I love cauliflower regardless of how it is prepared but I know, for some people, the taste of cauliflower can be quite strong… not to worry there are tricks around this.
Some of suggestions are not 100% raw, but you can choose to use the technique that best matches your journey in healthy eating.
This “strong” taste that I am referring can also be interpreted as a bitterness. It is often detected more so when cooking cauliflower. Before I share a few techniques… where does this bitterness come from? Cauliflower contains phytonutrients that release pungent sulfur compounds when heated. The specific compound that makes cauliflower bitter is phenylthiocarbamide, also known as PTC. Some people are genetically more sensitive to PTC. (source)
When preparing this raw dish, I added cashews and cold pressed olive oil. Both of which are healthy fats. They not only add a creaminess to the overall dish, but the fat helps to calm down the bitterness as well.
Lightly blanching cauliflower can also tame that bitterness as well. Place the cauliflower florrets in a bowl, cover with boiling water for about 45 seconds. Drain and rinse in cold water to stop the cooking process.
If all else fails and you still find cauliflower too bitter for your liking, you just might be what they refer to as a Supertaster. It is estimated that 25% of us are supertasters. A cape and skin-tight leotard come with this title. :) This means that you have inherited a higher-than-normal number of taste buds and are typically more sensitive to strong, bitter foods. Such as raw broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, cabbage, grapefruit juice, dark chocolate, coffee, etc. You just may struggle with such foods regardless of how they are prepared.
Another option is to steam the cauliflower. To mellow the flavor, soak the entire head (leaves removed) in cold, salted water for 30 minutes before steaming. Some of the bitter components will leach out. Soaking cauliflower will also give your cauliflower a snow white appearance. Be sure not to steam for no longer than five minutes. The short cooking time will limit the odorous sulphur released.
If you thyroid problems, cruciferous vegetables are high in goitrogens which can mess with the thyroid when eaten raw in abundance, so steaming such veggies every once in awhile might be a good idea. It’s all about you and feeding your body the best possible way.
To select a good cauliflower, look at the leaves surrounding the head if you’re picking it fresh. They should be vibrant and green, wilted or browning leaves can mean the cauliflower is no longer fresh and starting to go bad. Next, check out the color of the cauliflower, white is the most common color, followed by light green, a pale orange and even purple. Should you stumble upon brown or yellow, could mean the head of cauliflower is bad and not as hip as the other fun colors. :) To the touch the cauliflower should be spongy and a bit firm to the touch, soft indicates is another indication that it is going bad.
Yields 2 cups
- 1 lb (4 cups) chopped cauliflower florets
- 1/2 cup cashews, soaked 2+ hours
- 2 Tbsp water
- 1 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
- 1 tsp fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- Remove the outer leaves from the cauliflower and cut away the large stem. Wash and pat dry. Rough chop and place in the food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, and pulse until the cauliflower reaches a rice-like texture.
- After soaking the cashews, drain and discard the soak water. Add the cashews to the food processor along with the water, olive oil, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, salt and pepper. Process until creamy.
- Enjoy at room temperature or warm in the dehydrator at 115 degrees for 1 hour or until warm to touch.
- Store leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days. Maybe longer.
Top with this raw, vega, wonderful gravy!