The Perks of Being a Cauliflower.

According to Mark Twain, cauliflower is nothing more than the result of a college-educated cabbage. Whilst his message wasn’t really about what makes a good vegetable, I think Twain was on to something about it being a pretty awesome edible gift from nature. As any good vegetarian would know, cauliflower is the best staple to have in the kitchen since bread and (dairy-free) butter.

The versatile cauliflower doesn’t only make a great flower bouquet for the most vegetarian wedding ever – it can be the blank canvas that turns so many dishes into a healthier, more delicious version of its former self. It can be used in a endless amount of dishes as a way to bulk it up, substitute higher calorie ingredients, add extra nutrition or just be the star in it’s own right. Nothing beats some crispy baked cauliflower.

So whats the story with cauliflower? It dates all the way back to the 6th century, with records of it found throughout Mediterranean countries around the 12th century, making its way to France and the rest of Europe around the 16th century. The name literally means cabbage and flower in Latin – so maybe Twain wasn’t too far off? The most common type of cauliflower is white, but you can get it in orange, green and even purple these days.

But what makes cauliflower truly great is its crazy health benefits; it’s packed full of fibre which makes it great for your digestive health, has basically no calories (26 calories to 100g to be precise), is jam-packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, vitamins such as A, C, K, B5, B6, folate acid and minerals like manganese, copper, iron, calcium and potassium. It’s said to be able to prevent and treat cancer, reduce inflammation, improve brain function reduce the likelihood of memory loss later in life, and significantly improve heart and kidney function. The list of benefits is basically endless, and I don’t know about you, but I think its high time we gave cauliflower a well-deserved round of applause. This under-rated vegetable could well be the key to a healthier, more delicious life.

Now you’re probably thinking “could I live solely on cauliflower forever more?”. And that’s a fair thought to have. You probably could. It can be used in almost every single (savoury) dish you could think of. Don’t believe me? Here are a few recipes from some of my favourite food bloggers to get your creative (cauliflower) juices going;

http://minimalistbaker.com/cauliflower-rice-burrito-bowl/
Minimalist Baker’s Cauliflower Rice Burrito Bowl
http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/vegetables-recipes/whole-roasted-cauliflower/#Kf1I9Pv0mzi3CtMy.97
Jamie Oliver’s Whole Roasted Cauliflower
http://www.greenkitchenstories.com/green-pizza-with-a-cauliflower-base/
Green Kitchen Stories’ Green Pizza with a Cauliflower Base

How do I buy a good one? It’s pretty simple:

  • Look for a cauliflower with a creamy white colour, that has densely packed florets and is free of blemishes, wet spots or any brown spots.
  • Find one with good-looking, vibrant leaves – not only an indicator that its been recently picked from Mother Nature, but makes the cauliflower really pop in your Instagram post.
  • Have a sniff – if it’s got a smell, it’s had its day and need to go into the compost.

Storing it couldn’t be easier either;

  • Keep it in a loose plastic bag in the fridge and it’ll last you 4-7 days (unless it gets eaten before that).
  • If you think you’re coming to the end of your cauli’s life in the fridge, cut it up, throw it in some zip lock bags and freeze that bad boy for up to 6 months. Who needs to buy steam vegetables anymore? Not you!

Inspired to make cauliflower your new culinary bestie? Let us know how you use cauliflower in the comments section!

Want us to cover a particular ingredient? Request what you want to know about and we could feature it in an upcoming blog post!

Cover Image via Eric & Ruthie

 

One thought on “The Perks of Being a Cauliflower.

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