Thursday, October 28, 2010

Raw Purple Cauliflower Crudité With Tahini Dipping Sauce

Purple cauliflower from my garden.

Purple Cauliflower?
When I planted my winter garden, I picked up a tray of cauliflower starts. After planting them, I put in the little plastic marker so I'd know what I planted and noticed that it said, "purple cauliflower"! I thought I had bought the regular, run of the mill white cauliflower! You know, the kind that makes lovely white soups. I was a little annoyed that I didn't pay more attention to what I had bought but then I got excited at the thought of this unusual vegetable. But I did wonder, "what am I going to do with 14 heads of purple cauliflower?"
Yesterday I picked my first head. I broke off a piece and noticed how tender and lovely it was. What a shame it would be to cook it. I decided to just serve it raw. I cut it up in little pieces and put it on a sushi plate with dipping sauce. I may post more interesting and exotic recipes with the rest of the heads but last night we just enjoyed a really good glass of pinot while we dipped our first head of purple cauliflower in this yummy tahini dipping sauce.

Health Benefits
Purple cauliflower makes a delicious and unusual crudité. When eaten raw, it's packed with vitamin C. It's a cruciferous vegetable so it has cancer prevention properties. It does this in three ways: by detoxifying the body, as an antioxidant and as an anti-inflammatory. It gets its purple color from anthocyanins, the same antioxidant flavonoids found in red cabbage and red wine. So you get the added benefit from these beneficial phenolic phytochemicals.

Omega 6 to omega 3 ratio
I've written many times about how important it is for people not to eat too many omega 6 fatty acids without balancing them with omega 3. Otherwise, the omega 6 fatty acids will block the conversion of the ALA omega 3's to the more healthful DHA and EPA. The ratio for vegans should be anywhere from 4:1 to 1:1. The tahini in this dipping sauce has almost all omega 6's so in order to drive the ratio to 1:1, I add a tablespoon of flaxseed oil. That same dipping sauce with olive oil instead of flaxseed oil would have a ratio of almost 18:1 omega 6 to omega 3 and that is not as good for you, especially if you are vegan. This is not as critical for people who get their EPA and DHA omega 3's directly from fish.


Raw Purple Cauliflower Crudité with Raw Tahini Dipping Sauce
[Makes 4 appetizer servings]
For the crudité
1 head raw purple cabbage (cut up)
For the dipping sauce
2 tablespoons raw tahini
2 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon nama shoyu soy sauce
2 tablespoon raw agave nectar
1 garlic clove, mashed and finely minced
1 tablespoon of cold pressed, unrefined flaxseed oil

Thoroughly combine all of the ingredients for the dipping sauce. Divide up the cauliflower pieces onto 4 sushi plates and serve with small soy sauce bowls filled with 2 tablespoons of tahini dipping sauce.

Per serving: 143.6 calories, 7.3 g fat, 0.8 g saturated fat, 1.9 g ALA omega 3 and 2.0 g omega 6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 4.5 g protein, 18.6 g carbohydrates and 4.0 g fiber.

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Debra said...

The Raw Purple Cauliflower is absolutely gorgeous!! I am still amazed at the garden you have produced. I wish I was your neighbor:) I have never purchased Tahini, but my daughter uses it a lot and loves it. I am definately going to purchase it and give this recipe a try. Also, your health information was very informative. Thank you.

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Tahini is amazing. One of my favorite recipes is "lemon tahini encrusted baked cauliflower" posted on March 5th, 2009. Here's the link

amy said...

Amazing website!! I will definitely be making that dipping sauce! Thanks,

Amy :)