Halal Consumer - Issue 30 - page 7

“Eat the rainbow” is a popular adage that is often repeated in order
to encourage us to eat a varied diet. Cauliflower is the perfect vege-
table to do just that. “White cauliflower has several health benefits,
including being very low in calories, containing antioxidants and
vitamins, and being very low in fat and containing no cholesterol,”
states YaQutullah Ibraheem Muhammad MS, RDN, LD. Muhammad
is a licensed dietician who encourages her clients to eat a naturally
colorful diet. “Cauliflower also contains several phyto-chemicals
including sulforaphane and plant sterols. Fresh cauliflower provides
an excellent source of vitamin C and contains good amounts of
many vital B-complex groups of vitamins including folates, panto-
thenic acid (vitamin B5), pyridoxine (vitamin B6), thiamin (vitamin
B1), and niacin (B3),” Muhammad continues.
When we look at the colorful varieties of cauliflower, the
advantages increase. Orange cauliflower has 25 percent more
vitamin A than the white variety. Additionally, purple cauli-
flower is especially high in the flavonoid group anthocyanins.
Anthocyanins have been shown to exhibit antioxidant proper-
ties and may carry anti-viral and anti-cancer benefits.
With many of us becoming increasingly health conscious, there
has been a desire to decrease caloric and carbohydrate intake.
Many home cooks have had success with substituting cauli-
flower for starchy foods, such as rice and potatoes. “Cauliflower
is considered a non-starchy vegetable due to its very low carb
content and low glycemic index rating. Cauliflower and other
non-starchy vegetables can be substituted for peas, potatoes, and
corn for diabetic and other patients looking to reduce their car-
bohydrate intake with meals,” Muhammad encourages.
This simple vegetable is extremely versatile when it comes to
culinary applications. Cauliflower’s high pectin content makes it
a perfect substitute for mashed potatoes, as it easily mimics the
mouth feel of the traditional recipe. Simply steam cauliflower
florets until soft and toss into the food processor or blender. A
few tablespoons of cream cheese or organic butter can be added
for flavor. Milk should be included for additional richness. This
is a technique that Candis Robinson has tried with much success.
Robinson struggled with gestational diabetes while pregnant
with her son. As a result, she is at risk for developing Type 2
diabetes in the future. This has been a catalyst for Robinson to
work at keeping her blood sugar levels steady. One way to do
that is to decrease her carbohydrate consumption. “I was looking
for a way to enjoy some of my favorite foods while continuing
to reduce my carbohydrate intake,” Robinson explains. “Using
cauliflower as a substitute for mashed potatoes is a perfect way
to have my favorite comfort food without the carbs. Plus, it’s
yummy. I forget I’m eating vegetables,” Robinson continues.
Recently, many home cooks have developed creative and delicious
applications for cauliflower, including pizza crust, cauliflower
“tater tots,” and more. With a variety of vitamins and nutrients,
plus a surprising amount of versatility, we should all be encouraged
to take a second look at this colorful, cruciferous vegetable.
AMANI JABBAR
is a certified fitness instructor and second grade
teacher. She holds an MA in English and enjoys coupling her love of writ-
ing with her passion for health and wellness.
Ingredients
1 medium head cauliflower
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
seasonings of choice
Directions
1. Remove outer leaves and
stems from cauliflower.
2. Pulse florets of cauliflower in
the food processor until they
are the consistency of rice.
3. Heat oil in a large frying pan or
wok over medium-high heat.
Add garlic, riced cauliflower, and
seasonings of choice. Toss until
lightly browned and fragrant.
4. Serve with your favorite sauce.
Three-Step
Cauliflower “Rice”
By Amani Jabbar, MA
When choosing cauliflower,
look for heads that are tightly
bunched without any soft or
brown spots. Store cauliflower
in the crisper drawer for up
to a week.
Fall 2014
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