Posts Tagged: The Virtues of Cauliflower
Those of us in the Paleo world know about the controversy that is whether or not to include white potatoes into one’s diet. On the one hand, they are a delicious, nutrient dense whole food. A fabulous starchy tuber in fact! Unprocessed, versatile and satisfying. And yet, they sit quite high on the glycemic index and as someone who has chosen to try and stick to a Paleo diet because I’m pre-diabetic … then obviously I am going to avoid sugar spiking foods.
I’m especially NOT going to deny myself of delicious foods however, when it comes to any holiday spread I might be hosting this time of year. I double especially love surprising my doubting guests when it comes to Paleo food substitutions. Because they’re definitely not all a win. (Sad face apple pie.)
Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock with nary a Buzzfeed food video or heady list touting the many wondrous virtues of eating cauliflower (instead of carbs) crossing your path, then I’m sorry. This is one of those rare times you’ve been missing out on what the internet has to toss your way. Cauliflower is a splendiferous thing indeed. I’ve tried it out in bread, soup and to make faux ‘cauli-rice’ and pizza crust already. Perhaps you’ve already been served, or have tried mashed cauliflower as a mashed potato substitute. It’s pretty good (no, it doesn’t taste exactly the same so let’s just lay that inquisition to rest), but I’ve found that the addition of parsnips really adds the taste a texture needed to make it a damn good combo of a sub needed to mimic the cloudy peaks of buttery, creamy goodness that is mashed potatoes. Cauliflower is a part of the cabbage family, which means it’s a vegetable and we know that vegetables are a good thing, yes? Particularly rich in vitamin C and B vitamins, cauliflower also has a significant amount of vitamin K, manganese, phosphorous, and potassium! As if all of that weren’t enough, noshing on cauliflower also gives you a good dose of sulfur. And until I read Mark Sisson’s article on why eating sulfur-rich foods is a grand idea, I had no clue about why I should care about that either. It’s a damn good, eye-opening article about vegetables in general!
Pumped up with various B vitamins, vitamin C, and vitamin K, parsnips and turnips are a great source of trace minerals, including manganese, phosphorous, potassium, and zinc! While they may be moderately high in natural sugars, parsnips are also comprised of both soluble and insoluble fiber. (Which slows the body’s digestion of carbs and prevents a spike in blood sugar and makes food easier to digest!) When accompanied with the cauliflower, one really is bestowed with the great satisfaction of eating mashed potatoes without the dense insulin spike.
I’m straight up gonna tell you that using a blender will issue you a gluey mass. Which you might be going for if you wanted to make a vegan cheese sauce sub; say for mac and cheese. But that’s not the texture we’re going for here. I myself am a fan of the rustic hand-held mashing or using a food processor.
- 2 heads cauliflower
- 4 parsnips, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 1 small turnip, peeled and chopped into chunks
- 5-6 tbsp. grass-fed butter or ghee
- 1¼ tsp. pink sea salt
- Remove the cauliflower florets from their bases of stems and leaves. Wash and add to a water-filled pot, along with
yourwashed, peeled and chopped parsnips and turnip.
- Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and simmer until all is tender.
- (You can cook the veg in two separate pots if you don't have a big enough one.)
- Drain the cauliflower, turnips and parsnips into a colander and topple them all into a food processor (or back into the pot if you are hand-mashing.)
- Add the butter and whizz/mash until well creamed! If you like it rustic then by hand is the best way to go.
- Season with sea salt to taste, eat it, love it and gloat all about it.
When I first laid eyes upon Yotam Ottolenghi’s latest cookbook, ‘Plenty More’, I knew I had to have it. Cookbooks, in general are the one type of book I splurge on. Usually I suss books out at the library, loan them out and then buy them if I really love the read and plan on revisiting it. Or if I simply want it for my collection. Collecting books is a beautiful, somewhat lost art, what with the internet and kindles and whatever other devices you millenials use.
Myself? I am every bit the techie, for the most part.
But when it comes to books, there is nothing that can replace the feel and smell of a book. Flipping through the pages, stacking them up on my nightside table, tyring to find the last page I was on, falling asleep with that warm, smokey paper smell … it’s a ritual really, one that I savour.
Cookbooks though, that’s a whole other entity. They are meant to be revisted repeatedly, until pages curl and covers become worn and splattered with all previous endeavours and adaptations of favourite recipes. When Trevor got diagnosed with gout, being the holistic wellness seeking bio-hacker that I am (say that three times fast!), I of course went on a mission to learn everything I could about vegetarian cooking. I’ve dabbled with it of couse and my love for vegetables is vast. However vegetables were never the regular highlight of our meals, especially since I went *soft* Paleo. (As in eating right for my body type and avoiding the onset of diabetes with foods that land high on the glycemic index.) Clearly, meat was. Happy meat, yes – but purine laden meat none-the-less.
It’s been a few months now since Trevor’s (finally) diagnosis, and he’s back to eating meat about three time a week TOTAL, which is still is HUGE cut-back for Mr. Meat & Potatoes. So I thought I was onto something when I discovered this caulitflower bread recipe that I made serious test kitchen designs on. I knew I could make it paleo and (thought) it was something that we could eat! Sadly, this beauty bread isn’t the best for Trevor, since cauliflower is high in purines. Purines are what cause a person’s uric acid levels to sky-rocket (if you’re a person with gout), and all horrid that uric acid gathers around joints and crystalizes to cause seriously painful and debilitating flare-ups.
Now that we have things under better control over here regarding his flare-ups, we might get adventurous and try this out again, caultiflower used to be a staple in our house, we used to enjoy it so many different ways, so. When I have time, I cook it still, however I want to while also preparing an alternative for him, but that’s rare, becasue LIFE. No time for that tom foolery on the regular.
Gout, in case you haven’t gleaned by now, sucks the big one. However this bread/cake does not! I fact, I think I’ll make it and bring with me for my weekend away for a dear friend’s birthday. Having healthy, tasty options on hand is always a must when travelling. Onto this recipe already, right?
Those with food restrictions causing them to eat a paleo or gout friendly diet that is. (The two of which aren’t like two peas in a pod.) Currently the largest divide in my life resides in the kitchen wherein I’ve been trying to warp my schedule constraints to fit double prep and avoiding double prep where I can. Being avid bone broth consumers in our household, you can bet we’ve undergone some discombobulation with the recent addition of Trev’s gout diagnosis. If you’er wondering why, I’ll get to that soon.
What does a family (me specifically) do when most of they eat revolves around organic and or/local free-range hormone free meat and fresh veggies and fruits? Minimal grains and carbs — when one of those family members is suddenly told to steer clear of meat (and booze and other things) and to fill the void with lots of grains and good carbs? (To be clear, I’m not strict about it. I truly believe that food is to be experienced, savoured and shared with loved ones. There are so many cuisines that I couldn’t have, share or introduce my kids to if I never, ever consumed grains, dairy or carbs again. Lets just say I am more than moderate about my intake.)