Cauliflower for breakfast?
If I text “it’s recipe testing day, wanna eat here?” to most of my friends or family members, they’ll usually agree enthusiastically. After all, I would say that most of my recipe experiments, even if the recipe is not yet perfected, are enjoyable. But after a certain incident, I have ruined all of my cauliflower recipes for one friend.
If you know me, you know I praise the versatility of cauliflower in a grain-free diet. I’ve used it to make paleo-friendly wraps, so I wanted to try making paleo cauliflower muffins. I even put bacon in them which, I thought, was a brilliant move. In my defense, I thought the muffins turned out pretty good.
I offered these paleo muffins, omitting cauliflower in the description, to my friend. His face contorted dramatically and he asked, “what did I just eat?” Evidently, some people do not expect cauliflower in a baked good. Imagine that. Ever since, he has refused to sample any of my cauliflower recipes.
I haven’t told him I’ve been eating porridge made with the vegetable.
America’s Backward Breakfasts
On Facebook, I recently shared an article which compared the breakfast habits of Americans to other cultures. In America, we consider it normal to start the day with dessert: cereal, waffles, toast and jam, bagels, muffins, or pancakes. Those high-glycemic foods shoot a high concentration of sugar into the bloodstream, causing blood sugar imbalances and behavioral problems (in children and adults) throughout the rest of the day.
From the American perspective, it seems backward to start the day with a savory, vegetable-based meal. But I believe a successful day should start with a savory, nutrient-dense breakfast.
Savory Porridge: About the Ingredients
Cauliflower creates a creamy porridge texture, when cooked and blended with an immersion blender. The idea of cauliflower porridge may sound off-putting, but the flavor is unobtrustive and beautifully compliments the bright pesto and crunchy nuts.
Canned coconut milk (not from the carton) provides the rich, creaminess integral to this recipe. It also provides short chain fatty acids, which are shown to boost metabolism. If desired, you can use light canned coconut milk.
Collagen protein is the only form of isolated protein I use and recommend (it’s available here). It dissolves without flavor or texture into the porridge, adding only a hefty serving of satiating protein. If I omit this from the recipe, I’ll enjoy the porridge alongside eggs to get in another form of protein.
Pesto and hazelnuts are the additions I chose, but tailor these toppings to your own dietary restrictions. I whipped up a simple batch of basil pesto, omitting the pine nuts and parmesan. In addition or in place of the toasted hazelnuts, you could drizzle nut/seed butter. As I’ve mentioned before, I highly recommend these sprouted nut butters for optimal nutrition.
- 1 medium head cauliflower, cut into florets
- 1 can coconut milk
- ¼ cup grassfed collagen protein, available here (optional)
- Salt, to taste
- Huge handful of basil
- Juice of 1 lemon
- Olive oil, about ¼ cup
- Salt, to taste
- In a medium saucepan with a lid, place the cauliflower and the coconut milk. Cover and cook on medium-low heat until very tender, about 20 minutes.
- Cool slightly, then use an immersion blender to puree into a porridge-like texture. Stir in the collagen protein and salt.
- To make the pesto, I eye-balled the ingredient amounts. I put the ingredients in a tall container and then blended with my immersion blender. It's difficult to mess up pesto. If you prefer, use a more detailed recipe or a jarred version.
- Top the warm porridge with the pesto and other additions. I use pesto, hazelnuts, and truffle oil.