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The Cauliflower Craze

Have you tried it?   I remember my first time I was about 4 years old and at daycare and I swear I pocketed that raw piece in the side of my mouth for hours till my dad picked me up so I could spit it out.

Now I don’t think it’s that bad… it’s growing on me (get it).

Some of the latest nutrition trends have been with introducing cauliflower into more recipes.  Its gaining popularity comes from the mighty nutritional composition having fewer carbohydrate content per serving about 1 cup provides just about 6  gm carbs and 26 calories.  When compared to potatoes 30 gm carbs per cup and calories upwards of 180, or 1 cup of rice at 45 gm carbs and 270 calories.  Its higher fiber content helps with our feeling of fullness to assist in weight management, don’t worry though if it normally makes you bloated there are ways to prepare it so it may cause less gasses formation in the intestines.  It’s packed with health-benefiting antioxidants and rich in vit B assisting in metabolism and C (80% of daily value), and minerals such as manganese, iron, potassium cooper assists in cellular function.

  • Cauliflower contains phytochemicals like sulforaphane (which can cause gas) and plant sterols such as indole-3-carbinol, which appears to function as an anti-estrogen agent. Studies show benefits to fight against prostate, colon and OB cancers. Their cancer-cell growth inhibition causes cytotoxic effects on cancer cells.
  • Furthermore, Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a lipid-soluble compound present abundantly in Brassica group of vegetables, including cauliflower, has found to be effective as an immune modulator, antibacterial and anti-viral agent. It has been seen to help prevent cell dysplasia in HPV.

Cauliflower Summer Corner – Ways to Cook & Eat It!

Helpful hint: Cooking it allows it to digest easier, however boiling it will lose a lot of the chemical properties, its best to roast, steam or sautéed.

  1. Roasted with garlic EVOO and paprika or curry
  2. Mashed! Start by cutting potatoes back in the recipes with a 1:1 ratio
  3. Marinated in buffalo sauce and oven roasted, can add to a salad or munch by itself
  4. Cut into steaks and lightly season with EVOO, pepper and grill
  5. Roasted and topped with a low-fat cheddar or parmesan cheese
  6. Cauliflower rice, diced and sautéed to take on the presentation of rice, ( I usually can sneak this one mixed in with kids pasta and they have no idea).
  7. Added to a stir fry with your other favorite veggies and proteins

Raw cauliflower salad with diced green apples, red onions tossed in an apple cider vinegar and Dijon mustard dressing can be a great healthy alternative and attractive side dish for the garden parties, that is refreshing and will pleasure your taste buds.

Kirsten McEvoy RDN, LDN, is the clinical nutrition manager at Harrington HealthCare System.

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