1 Food, 5 Ways: Cauliflower

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1 Food, 5 Ways: Cauliflower

For years, cauliflower has played second string to its flashier cousin, broccoli, but with scads of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and a glut of research proving its cancer-fighting properties, cauliflower can now assert superfood prowess. Try cauliflower one of these five ways, or create your own cauliflower concoction and submit your recipe to editorial@challengermediagroup.com. It could be featured on our website!

As a Cancer-Fighting Side

According to research published in Carcinogenesis, cauliflower contains compounds such as sulforaphane, which has been shown to inhibit the growth of and kill cancer cells found in the breasts, bladder, colon, liver and stomach. It also contains thiocyanate, which was found by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine to protect cells against cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Serve raw, baked, grilled, stir-fried or steamed. Just avoid boiling, which leeches out valuable vitamins and minerals.

As a Waist-Whittling Sauce

Use pureed cauliflower instead of cream and/or cheese in rich sauces such as Alfredo and cut mega calories and fat without sacrificing flavour. And because cauliflower contains glucosinolates, natural compounds that help with nutrient absorption and waste removal, it also protects your GI tract.

Cauliflower Alfredo

Makes 12 servings

1-2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp butter (or butter substitute)
1 large head cauliflower, roughly chopped
½ cup almond milk
1 cup low-salt chicken broth
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper, to taste

Steam cauliflower until soft and set aside. Add garlic and butter to pan and saute until fragrant, about two minutes. Place cauliflower in food processor with garlic mixture, almond milk, chicken broth, and salt and pepper, to taste, and puree several minutes until smooth. Add Parmesan cheese and blend again. If sauce is too thick or too dry, add more almond milk or water. Serve warm over chicken, spaghetti squash or zoodles.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 52, fat 3g, saturated fat 2g, sodium 117mg, carbs 3g, fibre 1g, sugar 2g, protein 3g

As a Bone-Boosting Mash

Eating cauliflower with a healthy fat, such as olive oil or avocado, facilitates the transport of cauliflower’s fat-soluble vitamin K, helping prevent bone loss, aiding with blood clotting and reducing inflammation. This Mock Mash recipe uses Greek yoghurt as its fat source, which also adds healthful probiotics for improved gut health.

Cauliflower Mock Mash

Makes 8 servings

2 heads cauliflower
2 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
½ cup Greek yoghurt
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
salt and pepper, to taste
fresh chives, chopped, to taste (optional)

Steam cauliflower until soft, then set aside. Saute olive oil, garlic and thyme in pan over medium heat until fragrant, two to three minutes. Remove from heat and scrape into food processor. Add cauliflower, yoghurt, Parmesan cheese (if using), and salt and pepper, to taste, and blend until smooth. Serve topped with chopped fresh chives (if using).

Nutrition Facts (with cheese – per serving): calories 96, fat 5g, saturated fat 2g, sodium 116mg, carbs 9g, fibre 4g, sugar 4g, protein 6g

As a Brainy Bread Substitute

Cauliflower contains 45 milligrams of choline per 1-cup serving, a B vitamin that aids in brain development, boosts cognitive function, improves learning and memory, and may even diminish age-related cognitive decline. Sub cauliflower for flour in things like pizza crust for a low-cal, gluten-free treat!

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Makes about 8 servings (2 slices)

1 head cauliflower, roughly chopped
1 tsp olive oil
¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp dried Italian seasoning
1 tsp fresh garlic, minced
½ cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese
2 egg whites
2 tbsp Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and black pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Working in batches, pulse cauliflower in food processor until finely chopped, like breadcrumbs. Spread over baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spray lightly with cooking spray. Bake for 25 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Then place in fine-mesh strainer or between two clean dish towels and squeeze, wringing or pressing until cauliflower is as dry as possible. Place cauliflower in large bowl and add remaining ingredients, mixing thoroughly to make a dough.

Nutrition Facts (crust only, based on 8 slices in a round ­– per serving): calories 70, fat 3g, saturated fat 2g, sodium 171mg, carbs 5g, fibre 2g, sugar 2g, protein 6g

As an Anti-Ageing App

Just 1 cup of cauliflower contains more than 50 milligrams of vitamin C (more than a small orange!) helping prevent inflammation and boost immunity. It also has loads of beta carotene and quercetin, which protect your cells against free-radical damage. The orange variety has additional 25 times more beta carotene than the white version, and if you add hot sauce to a recipe, such as with our Buffalo Bites, you’ll double your dose of C and amp your anti-ageing even more.

Cauliflower Buffalo Bites

Makes 4 servings

1 head cauliflower, cut into bite-size pieces
½ cup brown rice flour
½ cup water
salt, to taste
garlic powder, to taste
1 tbsp butter (or butter substitute), melted
2 tbsp hot sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha sauce
1 tbsp lemon juice

Preheat oven to 230 degrees. In small bowl, combine flour, water, garlic powder and salt and mix thoroughly with whisk. Toss cauliflower pieces in batter until evenly coated, then place on non-stick baking sheet in single layer. Bake for 10 minutes, then flip with spatula and bake another five minutes, or until batter hardens. In the meantime, combine hot sauces, lemon juice and butter in small bowl. Remove cauliflower and gently toss in hot sauce mixture. Return to baking sheet and cook anther 15 to 20 minutes, or until crispy. Remove and let stand for 15 minutes before serving with light ranch dressing or Greek yoghurt dip of your own making.

Nutrition Facts (per serving): calories 139, fat 4g, saturated fat 2g, sodium 326mg, carbs 24g, fibre 5g, sugar 5g, protein 4g

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