sesame cauliflower bites

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ingredients

1 small cauliflower head (about 2 cups of florets)
½ cup sprouted spelt flour
½ cup almond milk
½ tsp sea salt
½ tsp black pepper
½ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tsp avocado oil
Sesame seeds and green onion for garnish 

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sauce

2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp hot sauce (optional)
1 tbsp sesame oil
2 tsp sesame seeds
Splash of apple cider vinegar
 

make it

  1. Preheat oven to 400. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

  2. Chop the cauliflower into small florets, add to a colander and rinse well. Shake the colander to remove any excess water. Lay the cauliflower out on your cutting board. Use a clean towel or paper towel to dry the florets off. They don’t have to be completely dry but you don’t want any excess water on them.

  3. In a medium sized bowl, add the breadcrumbs and avocado oil. Season with a pinch of salt and black pepper, stir well. Set aside.

  4. In a large bowl add the flour, milk and spices; whisk well to combine. Add cauliflower into the batter and stir well so that each piece is well coated. You can always do this step in batches to make it easier.

  5. One at a time, shake off the excess batter from the florets and add to the breadcrumb mixture to coat. I like to use a fork to help ensure each floret is well coated in the crumbs. Place the florets evenly spaced on the baking sheet. Don’t over crowd the pan, you want to leave some space in between the florets so that they can get crispy in the oven.

  6. Place in the oven to roast for 30-40 minutes, or until the cauliflower is soft and the breadcrumbs are crispy.

  7. While the cauliflower is in the oven you can make the sauce: add all ingredients to a small bowl and use a whisk or fork to combine.

  8. Once the cauliflower is done, remove from the oven and add to a medium sized bowl. Pour the sauce over top and stir well until each floret is coated in sauce. Again you can do this step in batches if it is easier for you. Remove the cauliflower from the bowl and place onto your serving dish. Just before serving sprinkle generously with sesame seeds and green onions. Feel free to make extra sauce for dipping on the side.

 

Cauliflower is definitely having its moment right now.

You can find cauliflower in everything these days from pizza crust to cream sauces, to smoothies. It’s definitely the veggie of the year and with good reason. Cauliflower is very nutrient dense and compared to its other brothers and sisters in the brassica family vegetables (like broccoli, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts etc), it has a relatively mild flavour. Particularly when cooked, cauliflower works as a great base for so many different recipes. 

I happen to love the flavour of cauliflower on its own; it’s so delicious roasted with ghee and lots of salt and pepper. Believe it or not, roasting it this way really brings out its natural sweetness. Cauliflower mash is another fave; it’s one of our staple side dishes and I like to think my boyfriend doesn’t even miss mashed potatoes when I serve it. 

I can definitely appreciate those sneaky recipes that sub in cauliflower in place of dairy or grains- many of them are truly delicious! But for the most part I prefer highlighting the food itself and not hiding it or tricking others (or yourself) into eating it. It’s so awesome when you find those recipes that are simple and delicious and let the ingredients speak for themselves. 

So while cauliflower might have flown under the radar in the past, it’s now gaining popularity for it’s nutritional benefits. Kale and broccoli have been the superstars of the cruciferous vegetables for a few years now, but now we know that cauliflower deserves to be celebrated as well. Since it’s in the same family as these other vegetables, it has just as many health benefits as its green siblings. 

Cauliflower (and all of the cruciferous vegetables) is an excellent source of sulfur-containing compounds. These compounds, known as glucosinolates, are important for supporting our cardiovascular, immune and detoxification systems. Cauliflower is also a great source of vitamin C- one cup provide 73% of your daily recommended value! Cauliflower is also a great source of fibre, which is important as it helps keep you full and supports healthy bowels. 

There have been a lot of studies looking at the benefits of cruciferous vegetables and their role in cancer prevention. Vegetables like cauliflower contain antioxidants and enzymes that are being researched for their role in the destruction of cancer cells. The more you consume of these vegetables, the better. As with all other food groups, I recommend switching up what you eat on a regular basis. Broccoli will have a different combination of nutrients compared to cauliflower and cauliflower will be different from cabbage. So it’s always beneficial to have some variety. But the most important thing is to do your best to consume them on a regular basis. 

Overall I’m a big believer in incorporating more cruciferous vegetables on a regular basis. The strong flavour profile means that typically people either love them or hate them. But these vegetables can be so delicious if they are done right! They can be better than just salads or steamed/roasted as a side dish. It’s so important to switch it up! Get creative and find new ways to prepare them. Start by finding a new recipe to get inspired and you’ll soon find new and delicious ways of enjoying them.