It’s trendy.  It’s delicious. It’s everywhere.  Here’s what you need to know about cauliflower, as a person who eats.

Cauliflower: Cure or Curse?

  • Cauliflower is a member of the Brassica family, meaning it is related to cabbage, broccoli, kale, bok choi, brussels sprouts, and mustard greens.  Brassicas are known for being potent anti-cancer foods.
  • The leaves and stem are edible.  Try chopping them finely and mixing with rice.
  • Cauliflower comes in several colors now.  Purple cauliflower is particularly fun with kids– try changing the colors by adding acidic ingredients (like lemon juice) versus basic ingredients (like milk).
  • Excessive intake of raw cauliflower (and other raw Brassica vegetables) can contribute to thyroid issues.  However, either choosing to cook cauliflower or limiting total volume of raw vegetables like broccoli and kale easily prevents this issue.

Excessive intake of raw cauliflower can contribute to thyroid issues

  • Cauliflower is eaten in traditional dishes from around the world.  Try Aloo Gobi from India, Giardiniera from Italy, this Turkish dish, or Cauliflower Cheese from the UK.
  • Cauliflower is about 92% water.  This means that turning cauliflower into items like pizza crust or crackers requires pressing out much of that water. ::::squish::::
  • Some of the health-promoting phytonutrients– the chemicals produced by plant– are very sensitive to boiling.  Steaming, roasting, or sautéing are preferable to help preserve glucosinolates.

Should I Eat Cauliflower?

Do you like it? If so, please do! (As long as you aren’t allergic to it.) If you don’t like it, maybe try it prepared a few different ways. Raw florets, for example are crunchy and just a tiny it spicy. On the other hand, cauliflower puree is the polar opposite: velvety and rich.

Cauliflower can be a great addition to the diet, from a culinary and nutritional perspective, so enjoy! If you have a favorite way to eat it, share with us over on the Balance: Food and Nutrition Facebook page.

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