The Versatile Cauliflower!

January 5, 2017

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The Versatile Cauliflower!

Image courtesy of Guava Rose Blog.

This week The Santa Fe Reporter’s “The Fork” wrote about cauliflower, and we thought we’d also celebrate these beautiful vegetables!

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable; It’s in the same family as cabbage, broccoli, brussel sprouts, and bok choy. This family of vegetables takes its name from the Latin “cruciferae” which means “cross-bearing.” This is because the shape of their flowers and its four petals resemble a cross.

One of my favorite things about cauliflower is that is a great visual for the Fibonacci Sequence. This video shows exactly how this mathematical sequence shows up in cauliflower.

Nutrients and Benefits

Whether white or purple or orange or green, cauliflower is an excellent source 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.

As explains, “cauliflower contains antioxidants and phytonutrients that can protect against cancer, fiber that helps with satiety, weight loss and a healthy digestive tract, choline that is essential for learning and memory as well as many other important nutrients. Cauliflower even ranks among the top 20 foods in regards to ANDI score (Aggregate Nutrient Density Index), which measures vitamin, mineral and phytonutrient content in relation to caloric content. To earn high rank, a food must provide a high amount of nutrients for a small amount of calories.” (Make sure to click the link to the Medical News Today article to learn about the extensive health benefits of cauliflower!)

Recent studies have shown that full submersion of cauliflower in boiling water is not the best cooking practice, since it loses glucosinolates and flavonoids. So, what IS the best way to cook cauliflower? There’s more ways than you think! One of the amazing things about cauliflower is that it is extremely versatile and has become a key ingredient in many gluten free recipes. Whether you avoid gluten or not, this list of ideas & recipes will help increase this veggie in your diet!

The Recipes

Not to mention a never ending list of ways to use cauliflower in soups and salads, or simply roasted… We encourage you to check out all the ways to cook cauliflower, then get creative when these beautiful flowers are back in season!

This locally inspired recipe is brought to you by Pam Walker. Pam is an avid home cook, writer, and local farm and food activist who is also a board member of the Santa Fe Farmers’ Market Institute. Thank you, Pam, for helping inspire us to use locally sourced ingredients!