Hunkering down for those cold winter months? Not feeling like a heavy stick-to-your-thighs kind of stew? Sick and tired of the ol’ crock pot? Well, have we got a treat for you! Trade in those over-used, sugar spiking starch sides and opt in for some fiber dense, cancer-killin’ Brussels Sprouts. Looking for a little sweetness to your meal without all that sugar? Pair it with butternut squash, and we’ve got a nutrient-dense, power-packed meal for you! Oh, and by the way, we decided to make it insanely simple and easy to make (so we cut a few corners, but NOT in the nutrient department).
Butternut squash soup with roasted Brussels sprouts and hazelnuts
For the soup
• 1 tsp. ground coriander
• 1 tsp. any type of sweetener (agave, coconut nectar, maple syrup, etc.)
• 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 2 bags frozen butternut squash
• 1 1/2 cups hot water
For the Brussels sprouts:
• 1/2 cup hazelnuts
• 4 cups Brussels sprouts, bottoms trimmed and halved
• 1 red onion, cut into 1-inch wedges (basically cut it in half, then in half again)
• 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
• 1/2 tsp salt
• 1/4 tsp pepper
• 3 tbsp. maple syrup
• 2 tsp cider vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a small glass baking dish toast the hazelnuts until fragrant, about 5 -10 minutes. Transfer to cheese cloth and rub off as much of the skins as possible. Coarsely chop and set aside.
- Trim Brussels sprouts and halve. Cut onion into 1-wedges.
- Add the butternut squash soup and olive oil into a small bowl. Mix in the coriander, sweetener, cayenne and 2 tsp. salt. Mix well.
- Transfer squash to a glass or ceramic roasting pan and roast for 35 minutes. Immediately, toss together Brussels sprouts, onion, oil, salt and pepper and transfer to baking dish or pan. Roast in 400°F in the oven, stirring occasionally, until tender and edges are browned, about 30 minutes. Squash and Brussels sprouts will cook simultaneously.
- Take Brussels sprouts out of oven, add hazelnuts, maple syrup and vinegar; toss to combine. Roast for 5 more minutes. While Brussels sprouts are back in the oven, transfer squash to a food processor. Add the water and puree until smooth. An immersion blender works great too and saves on time!
Hold on to your seats folks because this meal is eerily nutritious and to die for delicious as either a snack or dinner.
Did you know? Squash is gluten free and loaded with polyphenols (part of the phytochemical family that contains anti-oxidants and hormone like compounds which can affect health). Butternut squash offers a rich source of dietary fiber, cholesterol lowering abilities and is great as a weight loss food. Squash contains high amounts of Vitamin A necessary for the maintaining the integrity of skin and mucous membranes (think bowels…and eliminating waste!). Vitamin A is also an essential vitamin for good eye sight. Wait, there’s more! It is rich in the B-group vitamins and minerals like zinc, copper, calcium, potassium and phosphorus. If you’re resourceful, you can save the seeds. They are loaded with tryptophan which converts to health benefiting GABA neuro-chemicals in the brain.
Not a fan of Brussels sprouts?
Well, you may want to think again. Being a cabbage and part of the cruciferous family it comes from quite a noble family most known for cancer prevention due to its glucosinolates. Beyond cancer fighting qualities Brussels sprouts boasts 2g of fiber for only 6 grams of carbohydrates, making this a heart-healthy and colon-friendly, sugar regulating carb! Brussels sprouts are also high in Vitamin K (blood-clotting vitamin), folate and potassium. It is contains significant amounts of Vitamins A and C.
Well, besides its upscale appeal, hazelnuts offer a plethora of health benefits. Again, the anti-oxidant potency is ripe along with the back-up of Vitamins E, and B. It contains high levels of manganese which is a catalyst in the synthesis of fatty acids and promotes carbohydrate metabolism. There it is folks. A divinely decadent meal that is best of all, satisfying on all levels!
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