A crunchy, healthy snack that’s good for you

My latest food obsession is baked cauliflower…I am absolutely obsessed with this easy-to-make, delicious-to-eat, healthy snack at the moment. It’s Paleo, it’s 5:2, it’s low GI, it’s just downright spectacular!

Cinnamon Baked Cauliflower

Not only is it the perfect Paleo snack, for 5:2 lovers it is a super low calorie way of filling yourself up on fast days.

I find myself making this recipe most days with a few minor variations to coincide with my mood and I leave it on the kitchen bench so when I pop into the kitchen looking for a food based distraction I have a health, low calorie snack to nosh on.

Ingredients:

•          1/2 cauliflower head broken into flowerettes.  Don’t discard the thick stalks they are so creamy and nutty when baked. Chop the stalks into bite sized pieces

•          Pinch or two of good quality salt

•          1-2 tsp cinnamon powder – no sugar added.  Although curiosity got the better of me 1 day and I added a drizzle of maple syrup OMG it was like there was heaven in my mouth…for me though sugar/syrup sets up the tyranny of food cravings 2-4 hours later and honestly it just isn’t worth the mental torture.

•          – If cinnamon doesn’t float your boat and you prefer more savoury flavours to your snacks try a tsp of cumin and tsp sesame seeds –

•          1 tbspn coconut oil (or if you are a bit over the ubiquitous coconut you are cooking at a lowish heat so 1 tbspn extra virgin olive oil)

 If you are concerned about your response to sugar/uncontrollable food cravings cinnamon is a great additive to your diet.  Research supports its use for as a mild blood sugar balancer.

Directions:

•          Grab your fave baking dish and line with baking paper which means you don’t have any washing up to do at the end  – I couldn’t love this recipe more if it bought me jewellery

•          Add all ingredients together to baking dish

•          Shake dish to mix all ingredients together

•          Pop in low oven (150C) for 30 mins.

•          When you see it starting to brown and go crispy on edges most probably it is finished

•          Push sharp object through a thick end of a stalk and if it penetrates easily if is cooked.  If it is a little underdone for you cover the dish and leave on your bench top as the steam will finish cooking.

I leave it uncovered on the bench all day as the flowerettes retain their crispy, crunchy texture better.  If you pop it in a container to take to work it will end up a little soft, still delicious, just soft.

For my gorgeous thyroid followers, yes cauliflower is a member of the family of vegetables that has goitrogenic properties so in theory can limit the production of thyroid hormones.  I have scoured all the available research on goitrogens for hypothyroidism and Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis and whilst admittedly evidence in human trials is limited studies have concluded no detected impact on thyroid function. Still on the fence?  Use your own body and energy as a guide.  Personally cooked cauliflower a few times a week has no impact on my energy levels which I self-monitor carefully nor on my thyroid lab results which I get done regularly.  However I do have a beautiful Hashi’s friend who feels she is sensitive to broccoli and cauliflower when cooked so she sensibly avoids it.

I’d love to hear from you about your delicious, healthy, easy-to-cook snacks.

In health,

Sonia x

Naomi Chambers