In the past when I was a more finicky diner, cauliflower, broccoli, asparagus and many others hardly made it into my vegetable horizon. When cauliflower and I did meet it was only as a base for some of those aweful-yet-irresistible onion dips, its cool crunch couched in smooth sour cream so I hardly noticed what was underneath. My palate has since grown up and am more than willing to try new things. I came, reluctantly, to beetroot while pregnant (when roasted and used as a base for spinach salad you experience a small taste miracle). Then, one night inspired by my mother, I tossed a bunch of cauliflower florets lightly in olive oil and salt into the oven – and I fell in love.
So many ways to adore cauliflower. I love her Monday night soups quickly whirled together and laced with mushrooms and herbs. I love her on lazy saturday afternoon curries served with coconut rice. The best of all I love her slow-roasted for 30 minutes at 400 degrees. Mark Twain wrote, “Cauliflower, is nothing but a cabbage with college education.” Neither cabbage or cauliflower should be maligned if you ask me. Cauliflower, cabbage and broccoli are related.
- Cauliflower contains 14 calories per half cup, enjoy in plenty without guilt!
- Cauliflower is full of anti-inflammatories as well as antioxidants; these lower the risk of oxidative stress in our cells. Meaning the antioxidants found in cauliflower can help reduce our risk of cancer when incorporated into a healthy diet. Anti-inflammatories help to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Cauliflower is low in fat and carbs, but high in fiber, water, potassium, folate and vitamin C .
- The fiber in this light veggie makes it great at keeping the digestive system clean. Also contains glucoraphin which has a protective effect on the stomach lining.
As my love affair with cauliflower has progressed, I have been interested especially in its colorful varieties – green, orange and purple.
1. Orange heads – which include ‘cheddar’ and ‘orange bouquet’ varieties – contain 25 times the level of vitamin A of white varieties..
2. Green cauliflower, known as broccoflower – richer in protein than cauliflower and broccoli! Get a bunch of different colors to make ‘rainbow cauliflower’ for the kids
3. Purple – Rich in healthy antioxidants
Here are healthy ways to enjoy this veggie:
- Roasted – Cauliflower is so delicious when roasted because roasting draws out its natural sweetness and can even caramelize the florets. With a poached egg and a slice of bread, the caramelized florets make a quick and delicious weeknight supper.
- Soup – creamy, garlic broth made from simmered florets and a dash of herbs and black pepper you will be scrapping your spoon at the bottom of your bowl wishing for more while also getting a bellyful of vitamin C and B6 is simply an added attraction.
- Substitute for Mashed Potatoes – Use cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes or include cauliflower into your mashed potatoes. The kids will get loads of veggie-nutrition with lots of comfort food tastiness.
- In Your Pasta – add a little texture to your fave dishes like penne pasta, rice or any other warm comforting dishes.
1) Herbs : mixture of dried rosemary, marjoram, basil, bay leaf and thyme.
2) Don’t be alarmed if some of the florets get slightly blackened, this just adds to its addictive flavor.
3) Be not afraid of a certain blandness that can mark vegetable soups; should you leave milk out, the true delicate flavor of the cauliflower sings through.