Vegetable of the month: Cauliflower

It’s time for the monthly favourites again! And this time the star of the show is humble cauliflower! This winter vegetable might have a bad reputation with some people, and I have certainly heard so many say that is super boring. I think that these people have consumed cauliflower only steamed or mashed, topped with some butter and salt… Well, it’s true, if this is how you eat your cauliflower I can 100% agree, it would be boring. But you are in for a surprise my friend, because cauliflower can taste so good, it will quickly become your favourite veggie too! I will share with you a favourite cauliflower recipe of mine soon, so make sure you come back to check it out!

cauliflower1

Cauliflower comes in different colours, making it so pretty in dishes! The white variety is the most popular one, but you can also find purple, green and orange cauliflower. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable and belongs to the same species as broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts and collard greens.

Health Benefits

Cauliflower is praised for its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a natural response of the body to heal parts of it that have been injured. But too much inflammation can damage the body and lead to more serious health conditions. The anti-inflammatory compounds, found in cauliflower, such as indole-3-carbinol or I3C, may operate at the genetic level to help prevent the inflammatory responses at its foundational level.

Rich in antioxidant phytonutrients, such as beta-carotene,  caffein acid and cinnamic acid, cauliflower can help fight agains free radical damage.

This vegetable is high in vitamin C. One cup of cauliflower contains 52mg of this healthy vitamin (compared to 64mg in a medium orange). Vitamin C is important for a healthy immune system, as well as for a glowing skin. 🙂

Rich in other vitamins and minerals, such as Vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, magnesium, folate, potassium and manganese, cauliflower should be consumed often to benefit its many nutrients.

A good source of digestive fiber, cauliflower is great to promote a healthy gut and good digestion. It can also support the detoxification processes in the body.

How to select and store

When shopping for cauliflower look for a clean and compact head, with the flower buds together and in tact. Avoid spotted and dull coloured cauliflower. Try to get organic cauliflower if possible to avoid exposure to pesticides.

Store the cauliflower in a brown bag in your fridge for up to a week. Do not leave it in a hot room, as you will lose a lot of its nutrients this way.

How to cook cauliflower 

Boiling cauliflower is not a good idea, as you will lose a lot of its beneficial nutrients, such as the phytonutrients, vitamin C and B vitamins, which are heat sensitive. Steaming is better, as the cauliflower is not submerged in water. Cauliflower releases some odorous sulphur compounds when heated, so to avoid unpleasant scents, cook it for a shorter amount of time. It can also turn yellowish when heated or in contact with iron cookware so  you can add some lemon juice to keep its crisp white colour.

I like to sauté cauliflower or roast it in the oven. It makes great bites for dipping in a sauce, and easily absorbs spices,  offering versatile preparation options.

How do you prepare cauliflower and do you have any favourite recipes with this winter veggie? I would love to hear them!

Sources:
http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2014/02/22/cauliflower-health-benefits.aspx
http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=13

3 responses to “Vegetable of the month: Cauliflower

  1. Pingback: Whole Roasted Cauliflower | Plateful Nutrition·

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