Recipe: Spiced Cauliflower & Leek Purée | Photography: Jeff Coulson | Food Styling: David Grenier | Prop Styling: Sabrina Linn
Incredibly versatile, this superfood is vitamin-rich, high in fibre and makes an excellent snack or main course.
Cauliflower can be eaten raw, dipped into hummus or another healthy dip. It can also be grilled, pickled, roasted, steamed or sautéed. Plus, it makes the perfect low-carb replacement for all your favourite grains and legumes!
- Phytonutrients for the win: Cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables are high in two sulphur-containing compounds, glucosinolates and isothiocyanates. The anti-oxidant activity of the two have been shown to potentially slow the growth of cancer cells. Studies have demonstrated these antioxidants to be especially protective against breast, colorectal, lung and prostate cancers. Another of cauliflower’s phytonutrients, indole-3-carbinol (I3C), is produced by the breakdown of glucosinolates and may ease the symptoms of menopause. I3C helps to balance estrogen levels by assisting in the metabolizing of excess hormones that can affect energy levels, libido, metabolism and the risk of chronic disease.
- Choline Calling: Cauliflower is an excellent plant-based source of choline, an essential nutrient in which many people are deficient. Just one cup of boiled cauliflower contains about 48 mg of choline, approximately 10 percent of the recommended daily value. Choline is necessary for proper liver, muscle and brain functions, beginning prenatally and extending into adulthood and old age. In the liver, the nutrient helps to process fat and prevent the accumulation of cholesterol. Choline deficiency can lead to the development of fatty liver disease and muscle damage in otherwise healthy adults. It’s also involved in cognitive development and function, as well as the production of neurotransmitters that are necessary for a healthy brain and nervous system.
- Biotin Breakdown: Sometimes referred to as vitamin H or B7, biotin belongs to the group of B-complex vitamins. It is essential in the metabolism of fatty acids, amino acids and glucose, helping your body transform food into energy. Biotin is water-soluble, so eating cauliflower raw ensures you’re getting the maximum benefits of approximately 17 micrograms per serving. A healthy level of biotin in your diet promotes efficient cell signalling in the body (the process that regulates the actions of cells). While biotin deficiency is very rare, it may be responsible for increased inflammatory responses, especially in the cells of the immune system. Biotin is often associated with glossy hair, glowing skin and strong, sturdy nails; however, there is limited scientific evidence to support these claims. The FDA warns that biotin supplementation can interfere with laboratory tests, so always speak with your health-care practitioner before taking supplements or making any significant dietary changes.
Keep in Mind
While cauliflower is high in fibre, it can be difficult to digest and may be an Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) trigger for some people. Grating or ricing cauliflower can make the digestive process easier on your small intestine.
Try this superfood in our Spiced Cauliflower & Leek Purée recipe (pictured above).