While cauliflower ‘only’ has a track record of cancer risk reduction of 50% compared to cabbage’s 70% risk reduction, that’s no reason to scoff at the cauliflower.
The biggest factor in getting enough of the potent glucosinolates in cruciferous vegetables is eating them on a regular basis: that is, daily.
So in this regard, broccoli and cauliflower can end up being real winners for people who do not particularly appreciate the sulfur-y flavors of cabbages, kales, arugula or other members of the somewhat stinky sulfurous vegetable family. But you should know it is that sulfur, specifically those glucosinolates that transform into isothiocyanates in our bodies that have proven themselves as the major cancer preventives in these foods.
For one thing, cauliflower can be used in a wide variety of ways to make foods we love to eat healthier with their ‘cauliflower versions’.
Two great examples are cauliflower pizza crust and cauliflower hummus. Both of which allow you to have satisfying, delicious and super healthy meals with cauliflower as the primary ingredient in the dishes.
Cauliflower can also be riced and used as a substitute for rice in faux fried rice dishes and, of course, is excellent as a side dish when gently steamed and then topped with pastured butter or your favorite raw milk cheese – and if you cannot tolerate cow’s milk, you can use a goat cheese and still get all the joy out of this delicious treat.
Cauliflower pizza crust is quick and easy, but it does require eggs, so if you’re serving someone who is allergic to egg, this will not be an option you want to use.
Cauliflower hummus has no egg, so it’s a great substitute for regular hummus that uses chickpeas, which can be high in phytates, unless you take the time to soak them with whey, lemon juice or vinegar overnight to reduce the phytates.
Cauliflower ‘fried rice’ is a great way to replace the simple carbohydrate of rice with a healthy cruciferous vegetable that can fight disease, remove toxins from the liver and blood and generally improve your health while helping you avoid simple carbohydrates that metabolize directly into sugars.
If you are worried about thyroid issues with increased cruciferous vegetable intake, don’t be. Unless you are eating massive quantities of cruciferous vegetables it will not be an issue. Do make sure you are getting enough iodine in your diet. Around here we use detoxified iodine as a liquid supplement that you can either apply to the skin or under the tongue. It is quite strong and so generally, I simply apply it to my upper arm after a shower. Easy way to get all the iodine you need with none of the worry or the potential side effects of tablet supplements.
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Serves: 6 (makes one 12 inch pizza crust)
Prep Time: 20 minutes before baking, 10 minutes after
Bake Time: 30 – 40 minutes in two sessions
- 1 large or 2 small cauliflowers / 2 cups processed raw cauliflower
- 3 tablespoons coconut flour
- 2 cups whole or raw milk mozzarella, shredded
- 2 large eggs
- 1 bunch parsley tops only (no stems!), chopped fine
Place a pizza stone or travertine tile in the bottom rack of the oven, remove top rack and preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. After oven has preheated wait at least 15 minutes before placing pizza pan on stone/tile. If you have a non-contact thermometer, measure the stone to 485°F before adding pan to bake crust for initial baking.
Process all the ingredients, first cauliflower, then adding each ingredient and pulsing until it is well mixed in. Scrape down sides between pulsing to make sure everything is well incorporated.
When all crust ingredients are processed and well mixed, scrape them out of the processer and form the ‘dough’ into a ball on a clean plate.
Place a sheet of parchment paper on a pizza pan (esp. if it is one with holes!) and gently crumble the pizza dough over the pan as evenly as possible, and then press into place until you have created a uniform crust.
Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the edges and top are a golden-brown color. Remove from the oven and allow cooling for five minutes.
Top crust with your favorite pizza fixings but go light on the sauce. Only 1/3 cup of any sauce, then toppings and cheese and return to the oven for 15 minutes or until the top is bubbling and cheese is fully melted.
After baking, allow pizza to cool for 10 minutes to give the crust time to solidify before serving.
1/3 cup sour cream, 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese, 1 /2 teaspoon salt, dash of pepper and/or paprika spread as the sauce in a thin layer. Top with 1 cup lightly sautéed chicken, 1/2 cup green onions, 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms and 1/2 cup black olives, or chopped artichoke hearts and topped with 1 cup shredded mozzarella and/or Romano cheese.
1/3 cup tomato sauce spread over crust and topped with 1/2 cup chopped onions, 1/2 cup bell pepper, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, and 1/2 cup black olives topped with 1 cup mozzarella and/or Romano cheese.
Or make up any of your own favorite pizza toppings.
The crust can be frozen after the first baking for use later. Bring crust to room temperature before adding toppings and final baking for 12.
Serves: 4 – 6
Prep Time: 10- 15 minutes total (before and after baking)
Bake Time: 40 minutes
- 1 medium cauliflower
- 1 medium summer squash (patty pan, zucchini or crookneck)
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 3 to 4 garlic cloves
- 1/3 cup organic sesame tahini
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- Juice of 2 lemons
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon good quality salt
- 1/2 teaspoon smoky paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or chili powder
- black pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Divide cauliflower into florets and stem, cut stem to match approximate size of florets. Chop squash to equal size. Place on parchment paper on a quarter sheet baking pan and brush lightly with high quality cold pressed olive oil.
Bake in top half of oven for 30 minutes, removing from oven half way through to turn the pan and turn the vegetable pieces on the pan.
If you choose to bake some of the garlic with the vegetables for an enhanced roasted garlic flavor just be sure to leave at least 2 cloves raw for the essential health benefits. Any garlic included for roasting may need to be removed a few minutes ahead of the cauliflower and squash.
After 30 minutes, remove the pan from the oven and set on a stove top or other heat safe surface for at least 10 minutes to cool. The vegetables should be close to room temperature before you start processing the hummus.
Place the vegetables in a food processor and pulse until the vegetables are the consistency of large grains of rice or couscous, then add the parsley and pulse until it is well mixed in, followed by the garlic, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, parsley, spices, salt and pepper. Process several minutes until smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as needed from time to time as you go.
Increase garlic, seasoning, salt and pepper to taste until it’s just how you like it. Serve with baby cucumbers (seedless), carrots and celery sliced into thin dipping sticks and baby lettuce leaves as your ‘crackers’, or with sprouted or soaked grain pitas or flat breads.
Cauliflower ‘Fried Rice’
Serves: 4 – 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
- 1 head cauliflower
- 1 tablespoon minced ginger
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 1 tablespoon sesame oil
- 8 ounces beef or chicken cut up into bite size pieces
- 1 cup minced carrots
- 1 cup chopped snow peas, zucchini, bell peppers or other vegetables of your choice
- 3 tablespoons of water
- 2 eggs whipped with 1 tablespoon water
- 3 tablespoons organic tamari, Braggs Aminos, Coconut Aminos or organic Soy Sauce
- 1/4 cup chopped green onions for garnish
Break up the cauliflower and pulse it in the food processor until it is the size of rice.
Heat the oil in a large skillet or wok and add the ginger and garlic, stirring constantly until it is pungent. Add the meat and cook until it is mostly done, continue stirring and add in the cauliflower, carrots and other vegetables. Add the water and stir well, cover and let simmer for a few minutes until all the food is hot throughout.
Form a well in the center of the pan and pour in the whipped eggs and stir and turn until they are cooked, then mix them into the rest of the food, add the tamari or seasoning sauce of your choice, mix well and serve topped with raw green onions for garnish.