Cauliflower belongs to the 'white' family of fruits and vegetables. The group also includes banana, mushroom, onion, and garlic. Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable -- so called because the four-petal flowers resemble a cross. Broccoli and cabbage also belong to the cruciferous family of vegetables.
Cauliflower probably originated in Asia Minor, but was available almost exclusively in Italy until the 16th century when it was introduced to France and eventually to other areas of Europe. It was first grown in North America in the late 1600s.
Why should I be aware of this?
- Cauliflower has cancer fighting properties.
- It is low in carbohydrates and rich in vitamin C.
- Three florets of cauliflower a day will provide you with 67% of your daily vitamin C requirement.
- Those with thyroid problems should avoid eating large amounts of cabbage or cauliflower. They both interfere with the body's absorption of iodine, needed by the thyroid gland.
All about cauliflower
A "white" vegetable, cauliflower lacks the green chlorophyll found in other members of the cruciferous family of vegetables like broccoli, cabbage and kale. Cauliflower is white because the leaves of the plant shield the florets from the sun as they grow. The compact head of the cauliflower is called a "curd", and is usually about six inches in diameter. It is composed of undeveloped flower buds. The flowers are attached to a central stalk.
Carbohydrate content in cauliflower
Cauliflower is low in carbohydrates. For those on a low-carb diet, cauliflower can be used as a substitute for starchier foods such as potatoes and rice. If you make cauliflower "rice" to serve with, for example, a curry dish, you've easily added an extra vegetable to your meal.
- 1/2 cup cauliflower (50 grams) contains 1.5 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 1 gram fiber and 12 calories
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (5-6" diameter; about 20 oz) contains 16 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 14 grams fiber and 144 calories.
- 1/4 lb. (4 oz) cauliflower has 3 grams effective (net) carbohydrate plus 3 gram fiber and 28 calories.
Buying, storing and cooking tips for cauliflower
- When purchasing cauliflower, make sure the tops are white. If the floret has begun to spot brown or purple, it is past its nutritional peak.
- Cauliflower should be stored at 35 degrees F with the leaves still on and good air circulation.
- Store cauliflower in a bag in the fridge where it will keep up to
- To prevent moisture from developing in the floret clusters, store the cauliflower with the stem side up.
- With the leaves they will last 2 weeks, without the leaves only a few days
- Serving the cauliflower raw will yield the highest nutritional benefits.
- If you need to cook cauliflower, cook it lightly or steam it. This will keep its cancer-fighting components intact.
- For fresher cauliflower, buy those that are surrounded and protected by many thick green leaves.
- If you are keeping or cooking cauliflower in water, it might turn yellow if the water is alkaline in nature. To avoid this, add a tablespoon of milk or lemon juice to the water. This will help you get a whiter cauliflower,
- Do not cook cauliflower in an aluminum or iron pot. The chemical compounds in cauliflower will react with the aluminum and turn the vegetable yellow. In an iron pot, it will turn a brown or blue-green color.
- Cauliflower should be heavy for its size.
- Pure white cauliflower is very fresh but if there are a few brown spots they can be easily trimmed off.
Cauliflower and health
- Cauliflower contains allicin, which can improve heart health and reduce the risk of strokes.
- It has selenium, a chemical that works well with Vitamin C to strengthen the immune system.
- Cauliflower can also help to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.
- Folate a B vitamin that is needed for cell growth and replication, is also found in cauliflower.
- Cauliflower is an excellent source of fiber, which helps to improve colon health and can even help prevent colon cancer.
- It has been discovered that cauliflower, as well as other cruciferous vegetables, such as brussel sprouts and cabbage, contain indole-3-carbinol, a substance that can affect the metabolism of estrogen in the body, and prevent breast cancer and other female cancers.
90 degrees -- what we do not know yet?
- Researchers have found that the curry spice turmeric holds real potential for the treatment and prevention of prostate cancer, particularly when combined with certain vegetables.
- Broccoli and cauliflower, in particular -- have natural ingredients that may reduce the risk of developing hereditary cancers. sulforaphane (SFN). This compound had previously been shown to inhibit some cancers in rodents.
- Carb Counts for Cauliflower
- Cauliflower VHF foods
- Health benefits of cauliflower
- Nutritional benefits of cauliflower