.
Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Blood Orange
- Brussels sprouts – use as many as you want, sliced in half
- Fat of choice – bacon grease, duck fat, coconut oil, or ghee
- Grated rind of one blood orange
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper.
- Toss sprouts with desired fat and mix evenly.
- Add sprouts to cookie sheet. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and grated orange rind and bake approximately 15 minutes for slightly burnt sprouts.
Raw Brussel Sprout Salad
- 10 Brussels sprouts
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Chop sprouts using a food processor to desired texture. Typically a few pulses creates a good consistency.
- Mix sprouts with remaining ingredients and serve. You can also prepare the dressing separately and drizzle it over the sprouts, as pictured above.
- This can all be done ahead and refrigerated overnight or longer. The more time the salad sits, the better it tastes, but you can also eat it right away if pressed for time.