So, one of the things I've always questioned is my relationship with cauliflower. I love it raw, especially when I make my raw couscous or simply eating it with a nice dip, but I often get a pretty funny digestive reaction to it. The way I feel after eating raw cauliflower made me wonder whether eating it raw was optimal or not. Most of the things I've heard about raw cauliflower are obviously various praises about it. Raw cauliflower has lots of cancer-fighting agents, and has vitamins and minerals to boot!
However, also floating around has been talk about the sulfur compounds found in raw cauliflower, though they're not bad for you (it's actually quite good for your skin), it kind of does give cauliflower that tasteless but gassy taste (and often reaction) for some. More importantly though, I learned that cauliflower (and other veggies in the brassica family as well as soy) contains goitrogens, a naturally-occurring substance that may interfere with proper thyroid function, especially if you already have hypothyroidism. The name "goitrogens" comes from "goiter," which refers to an enlarged thyroid gland. This can happen when your thyroid is having problems producing its usual hormones, and goitrogens obviously might get in the way of that process.
Hear me out first before you start to freak out! Obviously, if you don't have thyroid problems, you'd have to eat heads and heads of cauliflower for this to become a problem. Yet, I've always digestively preferred steamed cauliflower over any other method of eating it, so there must be something to that feeling. Lightly steaming your cauliflower does seem to inactivate some of the goitrogens in foods that contain them. Obviously, minerals and vitamins are also sensitive to heat, which why I stick to light steaming over boiling or baking, so that I don't wreck everything else that's good in my veggies.
Steamed Cauliflower & Raw Mushroom Gravy
I'm sorry this picture is so vile,
but how does one photogenically capture gravy?
Trust me though, it's deeelicious!
1/2 head of cauliflower, broken into big floret chunks
1/4 C sunflower seeds
3/4 C mushrooms (I used baby bellos)
1 small green onion
1/2 stalk of celery
2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon of Bragg's
1/4 C water
salt and pepper, to taste
(optional 1/2 clove of garlic)
1. Lightly steam your 1/2 a head of cauliflower florets for about 5-8 minutes.
2. While that's going on, blend all the mushroom gravy ingredients (everything but the cauliflower) in your blender until smooth.
3. Place caulifower into a bowl, and pour gravy on top.
4. You can optionally sprinkle the dish with nutritional yeast. Enjoy!