CRISPY MAPLE GLAZED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON

“In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.” ― Albert Camus

As I sit down to write this recipe post, I do so on a Sunday night. As a teacher, Sunday can often cause a bit of anxiety for the week ahead. However, tonight I feel calm as I enjoy quiet reflection time. That is why I love to write so much. It allows me headspace and the opportunity to make my thoughts tangible. Life is busy and it is important that we make time to do the things that we love. For me that means finding ways to be creative – writing, cooking, photography, gardening, and yes, even lesson planning.

Usually Sundays are a big family dinner night at our house, but over the last month we have been spending our Sundays bringing my step daughter Avalon to hockey practice in Houghton. Therefore, we have been dining out a little more and I have to make sure I have groceries in the house for the week. 

This morning I made the Brussels sprout recipe that I am sharing with you. I usually glaze our roasted vegetables with a combination of soy sauce and dijon mustard and/or balsamic vinegar. However, I wanted to try using the maple syrup that my husband and step son Lukas made this spring from our property.

My husband had a scoop of the sprouts with his brunch: our farm raised ham and eggs from our hens. He gave them a big thumbs up and thought that the maple syrup glaze and crumbled bacon made them perfect for breakfast. Who would have thought? 

I think they would be a fabulous dish for the holidays. Maybe for a special breakfast after everyone opens their gifts? I know that I will be making them for our annual Christmas and New Year prime rib dinner (my husband always buys a couple prime rib roasts locally raised by the Devooght family and sold at their General Store in Skandia). 

While these sprouts can be made ahead and warmed up (the ones I made this morning will be part of our dinner tomorrow night) they are best served right out of the oven. I also suggest that you use fresh Brussels sprouts, instead of frozen, to reach the right crispiness. While a couple frozen bags of Brussels sprouts are a staple in our freezer, I like to use fresh ones when I am able.

I also recommend bacon grease if you eat meat. Olive oil or your favorite cooking oil works well, but I have found that bacon grease helps make them crispy and imparts flavor. When I cook bacon, I save the grease for cooking (it can last several months stored in the refrigerator). 

I’ve also found that a large cast iron skillet works wonders to roast vegetables. A well seasoned pan helps caramelize the vegetables. If you do not have a cast iron pan, you can use a foil lined baking sheet. 

CRISPY MAPLE GLAZED ROASTED BRUSSELS SPROUTS WITH BACON

*2 pounds of fresh Brussels sprouts (they do cook down quite a bit, and I usually make 2 pounds for my husband and I. It allows for one meal each of leftovers)

*2 pieces of cooked bacon, chopped

*4 Tablespoons of bacon grease 

*Salt, pepper, and garlic powder 

*4 Tablespoons of Maple Syrup 

Heat oven to 425 while you prepare the Brussels sprouts. Warm up your pan and put in the bacon grease. Cut sprouts in ½ and put in the pan – cut side down. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. 

When the oven reaches the proper temperature put the pan of Brussels sprouts on the top rack of the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and stir well. Roast for another 15 minutes. Take out and stir well again. Roast for an additional 15 minutes. Take out of the oven, drizzle the maple syrup on the sprouts, stir well and return to the oven for 3 more minutes (you may have to roast for additional minutes to make them crispy, depending on your oven).

Remove and sprinkle with the chopped bacon. Serve and enjoy! 

If you have never had roasted Brussels sprouts, I guarantee that they will become a favorite. Leftovers are a must and are great as an addition to a salad or a pasta dish. I hope that you enjoy this maple glazed version.

Make sure you check out the tabs at the top of the page for other festive and healthy recipes. Make sure you carve out some quiet time to reflect this holiday season. Do something that brings you joy and repeat often. It soon will be a new year – cheers to making 2022 healthy and productive!


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