Cauliflower Popcorn is so addictive I challenge you to make it so far as to get yours into the dehydrator (or oven) for step 2... without eating it all first!
This flavorful, smoky, cheesy, salty-sweet indulgence tastes phenomenal tossed up fresh... however, an hour or two in the dehydrator (or oven- see below) renders it crispy and warm with its tantalizing aromas wafting throughout the kitchen so do try to hold out! This raw food yumminess is brimming with powerful life-force, enzymes, phytonutrients and vitamins galore. It's a snack that makes us feel as phenomenal as it tastes! Whenever I eat Raw Snacks I feel satiated, energized and just plain fantastic. Cauliflower Popcorn is no exception! Loaded with all the flavor of our favorite snack chips and tidbits without any of the downside... except perhaps that I couldn't hoard it all to myself once Jim had a taste. He couldn't get enough and rates it...
The Benefits (and this is just a few mind you!)
Fights Cancer - Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sufur compound proven to kill cancer stem cells thus slowing tumor growth, and to inhibit the growth of cultured breast cancer cells leading to cell death. Moreover, research shows, cauliflower with curcumin (the active compound in the turmeric in this recipe) may help prevent & treat prostrate cancer. Additionally, the Indoles and isothiocyanates in cauliflower have been shown to potentially inhibit cancer development of the bladder, breast, colon, liver, lung and stomach according to the National Cancer Institute.
Boosts Heart Health - The sulforaphane in cauliflower has been shown to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function. These benefits are related to improved DNA methylation, a process crucial for normal cellular function and gene expression especially in the easily damaged inner lining of the arteries.
Supports Detoxification - Cauliflower supports Phase 1 detoxification via certain antioxidants and Phase 2 detoxification via it's sulfur-containing nutrients while the glucosinolates in cauliflower activate detoxification enzymes in the liver.
Anti-Inflammatory - Excessive inflammatory response when no threat is present can lead to inflammation-related damage in the body linked to many diseases including cancer depending on the organs impacted. Cauliflower's wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients keep inflammation in check.
Rejuvenates Skin Hair & Nails - As you know by now, consuming a variety of veggies & fruits is important in order to receive all their valuable vitamins and minerals. Cauliflower specifically, contains Vitamins A, E, C & K as well as B vitamins, folate, sodium, potassium, calcium, manganese, zinc, fats, niacin, copper and iron. The biotin in cauliflower has been found to control dandruf and thicken nails. The plethora of antioxidants such as vitamin C in cauliflower destroy free radicals that accelerate the signs of aging. Additionally, the Vitamin C is required for growth & repair of tissues in all parts of the body including the formation of collagen in addition to making skin, scar tissue, tendons, ligaments and blood vessels.
Boosts Digestion - That good old aforementioned sulforaphane has been shown to protect the lining of the stomach by preventing bacterial overgrowth of Helicobacter pylori. Additionally, cauliflower provides an great source of dietary fiber which is also crucial for digestive health.
Antioxidants & Phytonutrients Galore - Cauliflower is packed with tons of Vitamin C, beta-carotene and antioxidants like quercetin and cinnamic acid which provide cells adequate defense against attack from reqctive oxygen species or ROS. A proper supply of antioxidants helps banish free radicals enabling the body to resist aging caused by everyday pollutants, stress and more.
Boosts Brain Health - Cauliflowers abundant supply of choline is a B vitamin crucial in brain development. Choline intake during pregnancy "super-charges" the brain activity of animals in utero indicating it may boost cognitive function, prevent age-related memory decline, and improve memory & learning.
Overall Raw Foods Power - Nutrient dense, whole, plant-based foods that haven't been heated above 118 F retain their full nutritional value preserving all their naturally occuring living enzymes. Additionally, raw foods are still filled with vital life energy - the magic of life force, also known as chi or prana. I personally integrate a large portion of raw foods into my diet, finding at the moment as the weather is cooling, a proportion of 80% raw to 20% cooked is working best for me. In the heat of summer, I find myself eating close to 100% raw foods - though someday this too may change - and of course you'll be the first to know :) Not only are we each unique with personalized needs, what works for us now may not be what works best for us a year or 5 or 10 years down the line. We always want to pay attention to the signals our bodies are providing in response to the changing seasons, our environment, habits, history, genetic predisposition etc.
*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
I've been wanting to make a raw food version of this snack favorite which is, more typically, roasted in the oven. As you can tell, the results are beyond amazing! Please enjoy this fantastic treat and leave your thoughts in the comments below!
Recipe for Cauliflower Popcorn
- 1 head cauliflower separated into 2 x larger than popcorn pieces (they'll shrink in the dehydrator)
- 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (I like KAL brand)
- 1/2 tsp turmeric
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (if you're a raw purist skip, tho it adds fabulous flavor)
- 1 tsp powdered stevia or xylitol
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- sea salt & fresh cracked pepper to taste
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin coconut oil melted (or sub EVOO or use a combo of the two)
- Shake everything up in a large ziplock bag until all the pieces are thoroughly coated.
- Spread out on a couple of teflex sheet covered dehydrator trays and dehydrate* at 135F for 1 hour (don't worry, the food is throwing off heat at this point & the internal temp remains under 115) and turn down to 115F for another hour or two until the mixture has dried and the popcorn is slightly crispy.
*Alternatively, if you don't yet have a dehydrator, spread mixture on a silpat or parchment covered baking sheet, place in oven on lowest setting with door propped open an inch or two. Check on the popcorn often as the oven will still likely be much hotter than 135F & 115F and, therefore, the process will be much faster.
Do you have a favorite "traditional" recipe you'd like upgraded into a beautiful Vegan or Raw Vegan version? Share it below for a chance to have me recreate it for you!
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