Summer means stone fruit season – peaches, nectarines, apricots, plums, and cherries. Is there anything more satisfying than biting into a juicy nectarine during the summer? I will be sad to see them leave, as I am every year; the season only lasts from June to September. Probably the most coveted of all the stone fruits in my house is the cherry. I can only find them in the grocery store for a few weeks of the summer, so a bowl of freshly washed cherries lasts no more than a couple days with my crew.
So what a better way to get in the healthy stuff…like those GREEN foods…than to pair them with sweet cherries that everyone enjoys. Kind of makes this dish taste a little bit like dessert rather than Brussels sprouts, at least that was my intention even though I’m not sure my kids were quite sold (it’s really hard to hide Brussels sprouts from kids!). But I’m sold! The juicy sweetness of the cherries cuts right through any bitterness of the greens. I could make a whole meal out of this recipe.
I started with a bag of Brussels sprouts – washed em and quartered em.
Then I washed and pitted two cups of fresh cherries. This was probably the most time consuming part of preparing this recipe, but I became more efficient at it once I got started.
Cherries are only available for a few weeks out of the year at our local Whole Foods, so I buy at LOT during those weeks. When I’m shopping for produce, often times I have a list based on recipes I want to make that week or I have a list of wants and favorites from my family. But mostly, I look for those red “Local” signs and plan meals around what’s fresh and in season.
Three reasons I try to eat local seasonal produce:
- Eating foods that are fresh ensures your body is getting food with the most potent nutrients. Nutrients are quite sensitive, especially to time and heat. So buying local produce means you feed your body food that hasn’t had to travel from the other side of the globe. I also try to eat a good portion of my fruits and vegetables raw because those precious nutrients and enzymes are also heat sensitive.
- Our bodies need different things during different seasons of the year, and nature provides the nutrients and types of foods we need to stay strong, energized, and healthy year round. In the cold winter, we need heavier foods with fat and protein, so we crave warm stews and meats. As the earth thaws and comes to life during spring, our bodies crave to cleanse and renew, and we desire all those bitter leafy greens, salads, and lighter, brothy soups. Summer comes and it’s hot; we need energy to endure the long days, and we crave those cooling and refreshing fruits and vegetables that grow so abundantly this time of year.
- Food that has been grown out of season or travels a long way uses more valuable energy than food that is grown in season and has traveled from a local farm. Plus, what a better way to support local farmers than to buy what they grow!
The third step is to stir together the melted coconut oil, cherry balsamic vinegar (plain balsamic vinegar will do), sea salt, pepper, and thyme in a small bowl or pitcher.
I spread out the Brussels sprouts and cherries on a parchment lined baking sheet and drizzled the coconut oil mixture over them. Using my hands, I tossed the Brussels sprouts and cherries in the mixture.
I roasted them for about 30 minutes at 425 degrees, removing them from the oven halfway through to toss them.
Lastly, I sprinkled some toasted chopped pecans on the top.
- 1 bag Brussels sprouts, quartered
- 2 cups cherries, halved and pitted
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons cherry balsamic vinegar (or plain balsamic vinegar)
- 2 tablespoons thyme
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ cup chopped toasted pecans
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Spread out Brussels sprouts and cherries on a parchment lined baking sheet.
- In a small bowl or pitcher, stir together coconut oil, vinegar, thyme, sea salt, and pepper.
- Drizzle coconut oil mixture over Brussels sprouts and cherries, and toss with your hands to coat evenly.
- Roast for 30 minutes or until Brussels sprouts are crispy on the outside and tender on the inside. Remove halfway through cooking time and toss.
- Transfer to a serving dish, sprinkle with pecans, and toss before serving.