Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower: A Delightful Raw, Vegan Snack!

by Gena on November 5, 2012

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Thank you for your warm and enthusiastic responses to Allyson’s cookbook! I hope many of you will have a chance to explore it. One of the recipes that caught my attention right away when I recieved the book was Allyson’s recipe for cinnamon roasted cauliflower, which is exactly what it sounds like: cauliflower roasted with cinnamon and a touch of cornmeal. It looked fantastic, and the idea of snackable cauliflower seemed like a fun departure from using cauliflower as a side dish or in entrees, which is the norm.

When I got to thinking about snackable cauliflower, my mind turned to one of my favorite raw food snacks: cauliflower coated in a raw, vegan “cheese” sauce and dehydrated till crispy. I wondered why I had never thought to make a sweet version of this old favorite, and Allyson’s use of cinnamon seemed like a perfect place to get started. Soon enough, cinnamon caramelized cauliflower was born.

The recipe calls for dehydrating the cauliflower, rather than roasting (this gives it just a slight and irresistible crunch), but roasting is a fine option if you don’t have a dehydrator. It’s quite a bit sweeter than Allyson’s recipe—hence the word caramelized—and it is, all things considered, totally delicious.

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Just look at each crispy, crunchy, sweet and salty bite!

Here’s how to make the magic happen.

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Cinnamon Caramelized Cauliflower

Makes 2 snack portions

2 1/2 cups cauliflower florets, cut small
5 pitted medjool dates
2 tablespoons almond butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp sea salt
2/3 cup water (more as needed)

1. Blend dates, almond butter, cinnamon, salt, and water in a high speed blender (or a food processor) till smooth. If the mixture is super thick, add a few more tablespoons of water as you go.

2. Coat the cauliflower florets well in the date and cinnamon mixture: you want them drenched! Place on a Teflex-lined dehydrator sheet and dehydrate at 115 for 8-10 hours, or until dry and slightly crispy.

Alternately, you can roast the cauliflower at 400 degrees Farenheit till it’s crispy on edges and tender on the inside (about 25 minutes). Enjoy!

I couldn’t be more delighted by this recipe! I have enjoyed it as a snack, as a sweet, yet veggie-ful dessert, and today, it got tucked into my daily lunchbox:

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Along with quinoa, fresh greens, and a simple tahini dressing:

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I highly recommend this recipe to all of you!

Before I go, an announcement for all of my HOYA readers. Though it rarely occurs to me that you’re reading, occasionally I do get an email from a fellow Georgetown student who reads CR. Last week, a student named Mary emailed me to ask if I’d be willing to join her in participating on a panel about eating disorders on campus. Mary is the brave, spirited, and caring survivor of an eating disorder battle, and she and a fellow student, Brittany, are now committed to creating a “safe space” in which anyone whose life has been affected by an ED can come to be supported. Whether you have an eating disorder yourself, are worried that certain eating or exercise tendencies may be blooming into a full blown ED, know anyone with an ED, or simply want to learn more, I really encourage you to join us. Representatives from student health services will be present, and you’ll have a chance to hear about the experience of disordered eating from three young women who have struggled and ultimately found a path out.

On the panel, we hope to address some of the myths surrounding disordered eating as we share our stories. Please join us. The details:

Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any mental illness. They are also alarmingly common on college campuses. We are organizing a panel discussion to foster dialogue on our campus about these serious illnesses (anorexia, bulimia, binge eating disorder, compulsive exercising, and other forms of disordered eating) and how they can affect students’ lives.

Several student panelists will share their own stories of an eating disorder struggle and recovery.

Faculty representatives from Health Education Services and CAPS will also be present to answer question, share information about resources available on campus, and address how to approach a friend you’re worried about.

We encourage people of all ages, genders, shapes, sizes, colors and sexual orientations to attend.

Thursday, November 8th at 8pm in ICC 107

Please holler if you have any questions; I look forward to connecting with some new students. I truly admire the young women who are speaking out about their experiences; I didn’t come to terms with my ED till after college, and I’m happy to have a chance to give back now.

xo

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{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

janet @ the taste space November 5, 2012 at 5:38 pm

Looks insanely awesome, Gena. I kind of wished I didn’t just commit to a no sweetener challenge because I want some of this right now. :-)

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Isabella November 5, 2012 at 5:55 pm

Hi Gena,

This recipe looks amazing cant wait to try it. I’m wondering where you bought your bought that plate or container (not sure what to call it)? I love how it portions out the foods very well!

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Gena November 5, 2012 at 9:35 pm

It was a gift! From my wonderful cousin. It’s from Anthropologie :)

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Averie @ Averie Cooks November 5, 2012 at 5:57 pm

A marinade of dates, almond butter, cinnamon …oh my YES!

And then you have to wait 8 hours for these beauties…what a cruel trick :)

Seriously Gena these look amazing and right up my alley!

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Lynn DeBuhr Johnson November 5, 2012 at 8:03 pm

These look wonderful! I’ve been expanding my dehydrating recipes. At this time of year I find it very warming as it gets a bit colder in the northern climes. And the smell of cinnamon as it feels the air warms my soul. Good luck with your panel discussion on eating disorders. I think that is a topic that should definitely be addressed. I think most of the eating we all do is emotional; it just isn’t always apparent.

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Sarah November 5, 2012 at 8:04 pm

This looks soooo yummy. You’re a genius

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Janae @ Bring-Joy November 5, 2012 at 8:17 pm

This recipe is one of the many reasons you’re awesome.

I think it’s really awesome that you’re taking your activism for ED awareness to a whole new level & really helping your community. Way to go, Gena, for being a voice & helping others know there’s hope!

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Lisa @ The Raw Serenity November 5, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Gena, this looks amazing. That marinade sounds like it would be awesome when making kale chips aswell!
I am so happy to hear that you get involve and support people who struggle with eating disorders. You are such a busy lady so to still make that a priority is one of the many things you are respected for.

I have been wanting to write a green recovery post for over a year now but felt that I should do it when I am healthy so people can hear how I did it and how they can do it to.
Today is a big day today because I finally got my period which means my body is now at a healthy weight.
And CR helped me reach it so your words are helping people like me all over the world.
Lisa

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Gena November 5, 2012 at 9:34 pm

Oh, Lisa!!! Congrats!!! Getting the big P back is a huge, momentous event in recovery from anorexia. I am so happy for you, and so proud that you’ve persisted in recovery, even when it’s hard. May this be a year of continued strength and healing for you.

And yes, do please share a GR story when you are ready :)

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raluca November 5, 2012 at 8:54 pm

Thank you for this wonderful recipe, I just made it! I wanted it a little spicy so I added cayenne pepper, it is in the dehydrator, cannot wait for tomorrow. Best wishes.

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Caity @ Moi Contre La Vie November 5, 2012 at 9:10 pm

I cannot WAIT to make this, it looks absolutely amazing. I’m blown away by your creativity, this is such a unique idea. I adore cauliflower recipes but it never occured to me to make a sweet treat rather than savory. Yum!

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Marissa November 5, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I’ve never dehydrated cauliflower before. I may have to run to the store tomorrow to pick some up ;)

It’s so funny that this recipe is on here tonight, too. I just returned home to find my brand-new vitamix waiting on my doorstep. I wanted to make something in it right away, but couldn’t think of what. As I munched on a gala apple, I found myself wishing that I had almond butter so that I could make a caramel sauce with almond butter and dates. So, on my run to get cauliflower tomorrow I can get the almond butter, too. Thanks for the recipe, Gena. This is going to be awesome!

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Gena November 6, 2012 at 7:06 am

I make such a sauce often, and was actually planning on posting one soon. Thanks for the enthusiasm!

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Lia November 5, 2012 at 9:48 pm

I love cauliflower bites! My mom makes them tossed with olive oil and arabic spices (a mix of cinnamon, nutmeg, and cumin) and roasts them until crispy. They never make it into a storage container. These are so interesting, being sweet, but sound pretty good. I’ll have to give them a go!

It’ll be great of you to get involved in that ED panel. You have a whole lot of insight about it all.

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Christine (The Raw Project) November 5, 2012 at 9:52 pm

This looks wonderful, very creative and fun for fall. I need to load my dehydrator with this recipe this weekend! :-)

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Fiona Young November 6, 2012 at 1:54 am

Holy crap that looks amazing. Going on the shopping list and recipe list for the week!

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Fiona November 13, 2012 at 11:09 am

Just made these and am not sure about them. The sauce was great and tasted like what I remember Cinnamon Toast Crunch Cereal tasting like. Just not sure if I like the combination of cauliflower and a sweet sauce. It was a great experience trying a new combination of flavors, but I don’t think I’ll be making them again. They made a mess in my dehydrator too; very drippy. I guess 3/4 c water was too much for me.

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Gena November 13, 2012 at 11:19 am

Friends of mine who have tried the recipe and I did well with the 3/4 cup, but I’ve changed it to 2/3 cup just in case people use smaller dates — easier to add water than take away.

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Fiona November 16, 2012 at 12:42 pm

Thanks! It actually worked out that it was too liquidy because i was left with a little leftover sauce which I combined with a tablespoon of cocoa and 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk to make a hot cocoa of sorts! Very yummy! (There were little crumbs of cauliflower in my cocoa which were actually kind of nice! Lol.)

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the delicate place November 6, 2012 at 9:32 am

i honestly can never say that i could imagine cauliflower would taste good ‘sweet’ but i love switching things up and trying new stuff all the time!

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Jo November 6, 2012 at 12:58 pm

I found your blog via Avery Cooks and though I’m not vegan, I love creative/healthy veggie snacks and I’m a bit obsessed with cauliflower. Excited to start following your blog and to try out this recipe (The baked variation.)

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Karen November 6, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Yum – this bowl of deliciousness looks right up my alley!

On another note, I so admire your ED outreach and advocacy work. This sounds like an especially worthwhile opportunity to support and inspire young folks. Good on you, Gena!

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Kathryn November 6, 2012 at 2:17 pm

How would you store these?

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Grish November 6, 2012 at 3:53 pm

What can you use instead of dates? My daughter is allergic to dates. I used to put dates in everything and post baby I’ve had to skip a lot of recipes I would otherwise run to the kitchen to make.

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Anna November 19, 2012 at 11:05 pm

You could try Coconut sugar :) I bet that would be great or rasins.

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Meatloaf November 7, 2012 at 3:07 am

Delicious food blog! I’ve found lots of yummy recipes here..feeling quite hungry now :)

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Jue T. November 7, 2012 at 6:09 am

What a yummy looking! Great!

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Heather @ For the Love of Kale November 7, 2012 at 9:32 am

It’s approximately 9:30 a.m.and I am salivating over these. GIRL!!!

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Dreena Burton November 7, 2012 at 9:08 pm

These look dynamite! To think most people are eating cauliflower steamed. ;) Going to share…

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Catherine November 7, 2012 at 10:05 pm

Wow what a great idea! I have a huge head of cauliflower just waiting to be dressed up and eaten, and this sounds fun!

Kudos to you also for speaking up for ED survivors and reaching out to those who may need guidance or inspiration. Congratulations on being in a position to do that.

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sweetenia@visioneyewear.co.uk November 7, 2012 at 10:25 pm

Wow. Great recipe. I love Cauliflower.

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raechel @the rebel grrrl kitchen November 8, 2012 at 12:04 am

Gena, I love this idea! Cauliflower is so versatile…I can’t wait to try this!

That panel sounds so great. And very important. Wish I could be there!

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Michelle@HappyHeart November 8, 2012 at 7:51 am

Wowsers! This is an awesome recipe; certainly one way to get kids eating more vegetables! Looks absolutely delicious!

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Marlena Torres November 9, 2012 at 8:41 am

This recipe is GENIUS Gena! I cannot wait to try! I love any easy recipe that lets me use my dehydrator.

Happy to hear about the ED support you’re doing. You rock, sista!

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lori November 9, 2012 at 7:41 pm

This is a must try for me!

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Tempe Thomas November 12, 2012 at 1:37 pm

LOVE THIS WEBSITE! Have been using it for months but am moved to comment here because this cauliflower is like an oatmeal cookie!!! I soaked the dates in warm water for ten minutes before using them and then used that water in the mix. AMAZING!

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Ashley November 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm

I made this with sunflower seed butter since I had just run out of almond butter and I loved the flavor of the sauce! If I ever had a craving for apple slices dipped in caramel, this would be what I would make! Final product isn’t quite complete, but I am sure it will be delicious! Thanks again for another great recipe!

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Marianne November 17, 2012 at 4:43 pm

Cauliflower is one of my bf’s fave veggies, and I’m always looking for new ways to use it (gotta encourage him to eat those veggies!). Adding this to my list of recipes to try out :)

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Liz February 25, 2013 at 3:07 pm

Gena,
What should the consistency of the sauce be like? Caramel, runny nut butter, or easily pourable?

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Liz March 5, 2013 at 12:49 am

Anyone that made this successfully, could you share what the consistency of your sauce was? Pourable or nut butter-like?

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Jen June 9, 2013 at 11:17 am

Hi, Liz! I have made these several times, and I like them best when the sauce is thick (just a little thinner than nut butter) because it sticks to the veggies better! This sauce is also great for kale chips!

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Natacha April 11, 2013 at 12:00 pm

just made a whole head of it. It’s still in the dehydrator (with also eggplant bacon, yum) and I was wondering how long and how I can best keep it?

Thank you, you are indeed an inspiration to all ;o)

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Natacha April 11, 2013 at 12:01 pm

also, I didn’t have any almond butter so I put tahini, don’t know how that’s going to turn out, but i’m excited!

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Jen June 9, 2013 at 11:11 am

Hi, Gena! I have made these several times, and I LOVE them!! You are a snack creating GENIUS! I never would’ve thought to put these flavors together, but they work beautifully! I also used the sauce for dehydrated kale chips, and that’s delicious, too! Thanks for a great recipe!

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Sanni July 31, 2013 at 3:39 am

Hi Gena, I made these for the first time yesterday. I don’t have a dehydrator so I went down the roasted in the oven route. I absolutely LOVE the sauce! My cauliflower wasn’t as crisp as I would have liked. I decided that I am going to buy myself a dehydrator. I only just discovered cauliflower pizza crust. To find another use for it as a dessert is a real gem! Thank you for inspiring me!!

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janet @ the taste space October 17, 2013 at 9:33 am

Simply delicious, Gena. This should have totally gone into your cookbook!! :)

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