From the Skeptical Cardiologist's Cookbook: Darwin Dali-ghts ©

Food preparation is not the forte’ of the skeptical cardiologist.
However, a “heart-healthy” snack he created yesterday is generating such a buzz in the Pearson kitchen that he felt compelled to share it.


IMG_3344One head of cauliflower, raw, uncooked and broken up into florets . Mine was organic from Whole Foods. Peanut butter. Mine was ground from peanuts a week earlier at Whole Foods.


It takes about 2 minutes to convert a head of cauliflower into bite size pieces. Be sure to leave the stems intact because they can be used as “handles”, if you will, to dip the cauliflower pieces into the peanut butter.


My friend Charles had his doubts initially but became a huge fan after  having a few bites. His skepticism evolved into a passionate belief in the snacks.

Salvador was entranced and made vertiginous by the phantasmagoria of colors, textures  and shapes that emerged from the combination of cauliflower and peanut butter.


Nutritional Content

This snack, which I have dubbed  a Darwin Dali-ght ©, combines two heart healthy ingredients.

 cauliflower nutritionA head of uncooked cauliflower contains 146 calories. It is chock full of things we cardiologists think are good for you including:

  • 12 grams of fiber
  • 11 grams of protein.
  • 472% of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin C.
  • 12% of the daily calcium allowance

It has negligible amounts of cholesterol and fat (but we are no longer concerned about these) and 11 grams of sugar (it is not added sugar so this is OK).
Some authors (such as the ubiquitous quack Mercola) have proclaimed it a superfood, going on and on about various antioxidants and obscure chemicals found in it that may have anti-inflammatory or anti-cancer properties but this is all speculation.
A whole head of cauliflower contains  about 1800 mg of potassium which is 50% of the daily allowance. Depending on what source you consult you will see it listed as both low in potassium and high in potassium. Given that a 100 gram serving of cauliflower contains about 300 mg of potassium,  I will be recommending it to my patients with low potassium and telling my patients with high potassium to stay away from it.
Two tablespoons of peanut butter contain 3.3 grams of saturated fat and 12.3 grams of unsaturated fat. We don’t have to worry about these fats, they  don’t contribute to obesity or heart disease (see here).  The fat in the peanut butter adds to the satisfaction and feeling of fullness created by the Darwin Dali-ght ©. Peanut butter is also full of great antioxidants and potassium.
The bandmates of the skeptical cardiologist (including the son and youngest daughter of the skeptical cardiologist) dug into some Darwin Dali-ghts after yesterday’s jam session and were pleasantly surprised at how tasty and satisfying these heart-healthy concoctions are.
Nota Bene: I have discovered today how to make the © sign on a Mac keyboard (alt g).  Also, please note, that I have not heavily researched whether this combination of foods has been created or copyrighted previously.


8 thoughts on “From the Skeptical Cardiologist's Cookbook: Darwin Dali-ghts ©”

    • Peanuts are definitely legumes botanically but in most dietary studies they are classified along with nuts and when they are separated out, the benefits of peanut consumption are similar to those of other nut consumption.
      Why are you worried about lectins?

  1. I’ve collected quite a bit of omega-6 research. Excerpt: “Additionally, our data, and that of others, suggests that iso-caloric diets with a greater content of omega-6 PUFAs can produce greater IR, result in a poorer TC/HDL-C ratio, and may even increase inflammation more so than an iso-caloric diet composed of significantly more SF. Meanwhile, others have shown that high consumption of omega-6 FAs has been associated with reduced inflammation, a more favorable TC/HDL-C ratio and no negative effects on inflammatory markers. It should be noted, however, that the majority of these studies were performed in humans, where it is extremely difficult to control for the nutrient composition of the diet and the activity level of the subjects – two factors known to greatly influence metabolism and inflammation.
    Compare the above with conclusions drawn from human trials. “We conclude that virtually no evidence is available from randomized, controlled intervention studies among healthy, noninfant human beings to show that addition of LA to the diet increases the concentration of inflammatory markers.

    • “Thank you for your comments. I don’t think there is enough evidence to proclaim omega-6 fatty acids or the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 as the cause of atherosclerosis or Western chronic diseases.”
      Fred Ottoboni sent me this paper. Excerpt:
      Linoleic acid (LA) is the most abundant polyunsaturated fatty acid in human diets, a major component of human tissues, and the direct precursor to the bioactive oxidized LA metabolites (OXLAMs), 9- and 13 hydroxy-octadecadienoic acid (9- and 13-HODE) and 9- and 13-oxo-octadecadienoic acid (9- and 13-oxoODE). These four OXLAMs have been mechanistically linked to pathological conditions ranging from cardiovascular disease to chronic pain. Plasma OXLAMs, which are elevated in Alzheimer’s dementia and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, have been proposed as biomarkers useful for indicating the presence and severity of both conditions.

  2. I found out the hard way that it is possible to consume too much peanut butter. Almost did myself in.–David-Brown-Kalispell-MT
    After I discovered my mistake, I began collecting research on the effects of excessive omega-6 intake. Excerpt: “As more foods are analyzed for fatty acid content, we see that most foods consumed by Americans have much more omega-6 than omega-3. Although broccoli, spinach, and kidney beans have more omega-3 than omega-6 PUFA, corn, chickpeas, and peanut butter have much more omega-6 than omega-3 PUFA. Most important are the vegetable oils that supply the majority of the omega-6 and omega-3 PUFA in U. S. foods. Nearly all of these oils have much more omega-6 than omega-3. The continual intake of foods with omega-6 nutrients in excess of omega-3 nutrients can create serious health problems.”
    So, what does the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee recommend? “Sources of saturated fat should be replaced with unsaturated fat, particularly polyunsaturated fatty acids.”

    • Thank you for your comments. I don’t think there is enough evidence to proclaim omega-6 fatty acids or the ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 as the cause of atherosclerosis or Western chronic diseases.
      I looked at your reference and other publications from Bruce Lands, Ph.D. I’m surprised that reputable journals publish these writings as they are mostly his unsubstantiated ranting and ramblings about the dangers of omega-6.

      • His name is Bill Lands and he is a respected NIH scientist. What’s unsubstantiated it the claim that high levels of omega-6 intake are beneficial. Several lines of evidence suggest current levels of omega-6 linoleic acid intake are toxic.

  3. Fascinating article Dr P. Such a tasty snack. Makes me want to rush out and get the ingredients to try it. Will any kind of peanut butter work do you think.
    NB My loving daughter made me a mashed cauliflower and shredded cheddar dish in lieu of potatoes the other night. It was really good! Dad


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