Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Cauliflower: Is There Anything It Can't Do?

The answer to that question remains an enthusiastic "No!", at least in my kitchen.

This time of year, I make a lot of chocolate shakes/smoothies, using frozen raspberries to create a thick texture. As much as I love that flavor combination, sometimes I just want a plain chocolate shake, so I had to come up with something else to freeze that would provide that same thickness without adding flavor (or carbs, as did the go-to choice during my pre-Primal eating days, frozen bananas).

Since I have previously enjoyed cauliflower cooked with coconut cream as a dessert, I gave it a try as frozen texture provider in a chocolate shake, and Holy Smokes! To say it exceeded my expectations would be an understatement. For someone who eats dairy ice cream and sugar every day, this might not rev their engine. But if it's been a while since you've consumed those things for any reason, this could make your day. I used a regular blender; no Vitamix required!!

My only suggestion is that you keep the container that held the frozen cauliflower away from your nose as you eat your treat, as the cabbage-y smell may confuse your palate, adding a flavor that isn't in the actual smoothie.

Primal Chocolate Shake
Serves 1-2

2 cups cauliflower florets
1 cup (8 fluid ounces) full fat coconut milk (from a can, not from a carton)
3 tbsp. cocoa powder (preferably NOT Dutch processed)
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
13 drops of Stevita brand stevia*, or to taste

Cook cauliflower (steamed or in a little water) until somewhere between fork-tender and soft. Allow to cool at room temperature, then freeze**.

When you are ready to make the shake, if the cauliflower is rock hard, allow to thaw a little bit at room temperature (about 10 minutes). Add all of the ingredients to a blender. Blend as you would any kind of smoothie. I like to start at a lower speed and gradually ramp it up. If you like to start it on high and keep it there, have at it. 

Blend until the cauliflower is obliterated and the shake is smooth and thick.

Berry Variation

Replace 1 cup of cauliflower with 1 cup frozen strawberries or raspberries
Add 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar

If using any other brand of stevia, start with a very small amount, and add in tiny increments until it reaches your ideal level of sweetness

** You can also use store-bought frozen cauliflower. No need to cook it beforehand; just thaw for about 5-10 minutes before blending.

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