Curious about Cauliflower?

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Meet the super food – cauliflower. We’ve all known and loved cauliflower for years. How about a closer look into this great vegetable?

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that belongs the cabbage family. It has some high powered relatives in its family – broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale and cabbage. Cauliflower originates from Asia Minor. Cultivation of cauliflower started 600 years BC in Turkey. Cauliflower gained popularity in Europe in the 16th century, while cultivation in America started at the beginning of the 20th century.

Hundreds varieties of cauliflower are available today. The most common type of cauliflower is white, but it can be also be found in green, purple, orange, brown and yellow color.  The different varieties differ in size, shape, taste and nutritional composition.

Nutritionally cauliflower can hold its own among its relatives:

  • Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and dietary fibre.
  • The vitamin E in Cauliflower has shown to have anti-inflammatory and cardiovascular benefits.
  • Cauliflower contains components that appear to stop enzymes from activating cancer-causing agents in the body, and they increase the activity of enzymes that disable and eliminate carcinogens.
  • Cauliflower contains compounds that increase the liver’s ability to neutralize potentially toxic substances.
  • The stem and leaves on Cauliflower are edible, and are especially good for adding to soup stocks.
  • Cauliflower contains naturally occurring substances called purines. Purines can be broken down to form uric acid. Individuals prone to gout or kidney stones, or other health problems related to excess uric acid in the body, may want to limit or avoid eating foods that contain purines.
  • Cauliflower contains goitrogens which can interfere with the function of the thyroid gland for people with an existing, untreated thyroid problem.

It’s important not to overcook Cauliflower; cook it just until tender. It’s almost never a good idea to boil cauliflower because it all but ruins flavor and texture. Steaming and blanching are the best methods to preserve the most flavor and nutrition.

Microwave: This method preserves the most nutrients and is really easy. Put Cauliflower in an inch of water in a microwave‐safe dish. Cover tightly and microwave 5 to 7 minutes (total minutes may vary depending on wattage of microwave, so experiment).

Steaming: A delightful way to cook Cauliflower, steaming preserves flavor, texture and nutrition. Bring 1 to 2 inches of water to a boil in a pot. Arrange florets evenly in a steamer basket, making sure the water does not seep into the bottom of the basket. Cover and steam. About 5 minutes should be just about right, but it all depends on your steaming setup. Just make sure you don’t steam too long, as the florets will get too soft.

Stirfry: You can also stir‐fry Cauliflower by cutting the head into bite‐sized florets. Heat 1 to 2 tablespoons of oil in large skillet or wok, add florets and stir‐fry over medium‐high heat until just crisp‐tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.