In the past when I’ve prepared Brussels sprouts, usually for roasting, I end up with a small mountain of outer leaves ready to be tossed in the trash. The leaves, stems, seeds and peelings of vegetables are my one regret in moving towards a mostly plant-based diet. I’m not yet ready for the commitment of composting, so I’ve become more aware in trying to use these less desirable vegetable parts in creative ways.
As I remembered my past piles of discarded sprout leaves, a recipe to crisp them like chips caught my eye. I enjoy kale as chips so why not its close cousin? The best part is that you can use leaves that are tough, slightly discolored, and with little holes or rips…all are accepted in this recipe! After roasting I couldn’t believe the texture (a heartier crispness than kale chips) with an addictive flavor.
Brussels sprouts are from the family of cruciferous vegetables that also includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and collard greens. They contain a sulfur-containing plant chemical called glucosinolate, which emits that distinct odor and bitter flavor that causes some kids (and adults) to run in the other direction during cooking. But this particular chemical may also be a potent cancer fighter, as it is being extensively researched for its anti-cancer effects.
Roasting Brussels sprouts does not seem to produce as noxious odors and flavors as other cooking methods like steaming and boiling. Try out the recipe below—I’m pretty sure you’ll view Brussels sprouts in a whole new way. Trade in your usual potato chip and crackers for this healthful high-fiber, nutrient-rich snack that counts as a veggie serving!