Welcome to Mood Balance Nutrition! Fall seems like the perfect time for us to get started with a blog so that we can be more connected to you!
Even though I am no longer in grade school, fall has always felt like a fresh start and continues to be one of my favorite times of year. It's a time of when the leaves are changing, the weather is turning cooler, and kids are heading back to school. The beauty in nature seen during this time of year is also reflected in seasonal produce and at local farmer's markets.
If you're someone who doesn't eat very many fruits or vegetables, just doesn't like the taste of them, or feels that buying fresh fruits and veggies might be too expensive to fit into your budget, checking out what your local farmer's market has to offer is a great option for you!
This time of year in Virginia, there are a ton of lovely winter vegetables in season, not to mention the many, many varieties of apples grown right here in the state.
And if you aren't sure how to prepare any fruits or veggies that you buy, just ask the vendors at the market. They're usually full of great tips on how to get the most flavor out of that farm fresh produce.
Below is a little information about Brussels Sprouts and a delicious fall recipe.
"Called "choux de Bruxelles" in Belgium, where they were first cultivated 500 years ago, Brussels sprouts — "mini cabbages" — are easy to cook and seriously tasty! Similar to other cruciferous vegetables, Brussels sprouts are good sources of phytonutrients, delivering antioxidant benefits. And, like cabbage, they also provide vitamin C, folate and fiber. Their flavor? Small, tender Brussels sprouts are usually sweeter and milder than larger sprouts — especially when cooked only until tender-crisp, not overcooked. Belgians traditionally season Brussels sprouts with nutmeg — but fruit, herbs and nuts also complement the flavor and balance the vegetable's characteristic bitterness."
1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and quartered
1 medium sweet (e.g. Gala, Fuji) apple, cored and diced
½ cup dried cranberries
½ cup apple or orange juice
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon minced fresh tarragon
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
⅛ teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
¼ cup chopped toasted pecans*
Directions: Preheat oven to 375ºF.
Combine Brussels sprouts, apple and cranberries in a large bowl. Set aside.
Blend apple or orange juice, oil, tarragon, salt and pepper in a small bowl; add to Brussels sprouts mixture; toss until well coated.
Arrange the Brussels sprouts mixture in a 9-by-9-inch baking dish.
Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the Brussels sprouts are fork tender.
To serve, top with toasted pecans.
Cooking Note* Toast the pecans in a small, heavy dry skillet over medium heat, shaking the skillet frequently for 1 to 2 minutes until golden to release the flavorful oils.