Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Pomegranate & Hazelnuts

"I can't believe I never used to eat Brussels sprouts before!" 
    - My Husband

One Thanksgiving, probably about three years ago, my sister-in-law made a simply amazing roasted Brussels sprouts dish.  Neither my husband or I could remember ever having eaten Brussels sprouts - certainly not like that, at least - so it was basically a life-changing experience.  Insofar as Brussels sprouts can be life-changing, at least.

Ever since then, I've been using Brussels sprouts every chance I get, using them raw [LIKE THIS!] or roasted, by themselves or with other veggies/ cheeses/ ingredients.  And (nearly) every time I make them, my husband says something along the lines of the above quote.  

Yep.  He even goes back for seconds on the veggies.  (Husbands eating veggies... it's a miracle, I tell ya.)  Someday maybe I'll be lucky enough to have kids that say the same thing.  Fingers crossed.

I thought it behooved me to present this particular combination of ingredients to you now for a couple reasons. (You have to admit, using words like "behoove" is way fun.  Let's bring those old-timey words back!)  

First:  It's the precipice of a New Year.  We need to expand our horizons with ingredient variations.  

Second:  We're interested in getting a "fresh start," right?  And we don't want to fall off track on our resolutions like statistics say we will!  Right?  This combo of ingredients is actually gonna help with that!  I primarily picked them because they went together in a mega tasty way.  BUT, the way they all work together just so happens to help detox the body while fueling you up to do great things this year.  It also helps that this recipe is really simple.  

Henceforth, it will be a dish your family will request constantly (well, probably); you will feel full, energetic, and well-nourished; AND you will have no excuses whatsoever not to make this.  Like, all the time.

I even put together a list of benefits for each ingredient so you could see how they help you.  But only because you're my favorite.

Brussels sprouts: 

  • High in vitamin C - the vitamin that will have your back when your five-year-old nephew brings around his cold-du-jour.
  • Fiber & antioxidants - a combination in Brussels sprouts is super effective at detoxing.  We could probably use a little detoxing right about now, couldn't we?
  • Lots of folate - helps babies develop correctly.  Obviously helpful if you're pregant!

Pomegranate: 

  • Full of heart-healthy & cancer-inhibiting antioxidants
  • Antibacterial benefits - polyphenolic flavonoids act like mouthwash, keeping your smile flashy!

Hazelnuts:

  • Super high in vitamin E - keeps that beautiful skin and hair looking beautiful... and does so much more, too!
  • Plenty of B vitamins - useful for metabolic health & energy.  No better way to get energy than from whole, natural foods, I always say!
  • Remember folate?  Hazelnuts are full of it!

Lemon:

  • Digestion & detoxification aid!  Such a great reason to include lemon with a meal, no?
  • Detoxification properties - increases the function of detoxifying antioxidants.  Perfect match for the Brussels sprouts!
  • Vitamin C - ANOTHER benefit of vitamin C is increasing the absorption of iron.  Sooo more of the iron in the hazelnuts is taken up!

Need more reasons to make this dish?  Well, here's another picture to remind you why.  Aaand go!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts w/ Pomegranate & Hazelnuts

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Ingredients:

About 1 lb raw Brussels sprouts, each halved or quartered
1 large or 2 small lemons
1/2 the seeds from one pomegranate
1/4 c. raw hazelnuts
Olive oil cooking spray 
Salt, freshly ground black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  

Spray or lightly oil a large baking pan with olive oil.  Spread the Brussels sprouts evenly across the pan.  

Spritz (or very lightly drizzle) with olive oil to evenly coat the sprouts - tossing if needed to distribute the oil.

Zest the lemon(s) over the top of the sprouts.  Sprinkle the pomegranate seeds and hazelnuts across the pan.  Lightly sprinkle salt, pepper, garlic powder, and onion powder across the top of the Brussels sprouts - I like the salt to be a little lighter than the other seasonings, and use a little more garlic than the others - but the main idea is to get a light, even, layer of each one.

Place the pan in the oven to roast for 12-14 minutes, until the sprouts are fork tender and some of the edges have slightly browned and crisped.

While the sprouts are roasting, juice the lemon(s).  

When they are done, pour about 2 T. of the lemon juice over the sprouts and toss with a spatula to distribute the flavors evenly.  

Serve hot - preferably with a scrumptious main dish like this: Cashew Pecan Crusted Chicken   And a side dish like this: Mashed Butternut Sweet Potatoes 

Makes about 6 servings... sometimes I eat way more, though.  No judgement!

Nutrition per serving: 69 calories; 2 g fat (0 g saturated); 11 g carbs; 4 g fiber; 4 g protein (Bonus: 14% DV vitamin A; 134% DV vitamin C; 8% DV iron)

This recipe participated in The Weekend Potluck!