Cauliflower is a member of cruciferous vegetable or brassica oleracea family. It is considered one of the healthiest food in the earth.
Cauliflower is very nutritious and has many health benefits. It reduces the risk of cancer, heart disease, brain disease, promotes weight loss.
Helps Reduce Cancer Risk
Cauliflower contains chemopreventive agentsandGlucosinolates which reduces the risk of various cancer like colon, breast, liver, lung and stomach cancers.
Cauliflower contains antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds, which lower oxidative stress and the presence of free radicals in our body. It also boosts immunity, reduce inflammation and protects the body from harmful bacteria, cold, flu and infections.
Decreases Risk for Heart Disease and Brain Disorders
Cauliflower has anti-inflammatory properties which reduces the risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. It also contains omega-3 fatty acids which help keep arteries and blood vessels free from plaque buildup, lessening the chances of high blood pressure and out-of-control cholesterol levels developing and protects the brain cell from getting damaged.
Improves Digestion and Detoxification
Cauliflower contains sulforaphane, glucobrassicin, glucoraphanin and gluconasturtiin which detoxify the body, promotes digestion, liver health. It contains glucosinolates which prevents gut syndrome, digestive disorders and increases healthy bacteria.
Aids in Weight Loss
Cauliflower is low in calories, has virtually zero grams of fat, is very low in carbs and sugar, and yet is high in volume and filling fiber. It helps to prevent constipation, keep excess waste or water weight moving out of your body and helps to lose weight.
Helps Balance Hormones
Cauliflower contains lots of antioxidants which balances hormone and reduces unhealthy levels of estrogen.
Preserves Eye Health
The sulforaphane found in cauliflower has been shown to protect the vulnerable tissues of the retinal area from oxidative stress that can result in blindness, cataracts, macular degeneration and more.
Cauliflower can be eaten at any time of day. It goes well with produces such as apples, asparagus, bell pepper, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, carrots, celery, citrus, corn, garlic, lime, lemon, kale, mango, mushrooms, olives, onions, peas, potatoes, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, spinach, squash, and tomatoes. Spices and herbs such as basil, bay leaf, cardamom, chervil, chives, cilantro, cinnamon, coriander, cumin, dill, garam masala, ginger, marjoram, mint, mustard, nutmeg, oregano, paprika, parsley, saffron, tarragon, thyme, and turmeric. Dairy products such as yogurt, cream, milk, blue cheese, cheddar cheese, feta cheese, Gruyère cheese, Parmesan cheese, browned butter, and butter. And other food items such as beef, anchovies, pork, tofu, chickpeas, grains, pine nuts, walnuts, seeds, rice, almonds, tahini, and wine.
Types and Uses of cauliflower
Cauliflower can be used many different ways.
- You can choose to mash steamed cauliflower with probiotic-rich yogurt into a velvety smooth texture that can take the place of potatoes
- Grate it into rice-like particles to make cauliflower rice
- Use it as a meat substitute by dipping it in a batter of eggs, spices and almond flour to make cauliflower nugget
- Make roasted cauliflower topped with buffalo or hot sauce (a vegan stand in for buffalo wings)
- Use it for moisture and as a binding agent and a texture-enhancer in “cauliflower pizza crust”
- Both cauliflower and potatoes are often used as grain alternatives. You can use them to make “rice,” grain-free “pizza crusts,” gnocchi and more. One benefit of using cauliflower over potatoes in recipes is that it’s lower in carbs, making it suitable for people on the keto diet or other low-carb diets.
- Top hot cooked cauliflower with melted butter and season with your choice of chives, dill, nutmeg, minced parsley, or lemon juice for a delicious side dish.
- Try roasting it with a drizzle of olive oil and your favourite seasonings. Nuts pair nicely with cauliflower and can be roasted alongside the florets, if desired. Toss together in a bowl before serving.
- Raw cauliflower is delicious on a crudité platter and makes a crunchy addition to seasonal salads.
- Add chopped cooked cauliflower to a quiche, or stir it into scrambled eggs.
- Roast cauliflower and broccoli together, tossed with garam masala and olive oil.
- Cauliflower can be used to create kid-friendly dishes thanks to its ability to take on the flavours and seasonings of a recipe.
- Cut down on the carb content of decadent dishes like pizza and pasta by replacing the flour, grain or glutinous component with cauliflower.
- Bring classic Indian flavours to the table with a cauliflower aloo gobi.
How to buy and store cauliflower
- It’s best to use cauliflower within three to seven days after purchasing if possible in order to ensure its nutrients are all still intact.
- Buy only fresh cauliflower.
Season in which cauliflower is available
Cauliflower is available in december.
How to make Gobi Dhaba Style (Stir Fry Cauliflower Indian Roadside Style)
6 tbsp oil
1 big potato chopped in big cubes
200 g cauliflower florets. (Remove the florets from and cauliflower. Wash and drain them properly in clean water.)
1 medium green capsicum remove seeds and cut it into big 1 inch squares
1 tomato cut into big cubes
2 tbsp coriander chopped finely
1/2 tsp turmeric powder
1 tbsp coriander powder
1 tsp cumin powder
1 tsp garam masala
2 tsp red chilli powder I have used kashmiri red chilli powder. It gives nice red colour.
1 tbsp ginger garlic paste
1/4 tsp asafoetida
salt as per taste
Heat oil in kadai or big pan.
Add the asafoetida, turmeric and potatoes to it. Stir them and cook them covered for 5-10 minutes or a little tender.
Add the cauliflower florets in them. Mix well and cook covered for 10 minutes till tender. Add salt in it.
Add the capsicum , cook covered for five minutes till tender. Do not overcook them. They should have the crunchiness in them.
Add all the dry masalas ( red chili powder, coriander – cumin powder, garam masala ) and ginger garlic paste to it. Mix them well and cook for two minutes stirring in between.
Now add the chopped tomatoes , mix well and cook till the tomatoes are tender and soft for five minutes. Do not overcook the tomatoes.The oil will be seen separating here. Add some chopped coriander.
Gobi Dhaba Style is ready. Garnish with chopped coriander and serve it with roti, paratha, naan or rice.
The cauliflower florets need to be cleaned and washed properly. You can also just give them one boil in salted water if in hurry.
The adjustment of the spices and oil can be made as per your choice.
The vegetables are cooked step wise as cooking them altogether will make them soggy and mushy as each vegetable varies in cooking time. Potatoes take longer time to cook then cauliflower.
Thus add the cauliflower to the potato once they are tender. Capsicum and tomatoes need not be overcooked. They should be crunchy.
How to make Cauliflower Poriyal Recipe
1 cup – 250ml
Cauliflower florets – 20 nos
Water – to parboil cauliflower
Salt – as needed
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Cooking oil – 2 tbsp
Mustard seeds – 1/2 tsp
Urad dal – 1/2 tsp
Cumin seeds – 1/2 tsp
Big onion – 1 no ( finely chopped)
Ginger-garlic paste – 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves – Few
Tomato – 1 no
Red chilli powder – 1 tsp ( use 1/2 tsp for less spicy taste)
Turmeric powder – 1/4 tsp
Salt – as needed
Coriander leaves – as needed
Garam masala powder – 1/2 tsp
Take the cauliflower, remove the florets. If the florets are big, chop and make it small. Boil 5 cups of water adding turmeric powder & little salt. When the water starts to roll boil, switch off the flame. Add the cauliflower florets and rest for 5 to 10 minutes. Drain the excess water and collect the parboiled cauliflower.Set aside.
Heat oil in a kadai and splutter mustard seeds, urad dal and cumin seeds. Add finely chopped onion, ginger-garlic paste, curry leaves. Saute till raw smell goes off.
Add chopped tomato & saute until mushy(It is not shown in the picture) Add turmeric powder, salt & red chilli powder. Mix well for a minute.
Lastly add the parboiled cauliflower florets, 1/4 to 1/2 cup of water. Mix well & simmer the flame. Cover cook for 5 to 10 minutes till cauliflower becomes soft & well cooked.Check for taste, add more salt & chilli powder if needed.
Garnish with finely chopped coriander leaves. Serve with rice, sambar or rasam.
Adjust the quantity of chilli powder as per your taste.
You can add garam masala powder along with chilli powder for more masala flavor. You can also have this curry with chapathi if you like.
Tomato gives mild tanginess to the poriyal.So don’t skip it. If you don’t have tomato, you can add lemon juice after switching off the flame.
Safety profile for using cauliflower
Cauliflower can cause gas. Individuals who are suffering from kidney stones should talk to their doctors before consuming cauliflower.
Fun facts about cauliflowers
- Cauliflower can grow from 8 to 30 inches both in height and width.
- Cauliflower develops large and coarse leaves that are green in color. They grow in the form of rosette. Leaves surround stalk which holds centrally positioned large, white head.
- White head looks like a miniature tree on the cross section. It consists of densely packed curds. Head is usually 6 inches wide and has 2 to 3 pounds of weight in large varieties of cauliflower. Head consists of central stalk which branches and holds undeveloped flower buds.
- Leaves ensure development of white head. Without leaves, bunch of inedible yellow flowers would appear.
- Color of the head depends on the variety. Most common type of cauliflower is white, but it can be also purchased in green, purple, orange, brown and yellow color.
- Green variety is known as broccoflower because it looks like broccoli. One type of green cauliflowers develops spiky instead of round curds. This variety of cauliflower is known as Romanesco broccoli.
- Cauliflower belongs to the group of cruciferous vegetables. They are named that way because they have flowers that consist of four petals which grow in the shape of Greek cross.
- Cauliflower develops from seeds and tissue transplants.
- Depending on the variety, it takes from 50 to 265 days from planting of the seed to the harvest. Cauliflower is harvested when it reaches expected size and texture.
- Cauliflower is an excellent source of dietary fibers, vitamins C, K and vitamins of the B group and minerals such as manganese, potassium and magnesium. Cauliflower has low caloric value and can be used as a substitute for rice and potato.
- Cauliflowers can be eaten raw, cooked or pickled.
- Prolonged cooking destroys majority of vitamins and it is associated with bad, sulfur-like smell of cauliflower. Cooking of 30 or more minutes decreases health benefits of cauliflower for 75%.
- Medical studies revealed that substances isolated from cauliflower can prevent development of certain types of cancer.
- China is the greatest manufacturer of cauliflowers in the world.
- Cauliflower is an annual plant which means that it completes its life cycle in one year.
- Cauliflower is one of the cultivated varieties of the cabbage plant family and is closely related to broccoli.
- The cauliflower originally came from Cyprus.
- In the 1st century AD, Pliny included what he called cyma among his descriptions of cultivated plants in Natural History: “Ex omnibus brassicae generibus suavissima est cyma,” (“Of all the varieties of cabbage the most pleasant-tasted is cyma”).
- It is found in the writings of the Arab botanists Ibn al-‘Awwam and Ibn al-Baitar, in the 12th and 13th centuries.
- Despite its antiquity, sprouting broccoli apparently was unknown in England until about 1720, when it was introduced as “sprout cauliflower” or “Italian asparagus”.
- It’s hard to imagine that this vegetable, now taken somewhat for granted, was once the rage at the court of Louis XIV and served in rich and elegant dishes there.
- Today, food writers everywhere are extremely fond of quoting Mark Twain’s contention that “a cauliflower is nothing but a cabbage with a college education,” but somehow they always neglect to complete that opinion with its beginning: “Training is everything,” he wrote (in Pudd’nhead Wilson).
- The word “cauliflower” derives from the Italian caoli fiori, meaning “cabbage flower”. The ultimate origin of the name is from the Latin words caulis (cabbage) and flōs (flower).
- It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed.
- The plant reach about 0.5 meter (1.5 feet) tall and has large rounded leaves that resemble collards.
- As desired for food, the terminal cluster forms a firm, succulent “curd,” or head, that is an immature inflorescence (cluster of flowers). The broad leaves extend far above the curd and are often tied together before harvest to shade the curd and prevent discoloration.
- The plants produce cross-shaped flowers and bear seeds in dry capsules known as siliques.
- There are 25 calories in 100 grams (3.5 ounces) of cauliflower.
- Cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. It is a very good source of choline, dietary fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, manganese, phosphorus, and biotin.
- Green cauliflower is available in the normal curd (head) shape and with a fractal spiral curd called Romanesco broccoli.
- Cauliflower has been noticed by mathematicians for its distinct fractal dimension, predicted to be about 2.8. One of the fractal properties of cauliflower is that every branch, or “module”, is similar to the entire cauliflower. Another quality, also present in other plant species, is that the angle between “modules,” as they become more distant from the center, is 360 degrees divided by the golden ratio.
- It is a popular vegetable in Poland where it is eaten in a soup with cream or fried with bread crumbs.
- Cauliflower-based doughs for making pizza have been 3D printed.