Cauliflower Tots with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce

[Perfect bite-sized snack, appetizer or side dish, these Cauliflower Tots with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce are vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg free, soy-free, yeast-free, and low glycemic. Suitable for all stages on an anti-candida diet.]

Sugarfree, vegan, grainfree Cauliflower Tots with Dipping Sauce recipe

Those of you who’ve been following me for a while may already know that my mom died fairly young (at age 62), from complications of type 2 diabetes. She suffered three heart attacks in five years, and at the end of her life, both her heart and her kidneys failed.

I feel incredibly lucky to have been able to spend most of that final summer by my mom’s hospital bedside in Montreal, shuttling back home to Toronto once every few weeks (basically to reconnect with my then-husband).

I’ll always be grateful for that one-on-one time together. Mom and I talked a lot, sat in silence a lot, held hands a lot, and left virtually nothing unsaid. Once it was all over, I left Montreal grieving and exhausted, but certain that she knew how much I loved her. That closeness and the intimacy of our talks is something I cherish daily.

But another memory I still carry with me is the stark and arresting vision of how my mom’s body slowly declined and began to fail her as her diabetes progressed. Seeing that slow deterioration motivated me to stick with my own sugar-free diet, and to work consistently on maintaining my health.

I didn’t know it then, but there’s a clear connection between my mom’s type two diabetes and her failing kidneys.

In fact, everyone with type 2 diabetes is at increased risk of kidney disease, along with those who have high blood pressure; people of Aboriginal, Asian, South Asian, Pacific Island, African/Caribbean and Hispanic descent; and anyone with a family history of kidney disease (my grandmother also died of kidney disease, as it turns out).

Because of my mom, I’ve had my blood glucose levels tested annually since I was a teen. In recent years, I’ve also begun to monitor my own kidney health to ensure they continue to work well (especially since, along with filtering and removing toxins and other waste from the body, our kidneys regulate fluids, salt and minerals in our bodies; release hormones to regulate blood pressure; and prompt red blood cell production).

At the time of my mom’s death, our family knew nothing about these connections. It turns out that up to 50% of the approximately 3.5 million Canadians living with type 2 diabetes may already have some kidney damage associated with the disease. Plus, medications may not work as well once that happens, so it’s imperative to check with your doctor to see where you stand.

If you do have type 2 diabetes, ask your doctor to test your kidney function at least once a year to ensure that these vital organs haven’t been damaged. It’s an easy test (both blood and urine), something you’re likely doing anyway at your regular checkups.

And if you haven’t been diagnosed with diabetes, be sure to ask for the appropriate tests to confirm if your blood glucose levels are still normal and healthy (as I’ve done for the past 40+ years).

Another step you can take is this quick online risk assessment quiz from the Kidney Foundation of Canada (the information is relevant whether or not you live here!).

vegan, sugarfree, grainfree cauliflower tots recipe

The quiz took me literally one minute to complete, and the results indicated that I should definitely ask my doctor to test my kidney function next time I see her (not a huge surprise to me). I also found the written summary of my results to be extremely informative, explaining how each risk factor is associated with kidney disease.

It only takes a minute, and it can make a huge difference to your health. Take the quiz here.

If you have type 2 diabetes—or if you’re concerned about your own kidney health for other reasons–here are some ways to keep your kidneys content and running smoothly:

  • Ask your doctor to assess your kidney function by checking urine, blood and blood pressure regularly
  • Maintain your blood sugar levels within healthy boundaries
  • Control high blood pressure
  • Avoid smoking
  • Find ways to exercise regularly
  • Avoid excess alcohol (beware of the holidays!)
  • Get enough sleep
  • (If you have type 2 diabetes) consult with your doctor about treatments that control blood sugar and can be taken at all stages of kidney function

And what about the foods you eat?

It’s always a good idea to eat a generally healthy diet, which means a low glycemic, whole-foods diet supplying healthy fats, proteins and fiber. In addition, certain foods, such as berries, bell peppers, cabbage, and those listed below contain a wealth of nutrients and phytochemicals that are known to help support good kidney health.

I’ve used several of the most healthful choices in today’s recipe:

  • Cauliflower. This superfood vegetable contains vitamin C, an antioxidant-rich vitamin, as well as folate and fiber. In addition, cauliflower contains indoles, glucosinolates and thiocyanates, all compounds that help the liver to neutralize substances that could damage cell membranes and DNA.
  • Onions are rich in allicins, which are compounds that help to lower cholesterol and may support the circulatory system. Onions also contain flavonoids (especially quercetin), which can reduce the risk of certain cancers and heart disease.
  • Garlic contains even more allicin than onions, and is also known as a powerful antimicrobial agent. Garlic also has anti-inflammatory properties, key for helping to manage many chronic conditions.
  • Apples are known to reduce cholesterol, protect against heart disease, and even help reduce constipation. They’re also high in fiber and are anti-inflammatory as well.
  • Cranberries. This seasonal, tart berry is a wonderful addition to a kidney-supportive diet. You may be familiar with drinking cranberry juice to help hasten the departure of a UTI (urinary tract infection), since they contain compounds that prevent bacteria from sticking to the bladder.

Put them all together, and you have this amazing recipe for Cauliflower Tots with Sweet and Sour Dipping Sauce.

Whether or not you have type 2 diabetes, it’s always a good idea to be kind to your kidneys and other organs of detoxification, since they perform such a critical job for the rest of you.

Do yourself a favor and take one minute to work through the online risk assessment quiz. Then, if you do find yourself in a higher risk category, speak to your doctor or other health care provider to find out ways to ensure your kidneys continue to work well for you through a long and healthy life.

Once you’re done, come back here and cook up some of these irresistible, sugar-free, grain-free health-supportive Cauliflower Tots, too.

Vegan, sugarfree, candida diet cauliflower tots recipe

Disclosure:  This content was sponsored by the Boehringer Ingelheim-Lilly Canada Diabetes Alliance, but opinions stated here are my own.

Links in this post may be affiliate links. If you choose to purchase using those links, at no cost to you, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.

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  1. Oh my gosh, what a great idea! I need to make these for my kid. He is not crazy about cauliflower, but I bet this recipe will help him see the light!

  2. This is fantastic information! I will be sharing this post for sure. And the recipe looks amazing!

  3. This looks like such a fun recipe! It would be a great snack to serve at holiday parties!