“Cheesy” Cauliflower Soup

I often use nutritional yeast as a vegan cheese substitute because of its cheesy taste. It is not active, so does not promote yeast growth in the body. Nutritional yeast is a complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids. It’s an easy way to add extra protein to your dishes and extra flavor too!

Ingredients

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped onion (1 large onion)
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 small head cauliflower, finely chopped
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
1 (13–14-ounce) can coconut milk (light or regular)
3 cups water
1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (or to taste)
2 teaspoons paprika
½ teaspoon turmeric

Heat oil in a medium-size pot over medium heat. Add onions, garlic and half of the chopped cauliflower, reserving the other half to cook in the soup after it is blended. Add salt and pepper. Cook until vegetables are tender (about 20 minutes), stirring frequently. Add vegetables to a blender along with the remaining ingredients, except for the reserved cauliflower. Make sure to leave the lid partially open to release the heat of the soup when blending. Begin to blend on low speed gradually increasing until soup is thoroughly blended and smooth. Pour soup back into the pot, then add the remaining cauliflower. Cook over medium heat for 20–30 minutes, until cauliflower is tender and soup thickens. Serve warm or hot. Serves 2–4.

Health Benefits of Cauliflower

  • Fight CancerCauliflower contains sulforaphane, a sulfur compound that has also been shown to kill cancer stem cells, thereby slowing tumor growth. Some researchers believe eliminating cancer stem cells may be key to controlling cancer. For instance, research has shown that combining cauliflower with curcumin (the active compound in the spice turmeric) may help prevent and treat prostate cancer. It also inhibits the growth of cultured human breast cancer cells, leading to cell death.
  • Boost Heart Health: Sulforaphane in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables has been found to significantly improve blood pressure and kidney function.
  • It’s Anti-Inflammatory: Cauliflower contains a wealth of anti-inflammatory nutrients to help keep inflammation in check, including indole-3-carbinol or I3C, an anti-inflammatory compound that may operate at the genetic level to help prevent the inflammatory responses at its foundational level.
  • It’s Rich in Vitamins and Minerals: Most Americans are seriously lacking in nutrients their body needs to function. Eating cauliflower regularly is a simple way to get these much-needed nutrients into your body. One serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.
  • Boost Your Brain Health: Cauliflower is a good source of choline, a B vitamin known for its role in brain development. It may even diminish age-related memory decline and your brain’s vulnerability to toxins during childhood, as well as conferring protection later in life.
  • Detoxification Support: Cauliflower contains antioxidants that support detoxification. The glucosinolates in cauliflower also activate detoxification enzymes.
  • Digestive Benefits: Cauliflower is an important source of dietary fiber for digestive health.
  • Antioxidants and Phytonutrients Galore: Eating cauliflower is like winning the antioxidant and phytonutrient lottery. It’s packed with vitamin C, beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin, rutin, cinnamic acid, and much more. Antioxidants are nature’s way of providing your cells with adequate defense against attack by reactive oxygen species (ROS).

Nutritional Yeast:

  • With 18 amino acids, nutritional yeast is a complete protein. It is considered to be 55% high quality protein. In addition to that, it has 15 minerals.
  • For vegetarians and those who are on a low cholesterol diet, yeast is a great substitute for meat, dairy products or other sources of proteins that are also rich in fats.
  • It is a rich source of vitamin B complex, which helps in managing stress levels, maintains a good metabolic rate, prevents cancer of the pancreas and ensures a healthy skin. In fact, vitamin B12, which is deficient in most vegetarian foods is also added in certain varieties of nutritional yeast. This vitamin is produced separately from bacteria and then added to yeast to increase its health benefits.
  • Nutritional yeast consists of a trace mineral – chromium, which is known as Glucose Tolerance Factor (GTF). It is beneficial for dealing with diabetes, low blood pressure and fluctuating blood sugar levels.
  • It is also rich in manganese, copper, vanadium, molybdenum and lithium.

Other health benefits include:
It maintains ideal intestinal ecology.
It improves blood production.
It helps in maintaining optimum cholesterol levels.
It improves liver health and function.

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