Even though maple syrup usually isn’t harvested until February, I still always think of it as a fall flavor. When I was younger, there was a maple tree farm behind a hardware store my dad always went to, and in the fall when the trees were bare, you could see the buckets on the trees where they were going to be tapped for sap. I thought the maple syrup just poured out of the trees and into the buckets without going through any sort of process first. It’s crazy how altering the natural fluids of a tree can produce a delicious food filled with so many nutritional benefits. Health benefits are usually lost when altering natural food, but the sap turned maple syrup stays abundant in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals.
I remember being younger and scooping snow into a cup then pouring maple syrup over it like a snow cone and eating it just like that. Now when I use maple syrup, it is usually when I swap my cold breakfast smoothies for a warm stack of pancakes or a bowl of oatmeal and I want to top it with something sweet. I try not to ever buy packaged glazes or sauces because of hidden ingredients, so I made my own maple mix to roast some vegetables in. The combination of the sweet glaze with the earthy veggies and spices results in a warm, filling, and aromatically pleasing meal!
Maple Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Sweet Potato
- 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- pinch salt
- pinch pepper
- to top pecans
- to top pumpkin seeds
1. Pre-heat the oven to 400°F.
2. Peel your sweet potato and cut it into small cubes. Pour into a small mixing bowl. Toss with half of the measured amount listed of oil, syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. (so 1.5 tbsp oil, 1.5 tbsp syrup, etc.). The other half you will use to toss your Brussels sprouts in). Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
3. Pour the coated sweet potato into a small roasting pan and cover with foil. Put into the oven. Set the timer for 30 minutes.
4. While the potatoes start roasting, trim the stems off the Brussels sprouts, and cut them in half. Add to a small mixing bowl and toss in the remaining ingredients. Add to a small roasting bowl and cover with foil.
5. When the timer on the oven gets down to 18 minutes, add the Brussels sprouts to the oven.
6. When ready, remove food from oven and mash the sweet potatoes before topping with pumpkin seeds. Toss the Brussels sprouts in the pecans and serve.
I used raw pumpkin seeds, but feel free to use up some roasted pumpkin seeds from your carved pumpkins!
Also by Lauren: Butternut Squash FIg & Naan Pizza
Related: Apple Glazed Brussels Sprouts
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Photos: Lauren Sacerdote