Why cauliflower? I hated this smelly vegetable for most of my life. If it was cooked, the whole house smelled of this stench. If it was raw, it was surely going to give you gas and make you want to hide alone somewhere.
But now, well now, as I have come to understand the beauty of one of the lead vegetables in the cruciferous family, I have come to enjoy it for its taste, as well as its health benefits. This vegetable provides a pretty significant nutritional punch, but it is more of a specialist food, so understanding that is why you might want to enjoy it more often. Perhaps the most compelling reason however, is its versatility.
The cruciferous family delivers a detoxifying punch for any woman in the room. Indole-3-Carbinol (I3C) is the most fantastic chemical in the cauliflower plant in my mind. I was turned onto this years ago when one of the docs who worked for me, became the greatest salesman of indole-3-carbinol who walked the planet. This, because of the number of women facing menopause in our practice, and the increasing evidence that high levels of I3C reduced those symptoms. Of course my simplistic approach has primarily been to eat more of the foods that provide it.
I3C is also a chemical of DNA repair, and has been shown in studies to have a positive effect on prostate and breast cancer risk. Though ingestion of the chemical as a supplement may have other potential side effects in large doses. Which is why, once again, I say eat the food, don’t take the concentrated supplement unless you find really good reason to do so.
What to go with it?
I think the coolest thing about cauliflower is that you can grate it into a “rice” and it can be used just like rice would, yet it has none of the ill consequences of the grain. From that grated state, you can turn it into a dough, and make crust for a flatbread or pizza, and it is simply awesome that way. Of course you can mash it into “mashed potatoes” without the blood sugar bomb that comes from the potato.
The two ways that I have come to enjoy it are as a soup, and simply baked in the oven. First, the soup. Steam a head of cauliflower, throw it in a vitamix for about seven minutes, add salt and pepper and other spices to taste along the way. Eat a bowl of hot soup straight from the blender.
Next, the bake. Baking can be done in so many ways, but this one is tasty! Break a head off into small pieces. Mix the cauliflower in a ziplock bag with 1/4 cup of coconut oil (or to taste) and a tablespoon of curry spice (or to taste). Shake it up real good then bake at 400 until mildly browned. AWESOME!
So go out there and become a warrior for new healthy foods! Be well and Be blessed! – Dr. E