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The Health Benefits of Cauliflower & Pureed Cauliflower Recipe

Incorporate nutrient dense, health-promoting cauliflower into your diet with this recipe for a delicious lower carb version of mashed potatoes.

Bring on some cauliflower! Antioxidant boosting, heart-health promoting, high fiber, nutrient dense… cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable, is on our list of veggies to include in your regular diet. According to our friends at InsideTracker, cauliflower contains phytochemicals that are “responsible for a wide range of health and disease-prevention benefits” including protecting us against oxidative damage caused by free radicals which can contribute to cardiovascular dysfunction. [1] 

Cauliflower is also a good source of fiber and water, making it beneficial for our gut health and keeping us hydrated. In fact, according to WebMD, 1 serving of raw or cooked cauliflower has 2 grams of fiber and, out of 100 grams of cauliflower, 92 grams is water. [2]

Cauliflower is packed with vitamins and minerals. Cauliflower contains “100% of the daily recommended amount of vitamin C, about a quarter of your daily vitamin K, 2% of your daily calcium and iron, 6% of your daily potassium, more than 3% of your daily magnesium.” [3] 

An article published by Oregon State University explains that cruciferous vegetables, like cauliflower, contain compounds called glucosinolates. Glucosinolates “play important roles in disease prevention by triggering antioxidant and anti-inflammatory response and contributing to the maintenance of cell homeostasis.” [4] According to Consumer Reports, raw cauliflower is “packed with glucosinolates, which can convert to a variety of cancer-fighting compounds in your body. In order for the glucosinolates you eat to make that transition, however, an enzyme in the veggies called myrosinase has to be active. You can activate it by chopping the veggies up or chewing as you eat—but cooking can destroy it.” Keep in mind that raw cruciferous vegetables may cause some stomach cramping or bloating so if you cannot tolerate eating them raw, recent studies have found that you will still receive benefits from the glucosinolates when steamed. Interestingly, if you chop the cauliflower and then let the pieces sit for 90 minutes before cooking, the cancer-fighting compounds are released. 

To incorporate cauliflower into your diet, you can separate the florets and eat them raw, add them to a salad, or dip them in hummus. You can also roast the florets; steam and mash them to create a healthier, lower carb version of “mashed potatoes” (see recipe below); or slice the cauliflower head into 1-inch-thick slices, season and grill.

Pureed Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 1 head of cauliflower broken into florets
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced & to taste
  • 2 tablespoons of ghee (or butter)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Chives to garnish 

Method

  • Steam cauliflower florets until soft 
  • Add steamed florets, garlic, and ghee to a food processor and blend until smooth
  • Season with salt and pepper to taste
  • Top with chopped chives and serve

[1] https://blog.insidetracker.com/phytochemicals-why-you-should-eat-the-rainbow
[2] & [3]  https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/health-benefits-cauliflower
[4] https://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/food-beverages/cruciferous-vegetables
[5] https://www.consumerreports.org/fruits-vegetables/vegetables-that-are-healthier-cooked/

1 COMMENT

  1. Effective, succinct article, thanks! “Fiber Fueled” (Will Bulsewicz) explains that “chop, then stop” is also a critical step to activate key chemicals in onions and garlic, similar to the note here.

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Taylor Marks
Taylor Marks is a certified holistic health coach and current student at The Institute of Culinary Education studying health supportive culinary arts. Her passions include making nourishing food taste and look delicious and guiding others towards feeling their best.

 

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