Spiced Cauliflower In All It’s Glory
Shedding The light on Cauliflower
This versatile vegetable looks like a culmination of tiny grooved florets all clustered into one big cabbage-like flower. It is a cruciferous vegetable that falls under the Brassica vegetable family, together with broccoli, kale, cabbage, bok choy and more.
It is packed with a range of nutrients and bioactive compounds that are sure to provide you with a host of health benefits.
Nutritional breakdown (per 100g/1 cup):
Fibre: 3g – 10% RDA
Vitamin C: 49g – 77% RDA
Vitamin K: 15.5g – 20% RDA
Vitamin B6: 11% RDA
Folate: 57ug – 14% RDA
Potassium: 299mg – 9 % RDA
Manganese: 8 % RDA
Some reactions and important compounds to note in cauliflower:
* Glucoraphanin gets converted into the bioactive compound known as sulforaphane. This has many functions ranging from gut protection, cancer prevention, cardiovascular protection and detoxification.
* Glucobrassicin gets converted to indole-3-carbon (other known as I3C) which helps prevent cancers, is good for your heart and decreases inflammatory diseases.
* DIM – Diindolylmethane …. Just call it DIM, the active dimer of I3C also helps reduce cancer risk.
Good for your gut
Cauliflower contains 10% of our recommended daily allowance for fibre. Fibre not only feeds your healthy gut bacteria but also aids in digestion. It also contains sulforaphane which protects the stomach lining and prevents growth of bacteria, namely H. Pylori, which can result in various gastrointestinal disorders.
Decreases Cancer Risk
Sulforaphane is also known for its chemoprotective properties and has been scientifically shown to lower the incidence of a variety of cancers such as breast, lung, prostate, colorectal and pancreas. It can also upregulate our innate detoxification pathway in our liver, in turn promoting appropriate estrogen metabolism in our body, reducing the risk for etrogen-positive cancers. I3C and its biologically active dimer DIM are also promising agents for the prevention of estrogen-enhanced cancers.
Chronic inflammation in the body can lead to many diseases such as cardiovascular disease, cancers and atherosclerosis. I3C works on a genetic level and ‘switches off‘ the genes involved in our inflammatory processes. It’s strong anti-inflammatory actions help to reduce the risk of chronic inflammatory disease development.
Good for your heart
Not only does the I3C in cauliflower help reduce cardiovascular disease, but sulforaphane ensures that cells that are damaged in the inner lining of your arteries are repaired. Fibre from the cauliflower, also helps to lower cholesterol levels and studies have shown that it is inversely related to cardiovascular disease.
Cauliflower is a great source of nutrients and compounds that enhance anti-oxidant effects in the body, meaning they help protect your cells and DNA from damaging free radicals. Sulforaphane ‘switches on’ the genes involved in our anti-oxidant cascade. Recent studies also report that cauliflower acts as a good source of natural anti-oxidants due to its high levels of vitamin C, carotenoids, tocopherols and phenolic compounds. All these anti-oxidant soldiers help us prevent cancers, decrease tissue and organ damage and increase longevity.
The last of many benefits of cauliflower that I want to highlight is that it helps to support your body’s innate ability to detox. Cauliflower contains antioxidants, carotenoids and vitamin C which support your phase 1 detox pathways, while sulforaphane activates the detoxification enzymes involved in the phase II detoxification pathways found in the liver. These promote the elimination of toxic substances from the body and helps to prevent cancers.
With cauliflower providing health benefits beyond our basic nutritional needs, it should be a MUST on your shopping list.
Add it to turmeric, which has curcumin, also lending a strong hand in ‘switching off’ all those inflammation pathways, and you really have a winning combination!!
So, without further ado….
1 whole cauliflower head
2 teaspoons olive oil
½ teaspoon ground paprika
2 teaspoons turmeric
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon ground ginger
Salt to taste
125ml of low fat plain yoghurt
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon dried cranberry
1 tablespoon raisins
1 tablespoon flaked almonds
1 tablespoon roughly chopped hazelnuts
1 tablespoon roughly chopped walnuts
Handful of fresh mint
1 Switch on your oven to 180oC.
2 Cover a roasting tray with baking paper and place the large cauliflower head on top.
3 Mix all the dry spices in a small bowl to form your spice mixture.
4 Remove 1½ teaspoons of the spice mixture made above and place in a separate bowl or cup, setting aside the bowl with the majority of the spice mixture to be used later.
5 Add the 2 teaspoons of olive oil to the smaller, separated spice mixture and mix it together, ensuring all the dry ingredients are blending in well. This should form a paste that has a thin consistency.
6 Using a brush or your hands, rub the paste onto the cauliflower, ensuring you gently coat the whole surface area, giving it a golden brown colour.
7 Place your cauliflower in the oven to roast for 1 hour, until soft in the middle and crispy on the outside.
1 While the cauliflower in roasting away, take the remaining spice blend and mix it together with your yoghurt and lemon juice, forming an in-depth flavoured yoghurt dressing. Place in the fridge until you are ready to complete your dish.
2 Roughly chop some hazelnuts and walnuts and lightly toast them on a non-stick pan.
3 Once the cauliflower is roasted to perfection, remove it from the oven.
4 Place half of the yoghurt mixture onto a serving dish, flattening it into a small round circle with the back of your spoon and place the cauliflower on top.
5 Drizzle the remaining yoghurt dressing on top of the cauliflower.
6 Scatter the toasted nuts, cranberries and raisins around and on top of the cauliflower.
7 Give the dish its finishing touch by garnishing it with 1 tablespoon of chopped mint.
This dish can be served as a meal on top of a bed of quinoa or brown lentils. Use the yoghurt as the dressing for the grain and let the cauliflower sit on top. Sprinkle the nuts and dried fruit around the cauliflower or mix it into the grain itself.
Cauliflower – a vegetable that be eaten raw in a salad, cut into steaks, blended into a soup, crumbled into a rice, blitzed in a puree, kneaded into a pizza base or roasted whole.
Let just say the options are endless and I can’t wait to share them all with you.
Stay in tune and keep a look out for more updates on healthy, delicious, dynamic cauliflower recipes to come.
Nourish yourself to the sunrise.
Cooked with love,
Sunrise by HM
Nourished yet? Comment on what I should write about next?
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