Cauliflower: if not the new kale, then what?

Cauliflower is suddenly everywhere, and for good reason: it's versatile, nutritious, and can be paired with just about anything

September 11th, 2018 by | Posted in Health & Nutrition | Tags: , , ,

Cauliflower, once considered bland and boring, is enjoying a moment. In fact cauliflower is suddenly everywhere you look. One reason is that it’s relatively inexpensive. It can be cooked a variety of ways (stir-fried, roasted, steamed, etc.), or eaten raw in salads or as a crudité with dip. It’s also a chameleon, capable of being chopped finely enough to substitute for flour (for those trying to avoid gluten) or rice, and disguised to blend in with a variety of flavours. 

RELATED: Recipe: Cauliflower and prosciutto pasta

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HAPPY FOOTBALL SEASON!! 🏈🎉 it’s an official holiday in our house, and I’m always excited because football means snacks. Right? Right. Every game day Sunday I make some sort of snack (and mimosas- it’s superstition now), and today I made our favorite BUFFALO CAULIFLOWER BITES 🔥🔥 P does not eat many veggies, but will eat an entire batch of these 😏 Happy Sunday friends and GO PATS!! ❤️💙 • Buffalo cauliflower bites: Mix together 2Tbls arrowroot powder + 1tsp paprika + 1tsp garlic powder + dash of S&P. Stir in 1/2Tbls avocado oil + 2Tbls water + 1/4 cup @franksredhot . Set aside. Cut one medium cauliflower head into florets and place in a large bowl. Pour liquid mixture over cauliflower florets and coat thoroughly. Place in airfrier for 15-17 minutes at 400F. If not using an airfrier, place in a preheated oven at 425F and cook until crispy! • Ranch dip: 1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt + 2tsp parsley + 1/4tsp each garlic and onion powder + squeeze of lime juice + S&P to taste

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Food companies have even created chopped and “riced” cauliflower products, and, according to Berkeley Wellness, some have drawn the ire of the rice industry as a result. 

Cauliflower, like kale (and cabbage, bok choy, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts), is a cruciferous vegetable, from the Brassicaceae or cabbage family. Its relative nutritional merits, compared to kale, could be debated endlessly, but it is an excellent source of vitamin C, and contains a decent amount of folic acid, vitamin B6 and vitamin K (though broccoli is better). One cup of raw, chopped cauliflower contains roughly 30 calories, two grams of protein, two grams of fibre, and almost no fat. Cauliflower also contains phytochemicals, which may help block tumour growth, and the fancier coloured varieties (orange, purple) may have other health benefits, though the research on this is not definitive.

RELATED: Seasonal snacking: Satisfying cauliflower recipes

As with any vegetable, it’s best served raw to maximize health benefits, and boiling in water may leach away some its healthful properties. Steaming, microwaving and stir-frying are the best cooking methods for preserving nutrients.

Tip for runners: Shalane Flanagan‘s new cookbook, Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow contains three yummy-sounding cauliflower recipes, including Cauliflower Tabbouleh, Simply Roasted Vegetables (of which cauliflower is one), and Roasted Cauliflower and Potatoes.