By Leslie Why Reap
This is exciting stuff. This is Paleo side dish heaven on earth. Seriously, it is exciting for those of us who have given up grains and starchy tubers like potatoes but would still love to languish in the glorious texture of mashed potatoes. Languish, luxuriate and leave the high glycemic index of potatoes behind and instead dip into a like dish that is jam packed with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and there for anti-cancer properties! Who knew that CAULIFLOWER could be so tasty….maybe you all did, but I didn’t.
This dish is PERFECT for those of you on the Paleo diet, GAPS diet, the CORE diet, an Anti-Candida Diet, Gluten/Grain Free or Low Glycemic diet. It also fits in well with Weston A. Price and Nourishing Traditions. Let’s face it, this dish is universally awesome and tastes great (yes even Vegans can enjoy this dish with some minor alterations. Yes, I just used the word “Vegan” in a Paleo post. (Vegans are people too you know.) Perhaps I am so enthusiastic about this dish because in addition to being over-the-top healthy, it is an excellent vehicle for my favorite condiments, golden grass fed butter and lovely Celtic sea salt.
So this is how it all happened. I bought a head of cauliflower. I NEVER buy cauliflower. Childhood memories of plain, pressure cookered cauliflower send me running to the greens, reds, oranges, and yellows. My “whites” are onions and garlic (lots of them, ask anyone!). On that fateful day, I stood in the produce section and stared at the head of organic cauliflower sitting so innocently next to the organic broccoli. Instead of my typical broccoli/brussel sprout grab & dash routine, I forced myself to contemplate the white stuff. “But it isn’t green,” I said to myself…”White veggies are veggies too…it must have something to offer,” I said to myself. I pulled the trigger, bought the cauliflower. Alas, it sat in the fridge. Every day the cauliflower stared at me. It mocked me. It mocked my ability to break free of my very deep food ruts. It mocked my lack of creativity. After a week of not decaying as fast as I had hoped, I leaned in and lifted it out. I summoned all my courage, creativity and food rut breaking abilities and got to work. I googled “cauliflower recipes.” This is what happened next….
Garlic Mashed Potatoes (oops I mean Cauliflower!)
Makes 4 Servings
- 1 Head of Cauliflower
- 1 Cup of Organic Chicken Broth (or water if you don’t have broth)
- 1 TBSP of Extra Virgin Olive Oil (or grass fed butter, organic, free range bacon or chicken fat)
- 1-3 Cloves of Garlic, pressed
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- Wash and cut the cauliflower into more or less even pieces. Crush the garlic.
- In a shallow pan, add enough broth to just cover the bottom. Bring to a boil.
- As soon at the broth boils add the cauliflower and garlic and cover. Set a timer for 5 minutes. It is important not to overcook vegetables in order to maximize their taste and nutrition. Add more broth if needed.
- Puree the cauliflower and garlic in a food processor until very smooth. If needed, you can add enough of the remaining broth until it reaches the desired consistency.
- Fold in the olive oil, butter or fat until well combined. Add more depending on your taste.
- Season the mash with more salt and pepper if desired.
(This recipe was adapted from: http://www.health-foodie.com/2010/03/mashed-cauliflower-recipe/)
What’s so great about cauliflower anyway? Read on!
> High in vitamin C and manganese: 1 cup of boiled cauliflower can already give you 55 mg of vitamin C.
> Contains carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, and phytonutrients that include kaempferol, ferulic acid, cinnamic acid and caffeic acid
> Protects you from free radical damage and reduce your risk for diseases caused by oxidative stress, such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer.
> High amounts of vitamin K and omega-3 fatty acids, which help decrease inflammation: 1 cup of boiled cauliflower contains about 11 micrograms of vitamin K and 0.21 g omega-3 fatty acids
> Contains glucosinolates (such as glucoraphin) and isothiocyanates (such as isothiocyanate sulforaphane)
> Aids in decreasing the risk of inflammation-mediated diseases such as arthritis, obesity, diabetes mellitus, inflammatory bowel disease and ulcerative colitis
Reduce Risk of Cardiovascular and Cerebrovascular Diseases
> Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties are protective against cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases
> Atherosclerosis is chronic inflammation of the blood vessel, and the deposition of lipids and white blood cells eventually leads to a decrease in their diameter
> Decrease in diameter leads to decreased blood flow to essential organs like the brain (which could lead to stroke), heart (which could lead to heart attack) and kidneys (which could lead to kidney failure)
> High in Fiber: 1 cup of boiled cauliflower delivers about 3.35 g of dietary fiber which aids in keeping your digestive tract healthy and detoxified
> Contains glucoraphin which appears to have a protective effect on your stomach lining, protecting against bacterium helicobacter pylori and reducing risk for stomach ulcer and cancer
> Cauliflower also contains vitamins B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), B3 (niacin), B5 (pantothenic acid), B6 (pyridoxine) and B9 (folic acid). It serves as a good source of proteins, phosphorus and potassium.
> Eat this no more than 4 to 5 servings a week. Cauliflower contains purines, which are broken down by the body to produce uric acid (an antioxidant produced by the body). Excessively high levels of uric acid can contribute to gout. Individuals with gout should limit their intake of cauliflower and purine containing foods.