Friday, January 21, 2011

Cauliflower Popcorn: It's All In The Marketing...

It seems that most people detest cauliflower. Why the bad rap- is it the over-cooked, limp cauliflower of our youth? Or is it the pale appearance? Whatever makes the nay-sayers refuse it, it is definitely time for another try. It's time to start marketing it right!

Cauliflower may be one of the healthiest veggies going- not only does it contain a super dose of Vitamin C, it also features Vitamin K, folate and fiber!

One little known fact is that it also contains a very small dose of Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids (yes, this is the same oil that is recently getting lots of publicity for its health benefits and can be found in things like fatty fish (salmon & sardines), flax, chia, and hemp!) I am not saying to eat cauliflower instead of fish or flax- those are much better sources of Omega 3's. Just a piece of information for you to (ahem) digest.

After discovering this fact, I did some reading and found out how important Omega 3's are- especially for children's brain develpment and concentration. Apparently the British government has even considered giving supplements to students to improve concentration. This made me go out and buy some flax oil to add to our morning smoothie.

I've read several sources that state that when olive oil is combined with Omega 3s, it makes it more readily available for your body to use. Although cauliflower isn't a major source, it is still a source and those little doses can be important to little growing bodies and brains!

Don't tell the kids (or adults!) that this one is good for them. Only tell them that they are having popcorn for dinner. It's all in the marketing...

Cauliflower Popcorn
This is fantastic on its own as a snack or as a veggie on your dinner plate. Delicious served with a tangy yogurt dip (just yogurt with some lemon juice and salt) or, as my kids prefer, sour cream- or a combo of both!
1 head cauliflower
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/8 tsp ground pepper

1. Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.
2. Remove core from cauliflower and discard. Cut out florets and, using fingers, pull each one apart into approximately 6 smaller pieces.
3. Place cauliflower pieces on (ungreased) cookie sheet, adding oil and seasonings. Rub into cauliflower with hands.
4. Place sheet on lower rack in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Use spatula to turn cauliflower. Bake 5 more minutes or until pieces are crispy on edges and slightly darkened.