Alternative ways to cook and bake with Brussels sprouts

Brussels sprouts are hardly one of the most popular food items out there – but there are ways to incorporate them into dishes creatively.

From cooking to baking, Aldi wants people to see the potential in the often discarded vegetable.

Why don’t we all like them? According to a 2011 study by Cornwall College, sprouts contain a chemical that tastes bitter to people who have a variation of a certain gene.

About 50% of the world’s population has that gene, which is why sprouts are thought to be such a love/hate food item.

But with five different recipes to try – all slightly experimental – there’s no excuse for not sinking your teeth into some festive sprout inspired food.

Sprout cupcakes

Makes 12. Prep time 20 minutes, cook time 25.

Ingredients

  • 200g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp mixed spice
  • 175g light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 150ml vegetable oil
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 1 orange
  • 150g carrots, grated
  • 100g sprouts, finely shredded

For the frosting:

  • 150g full fat soft cheese, at room temperature
  • 75g butter, at room temperature
  • 75g icing sugar sifted

To decorate (optional):

  • 50g white chocolate
  • 12 sprout leaves

Method

Tip: The un-iced cakes will keep for 3 days in an airtight container but once iced eat the same day. You can also freeze the un-iced cakes.

Bloody sprout-Mary

Serves 4. Prep time 10 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 20 sprouts, trimmed
  • 400ml tomato juice
  • To taste; lime juice, sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, Worcestershire Sauce
  • 100ml vodka
  • Ice

To garnish:

  • 4 sprouts halved and griddled
  • Sprout snow

Method

Tip: Excess sprout snow can be used in stir-fries, soups or steamed for a couple of minutes and used as sprout rice.

Festive sprac and cheese

Serves 4. Prep time 15 minutes, cook time 25-30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 300g pasta shapes (macaroni or other)
  • 200g sprouts, trimmed and quartered
  • 500ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 50g flour
  • 1/2 tsp mixed spice
  • 100g strong Cheddar, grated plus 50g for topping
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 30g natural breadcrumbs
  • 30g Parmesan, grated

Method

Sprouts in the hole

Makes 24 canapé size. Prep time 15 minutes, cook time 15 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 120g plain flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 100ml milk
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 12 sprouts, trimmed and halved
  • 12 rashers streaky bacon, halved lengthways

Cranberry sauce to serve

You’ll also need a mini muffin tray

Method

Christmas sprout-shuka

Serves 4. Prep time 15 minutes, cook time 25-30 minutes.

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 red and 1 yellow pepper, seeded and sliced
  • 200g sprouts, trimmed and chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, seeded and diced
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 2 x 400g tinned tomatoes
  • 4-8 eggs
  • 1-2 tsp sugar
  • 100g feta
  • Handful coriander, chopped

Method

Tip: To use leftover cooked sprouts in this recipe, simply add them into the pan just before the eggs to warm through.

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