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brussel sprouts

5 ways to spruce up your sprouts this Thanksgiving

While your table may not be as crowded with friends and relatives this holiday, there are still plenty of ways to celebrate. Many families can still enjoy more intimate gatherings to share good company and delicious food.

Brussels sprouts have been a staple at holiday dinners for decades. But they’re likely not your favourite or first choice when it comes to loading up your plate. Although often steamed or boiled, these mini cabbage look-a-likes have more tasty potential than you think.

The truth is that Brussels sprouts have only gotten better over the years, becoming more mellow and nuttier over time rather than the bitter, stinky sprouts of your childhood. So, put away the steamer basket and stop guests from pushing them around their plates by giving one of these tips and delicious roasted variations a try.

1. Start at the store.

For the best roasted sprouts, look for larger bright-green heads with tight leaves. Brussels sprouts are currently in season, meaning they’re locally grown so you’ll be getting the best-possible flavour and nutrients out of your new favourite holiday side.

2. Keep it simple.

For an easy but far superior alternative to the standard steamed variety, slice sprouts in half and toss in extra virgin olive oil with salt and pepper. Spread them out evenly on a baking sheet and roast in the oven at 400°F (200°C) for 45 minutes.

3. Everything is better with bacon.

Toss sprouts in olive oil, salt and pepper and top them with chopped un-cooked bacon before roasting them. Craving that sweet and salty mix? Add a few tablespoons of maple syrup when tossing them in olive oil to achieve that perfect maple-bacon flavour.

4. Cranberries aren’t just for turkey.

If bacon isn’t your thing, once your simple sprouts are perfectly roasted, toss them with a mixture of dried cranberries and almonds or walnuts to add an unexpected sweetness and build on their nutty flavour.

5. Leaf it to the pecorino.

Peeling away the leaves of each sprout may seem like a never-ending task, but it’s so worth it. Try adding a warm salad to your holiday table by roasting the leaves with olive oil and salt and pepper for 20 minutes or until the leaves are crisp. Toss them in a bowl with grated or shaved pecorino Romano cheese and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice for a satisfying alternative.

Everything you need for your Thanksgiving feast, including delicious and local Brussels sprouts, is available at your local Loblaws. If you need more time in the kitchen, simply place a PC Express order for easy in-store pickup.

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