Saturday, December 3, 2011

If your kids don't like it Caramelize it!

When I was a kid my mother made the worst brussel sprouts the majority of the time she cooked them. What's odd was that she grew up in Belgium so you would think she would be able to cook something called Brussel Sprouts amazing. What did she do wrong you ask? Well they started off green and ended up kind of a dull yellow color after she boiled them for who knows how long and then just added salt and pepper to them... Blahhhhh..

Now I love Brussel Sprouts... what changed? I found out how to cook them properly to enhance the taste and take away the stinky and mushy texture.

What I found was that if you roast the brussel sprouts cut in half in the oven sprinkled with salt, pepper and olive oil and I add nutmeg to it to kick it up a bit and roast them until they are crunchy but not burnt and caramelized. Then the caramelization brings out the sweetness and the crunchy bits are chip like. I have seen people deep fry them. i don't do that because of having to deal with the oil and mess so I found the best and healthiest way is to roast them in the oven. If you want to kick it up a bit once you take them out of the oven add some balsalmic vinegar and some crispy bacon. Those 2 flavours are like the perfect marriage. They work well on their own but together it's like magic.

It's crunchy, sweet, salty, tangy goodness. It hits all the taste buds when you combine it this way and that's why it works. Put the brussel sprouts on a stick and I bet your kids will eat them. Try it and see.

The other thing that takes a vegetable that you don't know what to do with because you usually only see it in soup to something different is to cut up Butternut Squash into 1 inch chunks and put it in a baking dish and sprinkle it with vegetable oil and add maple syrup or for adults some Jack Daniels and a dab of butter and salt and pepper. The sugars in the alcohol and the maple syrup will condense and caramelize giving the coating of the butternut squash a deep caramelization and making it sweet and tasty.

You can do this with sweet potatoes too. I sometimes just add brown sugar and butter and a bit of alcohol just to make sure the brown sugar doesn't solidify.

It works and if you add the maple syrup maybe your kids will think it's dessert and the will try it.

And if you don't have kids but you have friends and family that don't like veggies.. yeah there are a lot of those people out there. I know a whole lot of them. Try this and see if they are curious enough to try it.

Either way...if you like veggies you will probably just like this caramelized way of making some of the ones a lot of people don't like taste a whole lot better.

Get over your fear of brussel sprouts.. caramelize them and see the difference.

Try it and Enjoy.


  1. Wow! You live dangerously Linda! Jack Daniels spiked squash. I really like the sound of that. I think your mom and my mom went to the same cooking school for brussel sprouts LOL! Another add in to brussel sprouts is sautèing them with butter and pancetta and then drizzling them with orange juice after. Yum!

  2. The butter, pancetta and orange is pretty much giving it the same effect with different flavours... fat, salt and sweet will kick up boring brussel sprouts. I think kids need to be taught in school how to make vegetables properly.. maybe they wouldn't hate them so much. Bring back Home EC but this time do it right.


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