Do you like eating the white flesh of a Brassica oleracea known as a curd? It sounds much more appetizing to simply call this curd a cauliflower.
Cauliflower is making a comeback these days. It makes a very popular pizza crust alternative, it can be eaten raw on a veggie plate to help with ulcers, you can put it in soups and in stir-fry, use it as a batter, and it’s great roasted on the grill with garlic butter. Pureed in a blender or food processor, cauliflower is like mashed potatoes.
Cauliflower is very low in calories while high in vitamins. In fact, cauliflower contains many vitamins and minerals that you really do need in your diet.
It makes a great snack.
The health benefits of cauliflower are immense. Many people call cauliflower a white knight against cancer.
Cauliflower contains anti-cancer nutrients like carotenoids and flavonoid antioxidants. These healthy nutrients not only help prevent cancer, but they can reduce the risk of many diseases, including heart disease and diabetes.
One-cup of cauliflower contains:
- Calories: 25
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Pantothenic acid
Cauliflower contains a high amount of fiber, which is important for your digestive health and reduces the risk of many chronic diseases, like IBS.
Filled With Antioxidants
Cauliflower is packed with vitamin C and the B vitamin folate. A mere three uncooked florets can provide 67% of the Daily Value for vitamin C – that’s more than a tangerine or a grapefruit. Studies have found that eating four servings of cauliflower every week can decrease your risk of disease.
This definitely boosts your immune system.
Researchers at the Foundation for Preventative Oncology in New York found that cauliflower contains two very powerful phytonutrients – sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol (13C).
These two compounds are found in all cruciferous vegetables, and appear to be the primary tool the body uses to prevent disease, such as cancer.
Studies at the University of Illinois showed that sulforaphane in cauliflower stopped the growth of cancer cells in the breast of laboratory animals by preventing the cancer cells from dividing.
Sulforaphane is a really neat component of cauliflower because it increases the production of your digestive enzymes, and this not only helps with ulcers and other digestive issues, but it enhances the elimination of toxins.
A No No If You Have Gout Or Candida
Interestingly, cauliflower isn’t good if you have gout or Candida, but you CAN eat its siblings safely.
Cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts are all in the same family, and they all contain amino acids called purines, but cauliflower contains the highest concentration of purines compared to the rest of its family.
Purines break down into uric acid, and uric acid crystals can trigger gout. The sharp-edged uric acid crystals can puncture your joints, which causes arthritic-like pain and joint swelling.
The same thing happens with Candida/yeast; the hard crystals growing on yeast can puncture your intestinal track, which spreads the yeast throughout your body, creating allergies and skin issues.
Did you know that as much as 30% of the uric acid produced in your body is not eliminated through your kidneys – it is dissolved by bacteria in your intestines. Excessive yeast that has built up within your intestines destroys your beneficial bacteria, so your large intestines doesn’t work as efficiently. And this impacts digesting your food and breaking down the purines, which break down into uric acid. Since purines, in this case, cannot break down efficiently into uric acid, uric acid removal is impaired.
It’s a vicious circle – more uric acid creates more puncturing crystals that exacerbate gout and Candida, which dissolves your healthy gut bacteria that protects you from the uric acid.
So, if you have gout or Candida, don’t eat cauliflower, but enjoy its family members that have less purines like broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts. FYI, foods that do kill yeast are enteric coated garlic, olive leaf extract, grapefruit seeds, and oil of oregano.
- Cauliflower stays fresher, longer when its cool; its healing nutrients remain stronger when kept out of the heat;
- Boiling cauliflower exposes it to heat, which causes it to lose its valuable nutrients; so eat cauliflower raw, steamed or cooked in a wok;
- Steaming cauliflower is a good way to liberate the sulforaphane;
- Buy fresh cauliflower that’s still embedded in its green leaves; its fresher and better protected;
- Avoid buying cauliflower that has brown spots, which means it is passing its nutritional peak;
- To avoid moisture during storage, keep your cauliflower floret with the stem down;
- Steam cauliflower in larger pieces as opposed to smaller florets to maintain its maximum nutrient levels.
Do you love pizza? Most people do, and here is a way to enjoy eating more of it – use cauliflower for your crust and add your favorite organic toppings.
Hang with me here – we have all tried making cauliflower pizza crust without much luck. They can be tasteless and seem to just fall apart. This recipe works better than any recipe I have tried, and nothing is better than a crispy, golden cauliflower crust.
- 1 small-to medium-sized cauliflower head cut into large pieces, using just the florets and not the stems;
- 1/4 tsp kosher salt;
- 1/2 tsp dried basil;
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano;
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder;
- Pinch crushed red pepper to taste;
- 2 Tbsp almond meal;
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast optional;
- 1 Tbsp olive oil;
- 1 large egg;
- Nonstick cooking oil or olive oil;
Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven to preheat.
On a cutting board or cookie sheet, place a piece of parchment paper and spray with nonstick cooking oil or brush the parchment with olive oil.
Take your head of cauliflower and cut off the florets. You don’t need to use the stem. Pulse in a food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get very fine cauliflower crumbs. You may need to do this in two batches.
Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 3-4 minutes, until steaming. Let cool in the bowl.
Once cooled, dump the cooked cauliflower onto a clean tea towel, wrap it up, and wring the water out of it. Squeeze as much water out as possible. There will be a lot, so keep squeezing!
Dump the dry cauliflower into a bowl. It should resemble pulp. Add all your spices, almond meal, yeast, and olive oil. Mix the mixture to incorporate all the ingredients.
Now add your egg and mix together well.
Once mixed together, use your hands to form your dough into a ball. Place the dough on the oiled parchment paper and press down to form a thin circle shape.
Using your cutting board or cookie sheet, slide the dough on the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven.
Bake for about 12 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden brown and the edges start to crisp. Remove from oven.
Add your toppings and bake for another 5 minutes, or until your toppings looks delicious and the crust starts to crisp.
Who’d ever imagine that eating the white flesh of a Brassica oleracea curd could be so healthy for you?
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only, and is educational in nature. The FDA may not have evaluated some of the statements. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please discuss with your own, qualified health care provider before adding supplements or making any changes to your dietary program.
Before taking vitamins, consult your doctor; pre-existing medical conditions or medications you are taking can affect how your body responds to multivitamins.