What is Cauliflower?
Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea in the genus Brassica, which is in the family Brassicaceae. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed. Typically, only the head is eaten – the edible white flesh sometimes called “curd” (with a similar appearance to cheese curd).The cauliflower head is composed of a white inflorescence meristem.
Cauliflower heads resemble those in broccoli, which differs in having flower buds as the edible portion. Brassica oleracea also includes broccoli, brussels sprouts, cabbage, collard greens, and kale, collectively called “cole” crops, though they are of different cultivar groups.
There are different types of cauliflowers green, purple and orange. They are packed with vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, B complex vitamins and vitamin E. They also provide vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, sodium and iron.
History Of Cauliflower
In the 1st century AD, Pliny included what he called cyma among his descriptions of cultivated plants in Natural History: “Ex omnibus brassicae generibus suavissima est cyma,” (“Of all the varieties of cabbage the most pleasant-tasted is cyma”).Pliny’s descriptions likely refer to the flowering heads of an earlier cultivated variety of Brassica oleracea, but comes close to describing modern cauliflower. It is found in the writings of the Arab botanists Ibn al-‘Awwam and Ibn al-Baitar, in the 12th and 13th centuries when its origins were said to be Cyprus.
François Pierre La Varenne employed chouxfleurs in Le cuisinier françois. They were introduced to France from Genoa in the 16th century, and are featured in Olivier de Serres’ Théâtre de l’agriculture (1600), as cauli-fiori “as the Italians call it, which are still rather rare in France; they hold an honorable place in the garden because of their delicacy”, but they did not commonly appear on grand tables until the time of Louis XIV. It was introduced to India in 1822 from England by the British.
Types of Cauliflower
Cauliflower is available in four major groups: Asian, Italian, northwest European biennial, and northern European annuals, represented by more than a hundred varieties. Apart from white, it also comes in several other colors mentioned below.
- Green: Green cauliflower is referred to as broccoflower. It can be found in a normal curd-shaped form as well as in a spiky variant called Romanesco broccoli.
- Purple: The antioxidant group, anthocyanins, present in the purple cauliflower provides the color of this variety.
- Orange: Orange cauliflower is highly nutritious and contains an immense amount of vitamin A, as compared to the white variety.
Nutritional Value Of Cauliflower
Cauliflower is a rich source of vitamin C, folate, vitamin K, B complex vitamins and vitamin E. It provides vital minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorous, potassium, zinc, sodium and iron without adding any harmful cholesterol. It is a good source of protein, a substantial amount of phytochemicals, unsaturated fats, and essential omega-3 fatty acids and contains a very of fat. It also provides dietary fiber and contains smaller amounts of natural sugars as compared to the other members of its botanical relatives, such as broccoli.
Nutritional facts Of Cauliflower
|RINCIPLE||NUTRIENT VALUE||PERCENTAGE OF RDA|
|Total Fat||0.28 g||1%|
|Dietary Fiber||2.0 g||5%|
|Pantothenic acid||0.667 mg||13%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||48.2 mg||80%|
|Vitamin E||0.08 mg||0.5%|
|Vitamin K||15.5 µg||13%|
Amount per 100 gramsCauliflower
- 25 calories
- 5.3 grams carbohydrates
- 2 grams protein
- 0.1 gram fat
- 2.5 grams fiber
- 46.4 mg vitamin C (77 % RDA)
- 16 mg vitamin K (20 % RDA)
- 57 mg folate (14 % RDA)
- 0.2 mg vitamin B6 (11 % RDA)
- 303 mg potassium (9 % RDA)
- 0.2 mg manganese (8 % RDA)
- 0.7 mg pantothenic acid (7 % RDA)
- 0.1 mg thiamine (4 % RDA)
- 0.1 mg riboflavin (4 % RDA)
- 15 mg magnesium (4 % RDA)
- 44 mg phosphorus (4 % RDA)
It’s Rich in Vitamins and Minerals
Most Americans are seriously lacking in nutrients their body needs to function. Eating cauliflower regularly is a simple way to get these much-needed nutrients into your body. For instance, one serving of cauliflower contains 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. It’s also a good source of vitamin K, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.
Contains Many Nutrients
The nutrition profile of cauliflower is quite impressive. Cauliflower is very low in calories yet high in vitamins. In fact, cauliflower contains some of almost every vitamin and mineral that you need. Here is an overview of the nutrients found in 1 cup, or 128 grams, of raw cauliflower:
- Calories: 25
- Fiber: 3 grams
- Vitamin C: 77% of the RDI
- Vitamin K: 20% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI
- Folate: 14% of the RDI
- Pantothenic acid: 7% of the RDI
- Potassium: 9% of the RDI
- Manganese: 8% of the RDI
- Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
- Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
High in Fiber
Cauliflower is quite high in fiber, which is beneficial for overall health. There are 3 grams of fiber in one cup of cauliflower, which is 10% of your daily needs. Fiber is important because it feeds the healthy bacteria in your gut that help reduce inflammation and promote digestive health. Consuming enough fiber may help prevent digestive conditions like constipation, diverticulitis and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Moreover, studies show that a diet high in fiber-rich vegetables like cauliflower is linked with a lower risk of several illnesses, including heart disease, cancer and diabetes. Fiber may also play a role in obesity prevention, due to its ability to promote fullness and reduce overall calorie intake.
High in Choline
Cauliflower is high in choline, an essential nutrient that many people are deficient in. One cup of cauliflower contains 45 mg of choline, which is about 11% of the adequate intake (AI) for women and 8% for men. Choline has several important functions in the body. To begin with, it plays a major role in maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, synthesizing DNA and supporting metabolism.
Choline is also involved in brain development and the production of neurotransmitters that are necessary for a healthy nervous system. What’s more, it helps prevent cholesterol from accumulating in the liver. Those who don’t consume enough choline may have a higher risk of liver and heart disease, in addition to neurological disorders like dementia and Alzheimer’s. Not many foods contain choline. Cauliflower, along with broccoli, is one of the best plant-based sources of the nutrient.
Rich in Sulforaphane
Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, an extensively studied antioxidant. Many test-tube and animal studies have found sulforaphane to be particularly helpful for suppressing cancer development by inhibiting enzymes that are involved in cancer and tumor growth. According to some studies, sulforaphane may also have the potential to stop cancer growth by destroying cells that are already damaged.
Sulforaphane appears to be most protective against colon and prostate cancer but has also been studied for its effects on many other cancers, such as breast, leukemia, pancreatic and melanoma. Research shows that sulforaphane may also help reduce high blood pressure and keep arteries healthy — both major factors in preventing heart disease.
Finally, animal studies suggest that sulforaphane may also play a role in diabetes prevention and reducing the risk of diabetes-induced complications, such as kidney disease.
While more research is necessary to determine the extent of sulforaphane’s effects in humans, its potential health benefits are promising.
Amazing Health Benefits of Cauliflower
1.Reduces Cancer Risk
Cauliflower contains vitamin C, manganese, and other potent antioxidants. They also contains phytochemicals, called indoles and glucosinates, namely glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, and gluconasturtiin. These components stimulate cancer-blocking enzymes and protect the body cells from the oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals. Cauliflower has indole-3-carbinol which has chemopreventive and anti-estrogen effects that help in hampering the growth of cancer cells.
Cauliflower has glucoraphanin and vitamin K which ensures blood circulation and helps in maintaining proper functioning of the blood vessels. Glucoraphanin is converted into isothiocyanates that activate anti-inflammatory activities and prevent the accumulation of lipids in the blood vessels. This aids in the unobstructed flow of blood, which reduces the risk of conditions like atherosclerosis and promotes cardiovascular health.
3.Prevents Stomach Disorders
Cauliflower is a source of dietary fiber that aids in digestion and promotes the elimination of toxins from the body. Cauliflower has glucosinolate, glucoraphanin and sulforaphane which protects the stomach lining and helps in resisting the growth of Heliobacter pylori bacteria. Cauliflower has dietary isothiocyanates in cauliflower prevent the risk of various abdominal disorders such as stomach ulcers and colon cancer.
4. Aids in Iron Absorption
Cauliflower has vitamin C helps to better absorb iron in the blood. This helps to increase the hemoglobin count in the body.
5. Treats Respiratory Problems
Respiratory papillomatosis is caused by the human papillomavirus that affects the vocal cords in the larynx, trachea, lungs, and bronchi. Studies have shown that increased consumption of cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, aids in reducing the severity of respiratory papillomatosis.
6. Improves Bone Health
Cauliflower contains vitamin C, which plays an important role in the production of collagen that protects the joints and bones from inflammatory damage. Also, it contains vitamin K, which may help in preventing bone loss in both men and women.
7. Skin Care
Cauliflower has sulforaphane which protects the skin against the damage caused by ultraviolet radiation. The protective action of sulforaphane defends the body against inflammations, skin cancer, UV-induced erythema, and cellular damage.
8. Boosts Immunity
Cauliflower is rich in antioxidants and immune-strengthening nutrients. Along with other healthy components, the presence of vitamin C in it inhibits various infections and strengthens the defense mechanisms of the body by hampering the growth of disease-causing inflammation.
9. Improves Brain Health
Cauliflower contains choline and phosphorous, which are both effective in repairing cell membranes. This is essential for the efficient functioning of the brain and nervous system for transmitting nerve signals. In addition to this, the presence of potassium and vitamin B6 in cauliflower plays an important role in maintaining brain health and promoting proper communication in the nerves.
10. Controls Diabetes
Regular intake of cauliflower helps in reducing the risk of diabetes due to the presence of vitamin C and potassium. The potassium content in cauliflower helps in regulating glucose metabolism. It is also utilized by the pancreas for secreting the insulin hormone that combats high blood sugar in the body. In addition to this, studies have supported that the vitamin B6 present in cauliflower is also effective in enhancing the tolerance of glucose in patients with gestational diabetes.
11. Prevents Stroke
Cauliflower has allicin which helps in reducing the risk of stroke which also aids in the cleansing of the liver and the blood.
12. Heals Colitis
Studies have suggested that extracts from cauliflower exert anti-inflammatory effects on the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. This protective effect can be attributed to the presence of phenethyl isothiocyanate, which exerts a healing effect on the damage occurred in colon tissues and the colon epithelium.
Cauliflower contains indole-3-carbinol, a phytonutrient that, along with sulforaphane, helps in activating and regulating the function of detoxifying enzymes.
14. Helps Foetal Growth
Cauliflower has folate which helps in healthy neural development of the baby during pregnancy.
15. Maintains Electrolyte Balance
Potassium in cauliflower helps maintain the electrolyte balance in the body which is essential for the functioning of the nervous system in the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contractions.
16. Prevents Oxidative Stress
Cauliflower contains vitamin C, manganese, and other potent antioxidants that help in imparting nourishment to the body. It also contains phytochemicals, called indoles and glucosinates, namely glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin, and gluconasturtiin. These components stimulate cancer-blocking enzymes and protect the body cells from the oxidative stress and damage caused by free radicals.
17. Improves Cardiovascular Health
Regular consumption of cauliflower ensures blood circulation and helps in maintaining proper functioning of the blood vessels, which can be attributed to the presence of glucoraphanin and vitamin K. Glucoraphanin is converted into isothiocyanates that activate anti-inflammatory activities and prevent the accumulation of lipids in the blood vessels. This aids in the unobstructed flow of blood, which reduces the risk of conditions like atherosclerosis and promotes cardiovascular health. Research has also proved that the antithrombotic and antiplatelet function of Indole-3-carbinol, found in abundance in cauliflower, contributes significantly towards a healthy heart.
18. Prevents Stomach Disorders
Cauliflower is a source of dietary fiber that aids in digestion and promotes the elimination of toxins from the body. The presence of glucosinolate, glucoraphanin, and sulforaphane in this vegetable protects the stomach lining and helps in resisting the growth of Heliobacter pylori bacteria. In addition to this defense mechanism, dietary isothiocyanates in cauliflower prevent the risk of various abdominal disorders such as stomach ulcers and colon cancer.
19. Macular Degeneration
It is rich in vitamin C and antioxidants and thus, is effective in reducing the risk of age-related macular degeneration which can lead to blindness, particularly in the elderly. The sulforaphane protects the retinal tissues from damage caused by oxidative stress, prevents vision impairment, and various eye ailments such as cataracts.
20. Treats Nervous Disorders
The sulforaphane and indoles present in cauliflower play a key role in reducing the progression of neurodegenerative diseases. They activate the detoxification enzymes, which elevate the glutathione level and help in treating neuronal injuries caused by inflammation and oxidative stress in Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases.
21. Reduces Hypertension
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the glucoraphanin and sulforaphane present in cauliflower help in reducing oxidative stress, along with the levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. It also promotes the stimulation of HDL (good) cholesterol and lowers blood pressure. In addition to this, the fiber and omega-3 fatty acids present in cauliflower also prevent hardening of the arteries.
22. Maintains Electrolyte Balance
The potassium content in cauliflower helps in maintaining the electrolyte balance in the body, which is essential for the functioning of the nervous system in the transmission of nerve impulses and muscle contractions.
23. Prevents Obesity
Cauliflower contains indoles, which possess anti-obesity effects. Studies have supported the fact that consumption of cauliflower is beneficial in preventing various inflammatory and metabolic disorders in the body. It also helps in the stimulation of fat-burning thermogenesis, aids in weight loss and prevents obesity.
24. Fights Inflammation
Inflammation is at the heart of nearly all chronic diseases that we are faced with so commonly today. Cauliflower is rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which lower oxidative stress and the presence of free radicals in our body.
The important range of antioxidants found in cauliflower — including the vitamins listed above but also beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, caffeic acid, cinnamic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, rutin and kaempferol — help to reduce oxidative stress in the body, which when left unregulated can lead to cancer and various other conditions. Just a one-cup serving of cauliflower contains about 77 percent of the recommended daily value of vitamin C, helping to reduce inflammation, boost immunity and keep the body free of harmful bacteria, infections and common colds.
In fact, a 2017 study conducted at the University of Basilicata’s Department of Sciences in Italy examined the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects a diet enriched with cauliflower leaf powder on rabbits. The researchers concluded that “preventive supplementation with CLP can protect rabbits from the inflammation and oxidative stress induced by LPS.”
25. Boost Ultraviolet Radiation Protection
Cauliflower has sulforaphane which supports healthy skin by shielding it from damage due to ultraviolet radiation exposure. Sulforaphane has been observed to protect the body from skin cancer, inflammation, and cellular damage.
26. Keep Hormones in Check
Antioxidant-rich food like cauliflower have been observed to aid in balancing hormones via the lessening of abnormal levels of estrogen. Excess estrogen in the blood has been connected to health problems such as autoimmune disease, chronic fatigue, ovarian cancer and hypothyroidism.
27. Support Eye Health
Cauliflower has sulforaphane which is said to shield the delicate tissues of the retinal region from oxidative stress, which can lead to serious vision issues like cataracts, macular degeneration and even loss of sight.
28. Support a Healthy Pregnancy
When with child, folate can help ensure that the developing fetus grows normally. Cauliflower is an excellent natural carrier of B vitamins, including folate, which health professionals suggest women supplement with when pregnant.
29. Low-Carb Alternative to Grains and Legumes
Cauliflower is incredibly versatile and can be used to replace grains and legumes in your diet. Not only is this a fantastic way to increase your veggie intake, but it is also especially helpful for those who follow low-carb diets. This is because cauliflower is significantly lower in carbs than grains and legumes.
For example, a cup of cauliflower contains 5 grams of carbs. At the same time, a cup of rice contains 45 grams of carbs — nine times the amount of cauliflower . Here are some examples of recipes that can be made with cauliflower instead of grains and legumes:
- Cauliflower rice: Replace white or brown rice with cauliflower that has been grated and then cooked, as in this recipe.
- Cauliflower pizza crust: By pulsing cauliflower in a food processor and then making it into a dough, such as in this recipe, you can make a delicious pizza.
- Cauliflower hummus: Chickpeas can be replaced with cauliflower in hummus recipes like this one.
- Cauliflower mash: Instead of making mashed potatoes, try this recipe for a low-carb cauliflower mash that is easy to make
- Cauliflower tortillas: Combine pulsed cauliflower with eggs to make low-carb tortillas that can be used for wraps, taco shells or burritos, as in this recipe.
- Cauliflower mac and cheese: Cooked cauliflower can be combined with milk, cheese and spices to make mac and cheese, like in this recipe.
How to Select and Store
When purchasing cauliflower, look for a clean, creamy white, compact curd in which the bud clusters are not separated. Spotted or dull-colored cauliflower should be avoided, as well as those in which small flowers appear. Heads that are surrounded by many thick green leaves are better protected and will be fresher. As its size is not related to its quality, choose one that best suits your needs.
I encourage the purchase of certified organically grown foods, and cauliflower is no exception. Repeated research studies on organic foods as a group show that your likelihood of exposure to contaminants such as pesticides and heavy metals can be greatly reduced through the purchased of certified organic foods, including cauliflower. In many cases, you may be able to find a local organic grower who sells cauliflower but has not applied for formal organic certification either through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) or through a state agency. (Examples of states offering state-certified organic foods include California, New York, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.)
However, if you are shopping in a large supermarket, your most reliable source of organically grown cauliflower is very likely to be cauliflower that display the USDA organic logo Store uncooked cauliflower in a paper or plastic bag in the refrigerator where it will keep for up to a week. To prevent moisture from developing in the floret clusters, store it with the stem side down.
Here is some background on why we recommend refrigerating cauliflower. Whenever food is stored, four basic factors affect its nutrient composition:exposure to air, exposure to light, exposure to heat, and length of time in storage. Vitamin C, vitamin B6, and carotenoids are good examples of nutrients highly susceptible to heat, and for this reason, their loss from food is very likely to be slowed down through refrigeration.
Tips for Preparing and Cooking Cauliflower
Cauliflower florets are the part of the plant that most people eat. However, the stem and leaves are edible too and are especially good for adding to soup stocks.
To cut cauliflower, first remove the outer leaves and then slice the florets at the base where they meet the stalks. You can further cut them, if you desire pieces that are smaller or of uniform size. Trim any brown coloration that may exist on the edges.
Cauliflower contains phytonutrients that release odorous sulfur compounds, especially when heated. These odors become stronger with increased cooking time. If you want to minimize odor, retain the vegetable’s crisp texture, and in some cases reduce nutrient loss, cook the cauliflower for only a short time.
The Nutrient-Rich Way of Cooking Cauliflower
From all of the cooking methods we tried when cooking cauliflower, our favorite is Healthy Sauté. We think that it provides the greatest flavor, texture, and overall recipe success. Healthy Sauté—similar to Quick Boiling and Quick Steaming, our other recommended cooking methods—follows three basic cooking guidelines that are generally associated in food science research with improved nutrient retention. These three guidelines are: minimal necessary heat exposure; minimal necessary cooking duration;minimal necessary food surface contact with cooking liquid.
Begin by cutting cauliflower florets into quarters and let sit for at least 5 minutes to enhance its health-promoting benefits. To Healthy Sauté cauliflower, heat 5 TBS of broth (vegetable or chicken) or water in a stainless steel skillet. Once bubbles begin to form add cauliflower florets (cut into quarters) and turmeric, cover, and Healthy Sauté for 5 minutes. Toss with our Mediterranean Dressing. For details see, 5-Minute Healthy Sautéed Cauliflower.
Recent studies on cauliflower cooking methods have shown a diverse set of interesting results. In one study, microwaving did a better job preserving quercetin than steaming. But at the same time, steaming did a better job of preserving kaempferol—another flavonoid—than microwaving. In terms of total antioxidant capacity (as measured by FRAP, or ferric reducing antioxidant potential), 5 minutes of steaming produced slightly better results than 10 minutes of steaming, although this entire range—5-10 minutes of steaming—produced great results.
The boiling of cauliflower also showed some health benefits, and the degree of these benefits was especially dependent on length of boiling. As it turns out, 75% of total glucosinolates in cauliflower were lost after 30 minutes of boiling, whereas only 30-40% were lost after 10 minutes of boiling. After analyzing all of these nutrient trade-offs and taking texture and flavor into account, we arrived at a 5-minute Healthy Sautéas our recommended approach for cooking cauliflower.
Quick Serving Ideas for Cauliflower
- Puree cooked cauliflower, add fennel seeds and your other favorite herbs and spices and serve as soup.
- Because of its shape and taste, cauliflower florets make wonderful crudite for dipping in sauces.
The Best Ways to Cook Cauliflower
Researchers have looked at the various ways to prepare and cook cauliflower in order to understand which cooking methods preserve cauliflower’s health benefits best.
According to studies, water boiling and water blanching processes have the biggest impact on reducing cauliflower’s nutrients. These methods caused significant losses of dry matter, protein, and mineral and phytochemical contents (roughly a 20 percent to 30 percent loss of certain nutrients after five minutes of boiling, 40 percent to 50 percent after 10 minutes and 75 percent after 30 minutes).
Instead, surprisingly, cauliflower kept its nutrients most intact when microwaved or gently stir-fried. These cooking methods maintained the methanolic extract of fresh cauliflower and significantly preserved the highest antioxidant activity.
The very best method for cooking cauliflower seems to be gently sautéing it on the stove top, with a bit of water, broth, lemon juice or a healthy source of fat, which can make its nutrients more absorbable. Of course, eating it raw, perhaps dipped in some healthy hummus or another type of dip, also preserves its nutrients. So if you’re a hurry to make that weeknight dinner, cauliflower can be prepared quickly or even chopped up and eaten raw.
Purchasing Fresh Cauliflower
When it comes to purchasing cauliflower, look for cauliflower that is tightly packed with its pieces pressed firmly together and not splaying open. While most cauliflower is found in white verities, other types like purple, yellow and green cauliflowers can be found in certain parts of the world and are just as nutritious.
In fact, it’s believed that there are over 80 different types of edible cauliflowers for sale around the world! There are four major groups of cauliflower that these varieties fall into: Italian (includes white, Romanesco, various brown, green, purple and yellow), Northern European (which is harvested in Europe and the U.S. in summer and fall), Northwest European (harvested in winter and early spring) and Asian (grown in China and India).
No matter the color or type you choose, look for a uniform texture and color across the whole head of cauliflower and no major bruises or color spots on the cauliflower head. It’s best to use cauliflower within three to seven days after purchasing if possible in order to ensure its nutrients are all still intact.
Uncooked cauliflower lasts in your refrigerator longer than cooked cauliflower (about one week), so store it uncooked in a dry container or plastic bag if possible, along with a paper towel to absorb moisture and keep it from molding.
Healthy Cauliflower Recipes
Luckily cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables there is — therefore adding more of it to your diet on a regular basis should not be very difficult. You can choose to mash cauliflower with probiotic-rich yogurt into a velvety smooth texture that can take the place of potatoes; grate it into rice-like particles to make cauliflower rice; use it as a meat substitute by dipping it in a batter of eggs, spices and almond flour to make cauliflower nuggets; use it for moisture and as a binding agent and a texture-enhancer in “cauliflower pizza crust,”
Either way you are still reaping the many benefits that this superfood vegetable has to offer. Try one of these great cauliflower recipes below to get you started with creatively using cauliflower in place of less healthy ingredients and also on its own as a fantastic and filling side dish.
Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that has become a favorite in health circles. Here are different ways to serve it:
- Side Dish: The florets can be steamed or roasted with spices, or can be made fancier into garlic parmesan roasted cauliflower.
- Cauliflower rice: When grated and roasted, it can be used as a low-carb substitute for rice.
- Cauliflower crust or wraps: Pizzas and wraps can be made healthy with a crust made of this cruciferous vegetable.
- Vegetable and dips: Cauliflower florets, salted and blanched, can be served with hummus or yogurt-based dips as a healthy alternative to chips.
- Meat substitute: The vegetable is roasted whole with spices and served as a steak. It can also be dipped in a batter of eggs and fried can be served with rice or as nuggets.
- Mashed cauliflower: Mash boiled cauliflower with yogurt to get an antioxidant-packed and lighter substitute for buttery mashed potatoes.
Gluten-Free Cauliflower Mac and Cheese Recipe
- 1 large cauliflower head, cut into small florets
- ½-¾ cup kefir
- ½ cup goat’s milk cottage cheese, pureed
- 1½ tsp Dijon mustard
- 1½ cups grated sheep’s or goat’s milk cheddar cheese, plus additional for topping
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease 8” x 8” pan with ghee.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add cauliflower and cook until slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels. Spread in prepared pan.
- In a saucepan over medium-high heat, mix together kefir, cottage cheese, and mustard until smooth.
- In a saucepan over medium high heat, mix together the cottage cheese, kefir and mustard until smooth
- Stir in cheese, sea salt, black pepper, and garlic powder until cheese just starts to melt. Pour over cauliflower and stir. Top with additional cheese if desired and bake for 10–15 minutes.
Mashed Faux-tatoes Recipe
- 1 medium head cauliflower, about 1 ½ pounds
- ¼ cup grass-fed butter
- ¼ cup minced chives
- 3 cloves roasted garlic, chopped
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Boil cauliflower for 7-10 minutes or until tender in a large pot filled with water.
- Drain cauliflower.
- In food processor, add in cauliflower, chives, garlic, butter, sea salt and pepper.
- Blend until smooth.
- Serve hot.
Roasted Cauliflower with Chili Lime Butter Recipe
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 2-3 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- sea salt and black pepper
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ stick unsalted butter, softened
- 1 tablespoon finely chopped shallot
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lime zest
- 1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
- ½ teaspoon adobo sauce from canned chipotle peppers with adobo sauce
- ¼ cup raw sheep cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Cut cauliflower into florets and put in a single layer in an oven-proof baking dish. Toss in the garlic.
- Sprinkle lemon juice over cauliflower and drizzle each piece with the coconut oil.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper and the chili powder.
- Bake for 25-30 minutes.
- In a small saucepan, mix the butter, shallot, lime zest and juice, and adobo sauce together over medium/low heat and cook just until the butter is melted.
- Remove cauliflower from oven and sprinkle generously with cheese. Drizzle with the chili-lime butter.
- Serve immediately.
5-Minute Cauliflower with Turmeric
Considering the research showing that cauliflower sprinkled with turmeric (which contains the powerful golden-hued polyphenol curcumin) may be especially powerful in fighting cancer, I wanted to share this quick recipe with you, from the World’s Healthiest Foods.10 This anti-inflammatory, antioxidant-rich dish cooks up in just five minutes, making it perfect for lunch, dinner or even a quick snack. Impressively, one serving of this dish provides 181% of the daily value for vitamin C, 46% for vitamin K, and 33% for folate!
Healthy Cauliflower with Turmeric
- 1 lb cauliflower
- 5 tbs low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 tsp turmeric
- Mediterranean Dressing
- 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or chopped
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
- Cut cauliflower florets into quarters and let sit for 5 minutes to bring out their hidden health benefits.
- Press or chop garlic and let sit for 5 minutes.
- Heat 5 tbs broth in a stainless steel skillet on medium heat.
- When broth begins to steam, add cauliflower and turmeric and cover. For al dente cauliflower, cook for no more than 5 minutes.
- Transfer to a bowl. For more flavor, toss cauliflower with the remaining ingredients while it is still hot. (Mediterranean Dressing does not need to be made separately.)
- Serves 2
Cauliflower Vs. Broccoli – Which Is Better?
Both are cousins. But which of the two is better? Or do you have to eat both? Well, broccoli enjoys the upper hand. It offers more vitamin C and vitamin K per serving than its cousin. And while cauliflower has no vitamin A, broccoli is rich in this nutrient as well – vitamin A is great for vision health.
Talking about similarities, both are low in calories and offer similar amounts of folate. The two are rich in fiber too. So, if you have to choose, we recommend you go with broccoli. But no harm in adding the two to your diet.
Cauliflower can cause side effects such as allergies, kidney stones, and excess gas. Avoid excess intake and also avoid its use if taking medications such as warfarin and coumadin.
Gas: Cauliflower contains complex carbohydrates that do not get broken down entirely in the digestive tract. These carbohydrates are then fed upon by the intestinal bacteria. This can sometimes result in bloating and the release of odorous gases such as hydrogen and carbon dioxide.
Uric acid: Cauliflower contains purines which can cause various health concerns if consumed in excess.  Purines break down to form uric acid and the excessive intake of purine-rich foods can lead to a build-up of uric acid in the body. This can further pave the way for uric acid-related problems such as kidney stones and gout.
Anaphylaxis: Cauliflower may prompt anaphylaxis in some people, which means it can cause a severe bodily allergic reaction to a substance. Warning signs of such allergic reactions include swelling of certain body parts, itching, dyspnea, and breathing complications. It is always advisable to discontinue the intake of cauliflower in the occurrence of such critical symptoms and seek medical attention immediately.
1. Thyroid Function
According to the research, it takes large amount of cruciferous vegetables to cause hypothyroidism, and it appears that this risk only exists for those who already have an iodine deficiency. One study in humans found that the consumption of five ounces a day of cooked cruciferous vegetables (Brussels sprouts, specifically) for four weeks had no adverse effects on thyroid function. If you have a known thyroid problem, its best to consume cruciferous vegetables that have been cooked and keep them to about one to two servings daily.
2. Can Enhance Symptoms in Those with Existing Kidney Stones or Gout
Cruciferous vegetables contain compounds called purines, which can sometimes break down to form uric acid in the urine. If you have a pre-existing condition like kidney stones and gout, you will want to speak with your doctor before consuming large amounts of cauliflower, although in small doses the risk if not thought to be anything to worry about.
3. Issues With Iodine Absorption
Cruciferous veggies like cauliflower contain cyanogenic glucosides, which are sugar-like molecules that can block iodine absorption. Excessive intake of cauliflower (and other cruciferous vegetables) can lead to hypothyroidism, wherein the thyroid hormone doesn’t produce enough of the hormone, leading to issues with metabolism.
4. Gastrointestinal Issues
Excessive intake of cauliflower can lead to gas. This is because it contains complex carbs that don’t break down easily. Intestinal bacteria digest these complex carbs in the intestine and release carbon and hydrogen dioxide gas.
5. Blood Clots
The vitamin K in cauliflower can make your blood clot. This might be a problem if you are already taking blood-thinning medication like coumadin.
6. Issues With Pregnancy And Breastfeeding
There is not enough information on the intake of cauliflower during pregnancy or breastfeeding. Hence, stay on the safe side and avoid use.
Warfarin: Cauliflower is rich in vitamin K, which is utilized by the body for normal blood clotting. It can interact and reduce the effectiveness of anticoagulants like warfarin and coumadin which are prescribed to prevent the clotting of blood in the body. If you are taking anticoagulant drugs, it is always advisable to discuss the dietary intake of foods rich in vitamin K such as cauliflower with a health professional.
Cauliflower is a versatile vegetable that brings a pleasant flavor along with low-calorie nutrition to the diet. The inclusion of cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower in the diet would go a long way in providing ample benefits for almost any lifestyle!
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