Updated: May 1
Love or hate it, good ol' cauliflower is a versatile, healthy vegetable with a rich source of nutrients we should all get more of in our diet.
Part of the Brassica family of vegetables, cauliflower contains a variety of unique plant compounds that can help reduce the risk of many common diseases such as obesity, heart disease and cognitive issues.
Heralded as a "superfood", the naturally occuring properties of cauliflower have been found to strengthen bones, boost the cardiovascular system, while the antioxidants and phytonutrients can protect against cancer. Cauliflower is also a rich source of dietary fibre which aids in weight loss and digestion, plus choline (an essential nutrient) which supports learning and memory, and healthy cognitive function.
"I started including cauliflower in my smoothies a few months ago," says Jeannette Ogden, a health enthusiast and yoga sculpt instructor from the popular blog Shut The Kale Up. "It doesn't change the taste at all, and it makes it thick and creamy."
I've experimented a little myself and found you really don't taste the cauliflower, especially if you use a nice blend of fruity flavours. Here's my green goodness recipe.
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Superfood Cauliflower Smoothie Recipe
Emerald Cauliflower Smoothie Recipe
1 ripe banana, frozen
1 cup of fresh, organic spinach leaves (rinsed)
1 cup frozen pineapple chunks
1/2 a small head of fresh cauliflower or frozen florets
250ml organic coconut milk
1 tsp Spirulina powder (I like Nature's Way Tropical)
1-2 scoops plant protein (I use vegan ProteinBoost by Arbonne)
1/2 cup crushed ice
Blend all ingredients into a high powered blender. Serve chilled in a bowl or tumbler. If you make it, pop in the comments and share what you thought!
Cauliflower Is A Trending Superfood
Brittany Mullins of the popular blog, Eating Bird Food is also becoming a big fan over cauliflower smoothies and points out that cauliflower only has about 2g of sugar while the more popular banana has around 15g; something to consider if you are using smoothies for weight loss.
"I feel like frozen cauliflower is the new banana when it comes to making smoothies super thick and creamy."
It definitely adds to the texture and if well blended with other nutritious ingredients won't be noticed. Remember, those funny looking white florets are a powerhouse of nutrition with one cup of cauliflower providing 77% of your recommended daily vitamin C intake, and in addition sources of vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, manganese, magnesium, and phosphorus. Pretty impressive in one hit.
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A Dieter's Best Friend, High in Fiber
Cauliflower is naturally high in dietary fibre, which is beneficial for overall health and weight loss. Fibre is the indigestible parts of plants and is essential for gut health as it feeds the healthy bacteria in your stomach and reduces inflammation while promoting better digestive health.
A well-balanced diet with fibre can help prevent obesity due to its ability to promote a feeling of fullness and reduce your overall calorie intake. Eating cauliflower, whether raw or cooked, can support your weight loss efforts and slow down digestion helping you reduce the number of calories you eat throughout the day.
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Are Your Choline Deficient?
Choline has several important functions in the body. According to Brianna Elliott, RD an expert contributor at Healthline, this nutrient plays a major role in maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, synthesizing DNA and supporting metabolism. Choline is also involved in brain development and the production of neurotransmitters that are necessary for a healthy nervous system. What's more, it helps prevent cholesterol from accumulating in the liver
Those who don't consume enough choline may have a higher risk of liver and heart disease, in addition to neurological disorders like dementia and Alzheimer's. Not many foods contain choline, but cauliflower, and broccoli, are two of the best plant-based sources of the nutrient.
The Low-Carb Alternative
As I mentioned above that cauliflower is low cal, high fibre and makes a great option for dieters.
Cauliflower is significantly lower in carbs than grains and legumes and can be used to replace high GI white or brown rice, and even made into a dairy-free "cheese" for vegans.
A cup of cauliflower provides approximately 5g of carbs in comparison to a cup of white or brown rice which may contains up to 45g of carb. Definitely time to explore the health benefits of this versatile vegetable.
*Those who are using blood thinners should not suddenly start eating a lot of cauliflower because the high levels of vitamin K could react adversely with the drugs.
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