Cocoa Roasted Cauliflower

This has quickly become one of my favorite comfort foods.  Yes, cauliflower!  Especially when it’s coated in all things good: cocoa, garlic, oil…  It’s delicious served with any meat dish or as a stand alone snack.

According to a new study by Harvard researchers show that cocoa consumption is associated with decreased blood pressure, improved blood vessel health, and improvement in cholesterol levels, among other benefits.

Eric L. Ding, PhD, of Harvard Medical School says the apparent health benefits come from polyphenolic flavonoids in cocoa that have the potential to prevent heart disease. Flavonoids are antioxidants that are commonly found in fruits, vegetables, tea, wine, and coffee.

In addition to decreasing blood pressure and improving blood vessel health, consumption of flavonoid-rich cocoa decreased “bad” LDL cholesterol among people under age 50, and increased good HDL cholesterol, the analysis showed.

And here you thought cocoa’s only benefit was that it taste great!  Now you can have your chocolate and eat it too.  Just make sure it is unsweetened cocoa when cooking and when indulging in a piece of chocolate, make it dark chocolate with 72 percent or better cacao.  I prefer 85 percent or better but did have to work my way up to the darker chocolates. Now I prefer them over the sugar-laden milk chocolates that have no health benefits.

Eat This With That

I love this dish served with Seasoned Chicken Breast and Garlicky Sautéed Kale.  This this a great dish served in the Fall or Winter, but really can be enjoyed most anytime.


Cocoa Roasted Cauliflower

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Yields: 4


  • 1 head of fresh organic cauliflower
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Remove the core of the cauliflower and break it into florets. Place the florets in a large mixing bowl.
  2. Add the paprika, cocoa, salt, pepper, garlic, and olive oil. Toss with two wooden spoons or your hands until the cauliflower is completely coated.
  3. Spread the cauliflower in a single layer on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 25-30 minutes, until tender.


Adapted from Well Fed Paleo Recipes by Melissa Joulwan

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