Cauliflower was cultivated from wild cabbage that grew in Asia and parts of the Mediterranean, and as such is a member of the cruciferous (or Brassicaceae) vegetable family – related to kale, Brussels sprouts, and broccoli (in fact, these all belong to the same genus and species of plant – Brassica oleracea).
Cauliflower can be enjoyed baked, steamed, or roasted. You an also try blitzing it in a food processor until it’s grated into a rice texture, then enjoy in fried rice to get some extra veggies in!
Heads of cauliflower that are surrounded by many thick green leaves are better protected and will be fresher, so this is what we look for when selecting cauliflowers. The leaves can also be eaten – try sautéing or steaming them as you would any other leafy green, or roasting them for a crispy side dish!
This cruciferous vegetable is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, dietary fibre, choline and folate. Cruciferous vegetables are unique as they possess sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates, which have been shown to have cancer-fighting properties.
Interestingly, researchers have found that there may be an association between cruciferous vegetables and estrogen levels, due to the presence of indole-3-carbinol – a compound that is found in cruciferous vegetables that helps regulate estrogen activity and metabolism through the liver.
Store cauliflower, covered, in the crisper section of your fridge. It can keep for up to five days when stored this way. You can also chop and blanch the florets and freeze in a container, to use for up to 6 months. Try adding some cooked frozen cauliflower to your smoothie with frozen blueberries – while you can’t taste the cauliflower, it adds a thick texture, like ice cream!