Friday, December 23, 2011

Smokey Sweet Barbecue Cauliflower Bites

This recipe is dedicated to those of you who come into contact every year with a big crock-pot full of Little Smokies. 
It's a strange American tradition to incorporate those weird tiny sausages into just about every Holiday festivity. Lets be honest here, sweet tangy barbecue flavored food doesn't need a special day, it's good all of the time! Today's recipe pays homage to those of you who aren't in the "Little Smokies Club" but really want to indulge in something just as tasty, and even better - guilt free! 
 I may not be a BBQ pro, but I come from a family of passionate outdoor cookers, and I'd like to think that I have a pretty keen taste for what a good barbecue spice mix should be. With notes of brown sugar, spicy heat, smokiness, salt, and of course the tang. It's gotta be unctuous and comforting, leaving you salivating for more at the same time feeling so satisfied.
In todays recipe I'll be sharing with you a dry Barbecue spice mix and combining it with florets of tenderized Cauliflower. There's a few important steps in this recipe that I urge you to stick with, the result will be something you can take to just about any party, for any event -- Winter Spring Summer or Fall. There's always room for barbecue!
Important Note About This Recipe
About the Sweetener: Most successful Barbecue mixes call for the use of Brown Sugar. In AtV's dry spice mix I use Coconut Crystals (also known as Coconut Palm Sugar). If you're not concerned about this recipe being Raw/Vegan then you can use Brown Sugar, otherwise you won't have any option but to use Coconut Crystals. It's very necessary!
Another thing about Coconut Crystals - depending on the specific brand you may notice that your Coconut Crystals aren't fine granules. This is okay, however if you have access to a spice grinder I recommend grinding your Crystals into a fine grain or powder, or at least sifting them (or stirring through a mesh strainer) to break up the granules evenly.
About the Heat: I've made a mildly spicy barbecue mix, but if you want yours with more heat then by all means, go for it! 
Raw Vegan Little Smokies anyone?
AtV Barbecue Spice Mix
6 Tbsp Coconut Crystals
4 Tbsp Smoked Paprika
2 Tbsp Onion powder
2 tsp Garlic Granules
1 tsp Lemon Pepper
1/4 tsp Chipotle Powder //or// Cayenne 
1 tsp Cacao powder
1/2 tsp dried/crushed Thyme
1/4 tsp Cumin powder
1/4 tsp ground Celery Seed
 1 tsp Salt 
Optional: 1/2 tsp Alder Smoked Sea Salt (so good if you can find it!)
Mix everything together...
Store this Dry Spice Mix in an air tight container, and get ready to put it in just about anything and everything.
Smokey Sweet BBQ Cauliflower Bites
Makes enough for 4 to 5 large sides
Step 1. 
Tenderizing your Cauliflower
In a large mixing bowl combine:
8 cups Cauliflower Florets (roughly 2 medium sized heads)
Add to your bowl of florets:
2 Tbsp Lemon Juice
2 Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
4 Tbsp Grape seed Oil //or// Safflower Oil 
1 tsp Salt
Mix together until your florets have been evenly coated
Transfer your Cauliflower florets into a ziplock baggy and proceed to remove as much of the air from the bag as you can. 
Let your florets marinate in the air tight baggy (in your fridge) for at least 4 hours - overnight is even better. After the marination process you will notice a distinct change in the texture of your florets, as if they've been blanched. 
We're almost done!
Step 2.
Making Tender BBQ Cauliflower Florets
In a large mixing bowl combine:
 ALL of your marinated Cauliflower 
2 additional Tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar
Then add ALL of your AtV Barbecue Spice Mixture:
In this photo I was making a half batch
Mix everything together evenly and transfer your Cauliflower to a parchment lined baking sheet:
Oven Warming Method
You can also do this in a dehydrator if you prefer 
- Set your Oven at it's lowest heat
- Place your Cauliflower into the oven, and leave the oven door cracked open (roughly 5 to 6 inches)
- Let the Cauliflower warm in the oven for 40 minutes to 1 hour, you may want to taste test one or two checking on the texture. It's really up to you when you get to take them out of the oven.
- Remove from the oven and serve immediately!
Serving Options:
Plate your BBQ florets on a platter next to some toothpicks
Or you can skewer them before-hand, making them more fingerfood friendly
Serve with a side dish of AtV Sour Cream for dipping
This dish will most certainly make an appearance in future family gatherings of mine, and the barbecue spice mix will be showing up in AtV recipes to come.
Wishing you all a very very Happy Holidays! 
I couldn't be more thankful to have Addicted to Veggies in my life as a way to reach out and connect with all of you. It's truly the highlight of my week, and one of my favorite parts of this Holiday season. 
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for supporting Addicted to Veggies.
I'll see you all next week!
Sarahfae - AtV


  1. I actually hate barbecue-anything (which, considering I live in Kansas City, is kind of blasphemous) but you've got me drooling over these! It helps that I adore cauliflower. :)
    Merry Xmas to you!

  2. Thanks for the comment (and the drooling) Amber! ;) Happy Holidays! <3

  3. I'm definitely trying this recipe. It looks amazing. Thanks!

    Grade ONEderful

  4. Thank you Barbara! I hope you love it as much as I do!

  5. Ooh - this sounds so good! And I like the spin they take on those little cocktail weiners. ^^

  6. That looks yumtastic! Ah, I want to reach through the screen and grab some! Thank you for sharing the recipe (and some yummy photos to boot)!

  7. So simple and so perfect! Yammy! Thanks for sharing!

  8. Yum! I'm just indulging in a batch of these now! I knew I was in for a treat when I came home to the most wonderful aroma wafting from the dehydrator where the smoky, sweet BBQ cauliflower bites had been getting warm-n-ready for me for the past few hours. Not surprisingly, after my first helping, my taste buds and belly are very, very happy now. :)

    Although I've never tried--or even heard of--Little Smokies (I've been a veg for quite some time now), I can't imagine that these BBQ treats would not impress an omnivore!

    Time for seconds!

  9. Thank you SO much for the feedback Deb! Love it!

  10. Sounds great! I will be trying a batch in my dehydrator soon! Thanks!

  11. is dehydrating an option?

    1. yes, dehydrating is always an option! :) Thank you for asking though!


  13. Will this work without the cacao powder?

  14. Is there an easy way to print this recipe without all of the pics? I don't want a 4 page recipe LOL

  15. How long should you keep them in the dehydrator?

  16. I'm making these now. About to put them in the dehydrator overnight on the lowest setting. I'll report back on good they are!

  17. I made these and they turned out delicious!

    I added them to a bbq cauliflower salad bowl -

  18. Yup. Guess what I'm making this weekend :) Thank you for the great recipe!

  19. How would using a dehydrator change the texture of these bites? And what would the directions be?

  20. Great article but, yy stomach is wining now :)

  21. Cauliflower has always been one of my fovourite foods. Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. It looks easy enough for a person like me (who can't even fry eggs properly) to prepare.

  22. This is really delicious! love this recipe :)

  23. I made this to my husband who actually doesn`t like Cauliflower, but this time, he ate everything! Delicious recipe! :)