Anyone Else Crazy for Cauliflower?

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cauliflower

Today we’re going to be talking about one of my favourite cruciferous vegetables – the humble cauliflower. Why do I love it so much?

Well, besides being very nutritious, it is an extremely versatile vegetable, with many, many uses. As well, it is high in fiber, but low on the glycemic index, meaning it can be consumed with little to no worry that it will disrupt blood sugar, or lead to weight gain.

Now, let’s get down to some specifics…

WHY is Cauliflower good for us?

Cauliflower is FULL of so many amazing and necessary vitamins and minerals. Here is a breakdown of the nutrients that can be found in 1 cup of cauliflower:

Calories: 25

Fibre: 3 G (10% of the RDI)

Vitamins;

C: 77% of the RDI

K: 20% of the RDI

B6: 11% of the RDI

Folate: 14% of the RDI

Potassium: 9% of the RDI

Manganese: 8% of the RDI

Magnesium: 4% of the RDI

*RDI stands for Recommended Daily Intake

On top of being full of important nutrients, cauliflower is both low in calories and high in fibre, which make it a good food for weight management or weight loss. As we’ve discussed before, foods containing fibre help us to feel full longer because they slow digestion.

Cauliflower is comprised of 92% water, and foods with high water content also help us to feel full longer, and ultimately, eat less.

A bit more about fibre…

Foods that are high in fibre feed healthy gut bacteria that reduce inflammation and promote proper digestion – ultimately, high fibre foods can reduce the incidence of constipation, diverticulitis, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Cauliflower is full of antioxidants – a variety of carotenoids, flavenoids, and glucosinolates that are anti-inflammatory and known to fight cancer, work to prevent heart disease, and to provide immune support.

Other important nutrients in cauliflower that shouldn’t be forgotten are choline and sulforaphane.

  • Choline prevents cholesterol from accumulating in the liver, helps synthesize DNA, and supports brain health. Another food that is high in choline is broccoli.
  • Sulforaphane is a known cancer fighter, may reduce the onset of heart disease, and supports kidney health.

Wow – who knew this wonder vegetable had so many wonderful ingredients?!

WHAT can we do with it?

We humans are resourceful creatures; you can give us that. In recent years, cauliflower has gained in popularity because of its versatility.

With the rise of low-carb diets, people began looking for ways to get rid of foods like rice, mashed potatoes, flour, etc which are carbohydrate dense (and therefore, calorie dense). Enter our friend, the cauliflower.

Side by side, a cup of cauliflower contains 5 grams of carbohydrates, while a cup of rice contains a whopping 45 grams! That is 9 times more.

So, on top of increasing your intake of veggies (that include all of those wonderful vitamins and minerals we just discussed), you can consume cauliflower INSTEAD of high carbohydrate foods in a wide variety of ways:

  • Cauliflower rice (using a potato ricer or a food processor, cauliflower can be pulsed into something very closely resembling grains of rice and then used instead of rice as the base of a stir fry, as a savoury side dish, or anywhere else you would typically enjoy rice.
  • Cauliflower mash – believe it or not, cauliflower can be steamed and mashed with a bit of non-dairy milk and butter to resemble the consistency and flavour of mashed potatoes. If your family protests at first, try half potato, half cauliflower and gradually decrease the amount of potato used on subsequent occasions.
  • Pizza crust – yes, it’s true! Cauliflower can be made into a great tasting pizza crust that is both delicious AND nutritious.
  • Gnocchi – replace the traditional potato in gnocchi with riced cauliflower for a lighter and healthier version of this Italian classic

Other great ways to add cauliflower to your diet:

  • As an added ingredient to homemade hummus
  • Slow roasted with cumin, pink salt, and a drizzle of olive or coconut oil
  • Added to soups and stews for texture and taste
  • When roasted and sauced, cauliflower can replace chicken in buffalo tacos

And a couple of interesting notes…

We have been raised to believe that the darker in colour the vegetable, the better it is for us (ex. spinach vs. iceberg lettuce). However, this isn’t true with cauliflower. Although many of its varieties are white, studies show that it is just as high in available phytonutrients as broccoli and kale.

Not only the florets are edible – it is safe to eat both the stems and the leaves (the leaves are delicious in soup and as an ingredient when making vegetable stock).

As with any foods within your control, it is always best to purchase organic, when possible. And, on a final note, consider trying a different variety of cauliflower. Have you seen this gorgeous Romanesco variety?


Lastly, thank you so much for visiting! I hope you have found some valuable information, if so, I’d love to hear about it!

Please feel free to share this post with anyone who might benefit, and comments are always welcome!

I look forward to connecting with you next time!

And be sure to check out why you should order your family’s next meal courtesy of Ki’s Kitchen  
cauliflower

From our kitchen to yours,

Love + Peace

Kiran 

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