Cauliflower is finally receiving the attention it so deserves…
Quick: Picture the most nutritious vegetable you can think of. What comes to mind? A rainbow of goodness? Something dark and leafy? Maybe broccoli or brussels sprouts. Probably kale. Perhaps bright purple cabbage. Definitely not cauliflower (unless of course, you took inspiration from where we all know this article is headed). Long relegated to the “pale foods” corner of the nutritional pyramid along with potatoes and parsnip, which for a long time were considered nutritionally void, cauliflower is finally receiving the attention it so deserves, occupying not only the produce section but the freezer aisle as well, as riced cauliflower becomes more widely available and appreciated. A nutritional powerhouse that shares the same species with the cruciferous veggies listed above, cauliflower is versatile, affordable and, above all, delicious. Though it may fall somewhere at the end of the food rainbow (think of it as the clouds on either end), cauliflower packs a virtuous punch when it comes to vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Today I’m sharing just a few reasons why you should love this simple veggie and a delicious and unexpected way to use it from Danny Seo’s new cookbook Naturally, Delicious.
What is it? In the same species (Brassica oleracea) as broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, and cabbage, cauliflower is an annual edible plant with a dense white head similar to that of broccoli, though the two differ as broccoli heads are made up of tiny flower buds and bright green leaves. A nutritional workhorse, cauliflower has recently gained wider attention for its versatile flavor and unique nutritional profile, rich in antioxidants, phytochemicals, vitamins and minerals.
What are the benefits? Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which includes vegetables dense in glucosinolates or sulfur-containing compounds that support detoxification and are thought to potentially reduce the odds of developing certain types of cancers. Cauliflower is rich in a variety of vitamins, including vitamin K, which can help prevent blood clots, and vitamin C, for boosted immunity. The high amounts of fibre in cauliflower aids in digestion and the same glucosinolates that support detoxification also encourage the liver to release protective enzymes that neutralize free radicals and protect the gut lining.
How do I use it? Cauliflower is incredibly versatile, so much so that you can toss it into smoothies and baked goods without altering the flavor too much (I say “too much” because there can be too much of a good thing — too much cauliflower tastes like, well, cauliflower). Add frozen cauliflower to smoothies in place of, or in addition to, bananas as a thickener and nutritional boost. Pureed cauliflower can also be added to baked goods, soups, stews and sauces as a thickener and to boost the nutritional profile. Cauliflower is also incredible on its own — try it raw or roasted, or use it in place of rice as a low-carb, paleo-friendly substitute.
Flourless Double-Chocolate Cauliflower Brownies
½ head cauliflower (about 1 ½ cups florets)
½ cup organic milk, room temperature
1 cup fair-trade bittersweet chocolate chips, melted
½ cup butter, melted (plus more to grease pan)
3 organic eggs
½ cup grade B organic maple syrup
1 cup pecans, ground
¾ cup coconut flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder
⅛ tsp sea salt
*A note from Julie: To make these brownies vegan, substitute plant milk for milk, coconut oil for butter, and 3 flax eggs for eggs.
Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8-inch square baking pan and set aside.
Add the cauliflower and milk to a high-speed blender and puree until smooth. Add in melted chocolate, butter, eggs and maple syrup, and blend until combined.
In a medium bowl, combine the ground pecans, coconut flour, cocoa powder, cinnamon, baking powder and salt.
Gently fold the wet ingredients into dry ingredients. Pour batter into prepared pan and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until firm to the touch. Cool before slicing.
**Another note from Julie: Serve with ice cream or non-dairy ice cream and fruit! Enjoy!
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This information is not intended to treat, diagnose or prevent any disease or issue. Please seek your doctor’s advice for any questions regarding a specific condition and before beginning any exercise, diet or health-related regimen.