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Cauliflower Power

Posted 6/5/2017 by UHBlog

Eating more cauliflower can reduce your risk of cancer and boost your brain and heart health. Ask us.

Cauliflower Power

“Tough” may not be the first word that comes to mind when you think about cauliflower, but this superfood is hard-hitting when it comes to health benefits.

“There isn’t a person who has not been touched by cancer,” says registered dietitian nutritionist Amy Jamieson-Petonic. “The research with regard to cauliflower’s cancer reduction is significant. Eating cruciferous vegetables (like cauliflower) is also positively associated with reducing your risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity and diabetes.”

Another cauliflower bonus: If you consume it at least once a week, it can help better regulate your blood cholesterol.

People like cauliflower because it can be prepared in so many ways, according to Jamieson-Petonic. And if you’re not a big fan of the flavor, it’s easy to disguise.

When preparing cauliflower, Jamieson-Petonic offers these dos and don’ts:


  • Soak it – “Cut the cauliflower head into quarters and let it soak for 5 minutes before cooking,” she says.
  • Add turmeric – Try adding 1 teaspoon of turmeric, an anti-inflammatory agent.
  • Eat colorfully – “Purple cauliflower's color is due to anthocyanins, which help regulate blood lipids, sugar levels and body weight,” Jamieson-Petonic says.


  • Boil cauliflower – It can become waterlogged and loses nutrients.
  • Stick with the same old recipe – “Cauliflower is a superfood that's easy to disguise if you're not a big fan,” she says. “Cauliflower is great pureed like mashed potatoes, made into pizza crust or blended into a creamy soup.”

While there are plenty of websites with cauliflower cooking ideas, here are three recipes from some of Jamieson-Petonic’s favorite cooking websites that will get you started with incorporating this tasty and versatile food into your diet:

Roasted Cauliflower Steaks

  • 2 heads cauliflower
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • ¼ cup golden raisins
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, torn
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Cut off the cauliflower stems, and then place the heads cut-side down and slice into 1/2-inch-thick steaks. Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper on both sides. Transfer to the oven and bake until golden brown, 20 to 25 minutes, flipping after the first 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, add the pine nuts to a dry medium sauté pan and toast over medium heat until golden brown, about 3 minutes. Add the raisins and butter, and season with salt. Cook, tossing, until the butter has melted and coats the pine nuts and raisins. Turn off the heat, and stir in the parsley.
  3. Transfer the roasted cauliflower to a serving platter. Pour the pine nut-raisin mixture over the top. Season with salt.

Reprinted from Food Network.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

  • 1 head cauliflower, stalk removed
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until fine. Steam in a steamer basket and drain well. Jamieson-Petonic places the steamed cauliflower out on a towel to get all the moisture out and lets it cool.
  3. In a bowl, combine the cauliflower with the mozzarella, Parmesan, oregano, salt, garlic powder and eggs. Transfer to the center of the baking sheet and spread into a circle, resembling a pizza crust. Bake for 20 minutes.
  4. Add desired toppings and bake an additional 10 minutes.

Reprinted from Food Network.

Creamy Mashed Cauliflower

  • 8 cups bite-sized cauliflower florets (about 1 head)
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1/3 cup nonfat buttermilk (see tip)
  • 4 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Snipped fresh chives for garnish
  1. Place cauliflower florets and garlic in a steamer basket over boiling water. Cover and steam until very tender, 12 to 15 minutes. (Alternatively, place florets and garlic in a microwave-safe bowl with ¼ cup water, and then cover and microwave on High for 3 to 5 minutes.)
  2. Place the cooked cauliflower and garlic in a food processor. Add buttermilk, 2 teaspoons oil, butter, salt and pepper. Pulse several times, and then process until smooth and creamy. Transfer to a serving bowl. Drizzle with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil and garnish with chives, if desired. Serve hot.

Tip: No buttermilk? You can use buttermilk powder prepared according to package directions. Or make “sour milk” by mixing 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar to 1 cup milk.

Reprinted from Eating Well.

For more ideas on how to incorporate healthy eating into your diet, a registered dietitian can help. To make an appointment, call 216-844-1499.

Amy Jamieson-Petonic, MEd, RDN, CSSD, LD, is a registered dietitian nutritionist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center. You can request an appointment with Jamieson-Petonic or any other health care professional online.

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