Festive Christmas Sprouts recipe to boost your eye health

Posted on

10 December 2020

Author: Kate Green

christmas sprouts recipe

The most wonderful time of the year

The tree is decorated, the lights are twinkling, and you can’t seem to escape from the sound of Wham’s Last Christmas playing wherever you go. It can only mean one thing: Christmas is just around the corner. While seeing the family is lovely, and it’s always great to receive a present or two, the real star of the show at Christmastime has to be the food. Whether you go for turkey or a nut roast, mash or roast potatoes, carrots or parsnips, there is one constant on the festive lunch table… Brussels sprouts.

Sometimes considered the Marmite of vegetables, sprouts have always been a talking point when it comes to festive food favourites. While they might not be the most popular component of the Christmas lunch, there are lots of benefits to eating sprouts. They are a great source of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of which are important nutrients for your eyes. Lutein and zeaxanthin are proven to protect your eyes from ultraviolet damage, reducing your risk of developing cataracts and macular degeneration. In fact, people who have a diet rich in lutein and zeaxanthin are 40% less likely to develop advanced age-related macular degeneration. Sprouts also contain vitamin C which is known to reduce the inflammation that comes with strained eyes (particularly common when working with screens on dark days in winter!).

Brussels sprouts cooked in the traditional way (boiled and served in a soggy green pile) might not be too popular, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t other ways of preparing them to make them more palatable.

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Try this festive twist on traditional sprouts and boost your vision this Christmas

For this recipe, you’ll need:

1.2 kilograms of sprouts, trimmed

4 pieces of back bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil

1 large onion, diced

4 sprigs of thyme

1 teaspoon of salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 teaspoons of lemon juice



  1. Boil a large pot of water. Cut your sprouts into quarters and put them into the water. Boil them for between 3-5 minutes until they are just softening, and then drain.
  2. Drizzle some oil into a frying pan and, once warm, put your bacon pieces into the pan on a medium heat. Gently fry them until they are brown, which should be after 4-6 minutes. Take the bacon out of the pan using a slotted spoon, and put it on some paper towels to drain. Keep the bacon juices in the pan.
  3. Add your diced onion to the pan and stir occasionally until brown, which should take around 4 minutes. Then add your thyme, salt and pepper, before turning the heat up and adding your pre-cooked sprouts.
  4. Once everything in the pan is warmed through and mixed thoroughly together, remove the sprigs of thyme and add the bacon, salt, pepper and lemon juice.
  5. Remove from the heat, toss together, and you’re ready to serve your modern twist on a Christmas classic!


(Recipe adapted from Eating Well)

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