So I have been raving about this recipe to a few people and gotten a very similar reaction from all of them, which sort of goes like this – ‘Huh!?!’
This is closely followed by – ‘you put what in it?’
(Seriously, it does seem crazy, but bear with me, it is worth it – I promise).
So straight off the bat I am going to say what that ingredient is. It’s cauliflower.
I would love to take the credit for being the genius that decided to put cauliflower in a smoothie, but I cannot. Folks have been doing it for a while and with good reason.
Firstly – it does not taste weird at all, it actually makes your smoothie creamy and thick without the need for any dairy. Cauliflower is a high fiber food and excellent for gut health, but its also that fiber that gives the smoothie such a good mouth feel.
Another little known fact is that cauliflower is loaded with Vitamin C; as are all the veggies found in the cruciferous family (i.e.: kale, broccoli, cabbage). Unlike the rest of its family its not green. At this point you may be remembering an article or something about avoiding white foods. Generally white foods are highly processed (breads, crackers, cereals, baked goods, sugar), and have low nutrient values, which is a good reason to avoid them. Cauliflower is the exception.
The leathery leaves that surround the cauliflower protect it from the sun and hinders the chlorophyll development, which is why, unlike its cousins, it’s white.
The nutrients remain though. Besides the fiber and Vitamin C you also get Vitamin K, potassium, phosphorus and a range of vitamin B’s.
Cauliflower contains glucosinolate compounds which have been shown to assist in the elimination of carcinogens. Most notably indole-3-carbinol, sulforaphane, di-indolmethane, and isothiocyanates have been the focus.
Indole-3-carbinol has also been found to assist in the regulation of estrogen activity and metabolism.
This is significant considering the issue we have with so much plastic in our food chain and home environment. Plastic chemicals mimic hormones (in particular estrogen) in our body and act as hormone disruptors. While we now have the option to purchase BPA free items, the hormone disruptor effects remain.
I’m not sure why cauliflower isn’t considered a superfood, but perhaps that’s a good thing. It seems superfoods come with a hefty price tag and we don’t want that to happen to this gem.
Healthy food gets a bad rep sometimes as they can be a little bland or have a strong flavor that isn’t always that nice. Raw cauliflower can potentially fit into this category as there is a slight bitterness to it. (We can thank those nutrients I mentioned earlier for this). This can be remedied easily by lightly steaming it.
Avoid over cooking as it will become more bitter and lose much of its nutrient value.
The Many Ways to Enjoy Cauliflower
You can make so many things with cauliflower, it truly is a versatile vegetable. Here are some ideas:
- Cauli-rice: grated, raw and flash fried, it makes a great substitute for rice
- Cauli-pearls: raw stems, chopped into small pieces, lightly steamed make a great substitute for pearl barley
- Cauli-mash: entire cauliflower (not the leaves), broken into chunks, steamed, add spices and your favorite milk/mylk, and mash it
- Cauli-sauce: entire cauliflower (not the leaves), steamed, add favorite spices, dash of lemon and olive oil, your favorite milk/mylk blend well and you have a dairy free white sauce
- Cauliflower: lightly steamed cauliflower with some spices or your favorite sauce over it is also great, no need to be fancy all the time.
- Zero Waste: the leaves are edible! They can be added to a stir fry and enjoyed with other greens. All cauliflower scraps can be added to stews and vegetable broths
Then of course there is this smoothie recipe. I dare you to try it at least once. You don’t even have to use blueberries – try variations and make it your own!
- 2 cups oat milk cold, use more if required
- 120 grams Cauliflower frozen
- 220 grams Blueberries frozen
- 25 grams Pitted Dates usually 2 or 3
- Add all ingredients to a blender and blend until smooth
- Serve and enjoy
Lightly steam cauliflower florets, allow to cool. Spread them out on a baking tray and place in freezer. Once frozen, place in a container and store in the freezer
(iii) Auborn, Karen & Fan, Saijun & Rosen, Eliot & Goodwin, Leslie & Chandrasekaran, Alamelu & Williams, David & Chen, DaZhi & Carter, Timothy. (2003). Indole-3-Carbinol Is a Negative Regulator of Estrogen2. The Journal of nutrition. 133. 2470S-2475S. 10.1093/jn/133.7.2470S.