Camouflage and Cauliflower


In doing research for this blog post, I was not surprised to find that cauliflower is not America’s favorite vegetable*. And I can assure you that it wasn’t a big hit in my house while growing up either, only making the dinner table with other raw vegetables — carrot, celery, radishes, broccoli, etc. — alongside a bowl of Ranch Dip. Not the most appealing mealtime display.

But my taste has changed over the years. Vegetables that I would turn my nose up at are now among my favorite to eat — with a bit of camouflage.

Cauliflower Hummus

Cauliflower Hummus

Ingredients

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 cloves fresh garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 T Tahini paste (sesame seed butter)
  • 3 T lemon juice
  • 3 T cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 t cumin powder
  • 1/4 t smoked paprika
  • Salt to taste (1/2-1 t)

Instructions

  1. Steam the cauliflower in a pot with 1-2 inches of water for 3-8 minutes.
  2. Remove cooked cauliflower, placing it into the bowl of a food processor, and reserve the cooking liquid. Allow the cauliflower and liquid to cool for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining ingredients to the cauliflower in the food processor, cover and pulse until the ingredients are combined and no large pieces of cauliflower remain.
  4. While still pulsing the cauliflower, slowly drizzle in the reserved cooking liquid, 2 T at a time until the mixture reaches a hummus-like consistency. You will probably need about 1/4 c of the liquid, or slightly more, depending on your taste.
  5. Place the cauliflower hummus in a bowl and cool in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
  6. If you like, drizzle olive oil on top and serve alongside veggies and pita chips.

Mixing in the reserved cooking liquid, saves calories and cuts the fat. But you can use olive oil in place of the reserved cooking liquid, for a richer tasting dip.

While I still like hummus made with garbanzo beans, Cauliflower Hummus helps me enjoy the health benefits of cauliflower — vitamins, fiber, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, among others — while also adding a few more servings of vegetables into my daily diet.

*Although the survey was conducted in 2009, I would be surprised if the results have changed in the past four years. Can you guess what America’s favorite vegetable is?

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