Temperatures are atypically hovering around 70 degrees. While I’m ready for fall, I’m not quite ready for my favorite fall recipes such as cauliflower mash, aka faux mashed potatoes -a quintessential comfort food fake.
But, cauliflower is in season -now! As a member of the brassica family, cauliflower is a true ‘super food’. While over-used, cauliflower is actually worthy of this term. Rich in sulforaphane, indoles and isothiocyanates, cauliflower supports multiple body systems; detoxification, antioxidant, and the inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system .
Cauliflower is also high in vitamin C, with one serving providing 77% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C . It is also high in fiber, and pretty much all the nutrients as it’s more popular and colorful cousin, broccoli. That is, of course, except chlorophyl. But, cauliflower has an edge over broccoli inside its cell walls, pectin. Just as pectin in apples provides thickening and gelling properties to applesauce, the pectin in cauliflower makes it creamy when cooked.
I love this recipe for its seasonal-neutral contrast of light citrus and subtle heat from the pepper flakes. The recipe is simple and quick to prepare, can be served warm or at room temperature and the texture is the same the next day. You can enjoy this and other cauliflower mash recipes year-round as the preparation works equally well with fresh or frozen cauliflower. However, keep in mind that while still nutritious, commercially packaged frozen cruciferous vegetables may lose many of the health benefits found in their fresh counterparts .
- 1 head fresh cauliflower, chopped into florets (or 1 pound frozen)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, olive oil or butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (or 1 head roasted garlic)
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon organic lemon zest (optional)
- A few tablespoons coconut, almond or rice milk, if desired for texture
- Place chopped cauliflower into a steamer insert inside of a saucepan or stock pot with an inch or two of water.
- Cover and steam until very soft when pierced with a fork. For fresh cauliflower, this will take 10-12 minutes. Frozen cauliflower will take less time.
- Remove the cauliflower from the heat.
- Allow the cauliflower to rest in the steamer for another five minutes.
- Transfer steamed cauliflower into a food processor or blender.
- Add all other ingredients, except the zest to the blender and process until smooth.
- Add rice or almond milk, if needed for a smooth texture.
- Readjust seasoning to taste, if needed.
- Top with lemon zest and serve.
What are your favorite ways to prepare cauliflower? Let me know!