Raves and Faves: Cauliflower “Popcorn”

My current favorite healthy snack: roasted cauliflower “popcorn.”

As much as I’ve reworked my relationship with my TV, it’s still something I enjoy watching, whether that’s a good movie, streaming shows on Netflix, or comic gems like “Jerry’s Retirement” from Parks and Recreation. Even though I’ve learned new ways to relax and unwind, watching a good show instantly calms my busy mind.

When I first started with life coaching, I knew this was an area that I wanted to reign in (I’ll share more on my progress later). Although my previous TV-viewing habits included snacking, I’ve been better about noshing while vegging out. If I think I’m hungry, I have a glass of water. If that doesn’t do the trick, I’ll drink a cup of hot tea. Or I’ll pause my show, take some deep breaths with my eyes closed and really listen to my body: Am I really hungry? Or is this just habit?

If I am indeed hungry, I look for healthy (or “healthier”) alternatives:

  • Air-popped popcorn with a touch of real, pastured butter; or spray it with coconut oil and sprinkle on some sea salt; or pop it in coconut oil.
  • Fresh fruit if I have a sweet tooth — berries with some local honey if I want it even sweeter; or blended frozen berries and coconut milk (with or without protein powder, depending on the day’s previous meals); or an apple with raw almond or organic peanut butter.
  • Speaking of nut butters: I’ve been known to savor a teaspoon of PB or almond butter, a snack my grandfather would grab after a long day at the hospital.

My latest favorite snack is roasted cauliflower, which I eat like popcorn. It’s one of the easiest ways to cook cauliflower (check out Pilar’s demo with Jamie Yuccas at WCCO-TV below), and it’s delicious. As a cruciferous vegetable, it’s a powerful detoxifier and anti-inflammatory food, and packed with vitamin C — 1 cup of steamed cauliflower boasts 90 percent of the RDA for vitamin C. The co-op sells quarters of cauliflower, which feels like the perfect serving size when it’s cooked.

cauliflower popcorn

Cauliflower Popcorn Recipe

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (I set mine at 375, and usually remove the battery in my smoke alarm because it always goes off when I roast; for safety, obviously, stay close to your oven in case of fire).
  • Chop or break cauliflower into bite-size pieces. Place in a large bowl.
  • Toss with extra-virgin olive oil and sea salt, and pepper if desired. It’s also tasty with turmeric (and more anti-inflammatory, due to the healing properties of its active ingredient curcumin). I recently read that actress Thandie Newton adds a few spoonfuls of turmeric to water as a regular beverage, and adds some to her tinted moisturizer to match her skin tone.
  • Spread the cauliflower in one layer on a baking sheet.
  • Cook for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the cauliflower has a golden brown color on the edges for a yummy caramelized flavor.
  • Place in a festive bowl and eat with a small fork or your fingers. Enjoy!

Find more recipes for cauliflower in “Cauliflower Power.”

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