Cauliflower is the exception to the rule when we say that the brightly coloured fruits and vegetables contain the most nutrients. Cauliflower is a white vegetable (although it does come in purple, green and orange) and is a member of the cruciferous family, along with broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts and bok choy. Cruciferous vegetables are good sources of phytochemicals known as glucosinolates. These nutrients are broken down by bacteria in the GI tract and are converted into isothiocyanates and indole-3-carbinol. Isothiocyanates and indoles are potent anti-cancer agents that help stop tumor cell growth in certain types of cancer.
½ cup Cauliflower provides only 13 kcal, 0g fat, 3 grams of carbs, 1 g fibre and 1 g of protein. It is also a source of Vitamin C, potassium, selenium and beta-carotene. The orange cauliflower is even higher in beta carotene.
Cauliflower should have firm and compact creamy white (or purple, orange or green) florets tightly pressed together. The leaves should be green and crisp, this is the best indicator of freshness. Avoid heads that have black or brown patches or yellowing areas.
Store cauliflower unwashed in the perforated bag it came in, in the fridge for up to 10 days. Once cooked it will last 3 days. If you want to freeze it, first blanch the florets for 2-3 minutes, strain, air dry and freeze. Frozen cauliflower will be slightly watery and is best used in soups and stews.
Preparation and Cooking:
Cut florets from the stem up toward the floret but stop the knife before the floret and break the pieces apart. This will prevent crumbling. Cauliflower can be steamed, roasted with olive oil and sea salt or blended into soups. It can be mashed into mashed potatoes as an extender and way to cut calories or grated and steamed to use in place of rice.