First, the recipes. Then, the benefits.
1. Roasted + Spiced - coconut oil, curry spices, cashews
One of my favorite ways to prepare cauliflower is to roast it in the oven. Set up a large cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Set your oven to 400 degrees.
Take a small head or 1/2 of a large head and cut it up into bite sized (or slightly larger) florets. Toss the florets with:
1-2 Tablespoons of melted coconut oil
1/2 Cup cashews pulverized with
2 Tablespoons of your favorite curry powder*
Sprinkle the cashew curry spice over the cauliflower and toss. Spread on the cookie sheet and roast.
It is done when the cauli is golden with crispy edges and is tender when pricked with a fork.
*Or, even better, create your own blend of curry. Turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper, chili pepper and sea salt is a yummy combination. Experiment to find what works for your taste buds!
You can eat this as a side dish with some protein and more veggies. Or, I added it to some quinoa, baby spinach, and bone broth. Delicious!
2. Cauliflower Pizza
So, in the middle of a fat-burning and muscle building protocol there is no room for pizza. But come on, its pizza! I am a big fan.
This is why I was thrilled to come across this amazing recipe. Using high quality ingredients it is a not-so-guilty-pleasure. I have tweaked the recipe after cooking it for over a year and I have found ways to make it work for me, with less fat (cheese) and more veggies on top. Love!!!
There are a lot of cauliflower pizza crust recipes out there - just do a search. I really like this one .
The basics for the crust work up beautifully. I add organic garlic powder to give the crust a bit more taste. I go very lightly on the toppings: organic pizza sauce from Muir Glen, shredded organic raw mozzarella. Add pesto for flavor, and load up on veggies on top!
Blend it up in a Vitamix to fine rice-sized pieces, stir fry with a slight bit of coconut oil and a dash of sesame oil, mixed vegges, and an egg.
Finish with a dash of coconut aminos for flavor!
4. Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes
In order to get that mashed-potatoes fix, but to cut back on the amount of starchy-ness (our blood sugar reacts more quickly to starchy carbs), I like to make a blend of half potatoes / half cauliflower.
Just boil a pan of water and add your potatoes (cut them small enough to cook faster) and cauliflower (cut larger than the potatoes because it cooks faster).
When the vegetables are tender, drain the cooking water. Smash them down, and get the hand mixer out.
If you are eating heavy cream (organic of course) add a splash with some sea salt and pepper and whip it up. Serve alongside other veggies and your protein. Enjoy!
5. Whole Roasted a la My New Roots
This website is amazing and I admit I have not tried this recipe yet, I thought I would share it anyway because it looks incredible and I have tried other recipes of hers that I can vouch have been delicious. Find it here.
Now, The Awesome Health Benefits of Cauliflower
Cauliflower (a cruciferous veggie in the cabbage family) is an amazingly versatile veggie to cook with (or just take it out of the fridge, rinse it, cut it up and eat it). I am confident you can find a recipe you love. Not only is it tasty, for its health benefits it rocks.
Cauliflower is full of phytochemicals. Phytochemicals can function as antioxidants (cancer fighting) and can also effect hormonal functions in our bodies.
Think about estrogen. A property of cauliflower is that it is anti-estrogenic. It contains phytoestrogens. A lot of processed or inorganic foods with pesticides create an estrogenic effect on the body which throws the body's hormone balance off. The anti-estrogenic properties in cauliflower helps to restore proper balance to these hormones. Some studies find a high intake of cruciferous vegetables has been associated with lower risk of some cancers (Higdon, et al.)
How we cook our foods makes a difference in the amount of phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals that remain available for our bodies' consumption (in other words what remains bioactive). So, maybe not surprisingly, the cauli-mash recipe, if you boil it up to mush does not preserve as much nutrients that are originally held in the raw vegetable.
This study (Ahmed & Rehab) examined several methods of cooking cauliflower and found raw preserved the highest amount of bio-available nutrients, and water boiling and blanching lost the most.
In honor of this, lets add crunchy raw cauli-florets as a snack that has a satisfying crunch and gives your body the best of the hormonal benefits.