Brain Food Recipe: Brussels Sprouts with Bacon

Image courtesy Flickr/Chris Yarzab

When you’re preparing brussels sprouts, try to loosen up the leaves a little with your hands so they soften and fall apart a bit as they cook. Mixing a little butter with the olive oil in this recipe prevents oxidation, which can damage the fats and make them unhealthy. These fats also make the vitamin K in the sprouts more available to the body. Keep in mind that brussels sprouts are just like scrambled eggs in that they can be endlessly tweaked depending on your mood. Try adding cheese or roasted nuts and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with your results.

What’s your favorite tweak to a brain-food friendly brussels sprouts recipe?

Serves 4
Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes


24 brussels sprouts
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
4 cloves garlic, diced
1 yellow onion, chopped
4 strips cooked bacon
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Rinse the brussels sprouts under cool water and remove any tough or damaged outer leaves. Trim the stems and cut the sprouts into quarters. Set aside. Add the olive oil and butter to a deepsided skillet and place over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook for 1 or 2 minutes, until fragrant. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add the brussels sprouts and bacon and cover; cook for about 17 minutes, or until the sprouts are just soft. Don’t overcook your sprouts; they will continue to cook once you’ve removed them from the pan because their fibrous bodies retain heat. Be gentle with them, as well: the less you stir, the more the sugars will caramelize and the vegetable will take on a nutty, sweet flavor.

As seen in The Happiness Diet

Drew Ramsey, MD

Drew Ramsey, M.D. is a psychiatrist, author, and farmer. He is a clear voice in the mental health conversation and one of psychiatry’s leading proponents of using nutritional interventions. He is an assistant clinical professor of psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons.

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