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I am Louise O'Driscoll, founder of Natural Balance. I am a Certified Eating Psychology Coach, helping people find their way to a healthy and happy relationship with food and body.

Change One Thing - Eat Cauliflower!

By louiseodriscoll, Nov 3 2014 02:01PM

This week's Change One Thing is pretty simple - it involves swapping rice or potato in one meal for cauliflower.

Cauliflower went out of fashion for a while, but with the increased popularity of low carb based diets, this brassica is enjoying something of a resurgence, and with good reason. It is versatile, delicious and packs an incredible nutritional punch. Whilst I'm not suggesting we should all turn to Atkins or Paleo diets, swapping simple white carbs such as rice or potato for cauliflower from time to time can be an easy way to make a healthy change.

▪ Cauliflower is a great source of dietary fibre and is packed with phyto-chemicals such as sulforaphane and plant sterols such as indole-3-carbinol. Together, these compounds have proven benefits against prostate, breast, cervical, colon and ovarian cancers.

▪ Di-indolyl-methane (DIM), a lipid soluble compound present in brassicas, has been found to be effective as an immune modulator, anti-bacterial and anti-viral agent.

▪ Fresh cauliflower is packed with vitamin C; 100 g provides about 48.2 mg or 80% of our daily recommended intake. This proven antioxidant helps fight against harmful free radicals, boosts immunity and prevents infections and cancers.

▪ Cauliflower contains B-complex groups of vitamins such as folates, Vitamins B5, B6, B1 and B3 as well as vitamin K. Our bodies require these vitamins to replenish itself and metabolise fat, protein and carbohydrate.

▪ It is also a good source of minerals such as manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium.

So this week, whatever meal you were thinking of preparing with rice, try cauliflower rice, it is quick, simple and delicious. Try roasted cauliflower with spices. Or very lightly steamed florets with a garlic and parmesan dressing.

If you were planning mashed potato, try this recipe (courtesy of Hemsley & Hemsley) below. Mashed cauliflower is as satisfying and comforting as potato mash yet will leave you feeling lighter and happy with the knowledge your health will benefit!

Cauliflower Mash (serves 2)

1 small garlic clove, peeled

1 large cauliflower, remove outer green leaves

1/2 tsp of English mustard

1/2 tbsp of butter to blend and 1 tsp of chopped up butter to top the mash

1 pinch sea salt

1 pinch black pepper

Optional 1 teaspoons of chopped chives or 1 finely sliced spring onion

Optional 30g of mature cheddar cheese, grated

In a saucepan steam the cauliflower and whole garlic cloves with just a few tablespoons of water, lid on, for 5 minutes or until the cauliflower is tender. Use a knife to check.

Remove the pan from the heat, drain any excess liquid and add the butter, grated cheese and mustard. Blend or mash until creamy and smooth. If it's too sloppy or wet allow the mash to evaporate on a low heat.

Season and add chives if using. Serve.

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