Calling all Cauliflowers
By Chelsea Fisher
Although CFYL recommends a plate full of colorful fruits and vegetables for a healthy diet, cauliflower, with its creamy white florets, also has a place on our plate. This modest looking veg–although the golden yellow, purple and glorious pale green Romesco varieties are a bit more flashy– provides a host of vitamins, including C, B6, K, potassium, manganese, protein, and thiamine.
Like all plants in the brassica family, cauliflower contains indole-3-carbinol, and sulfur compounds, agents the American Center for Cancer Research (AICR) reports can help protect against some types of cancers, especially of the mouth, pharynx, larynx, esophagus, and stomach. The AICR also reports that current animal research is suggesting the ability of components in brassica vegetables to stop the growth of cancer cells in the breast, endometrium, lung, colon, liver, and cervix.
Cauliflower is abundant and fresh in the autumn and winter. When selecting cauliflower, make sure the heads are firm, creamy white, feel heavy and compact. Avoid any with brown spots, discoloration or yellowing leaves. Cauliflower can keep for five days in the refrigerator, unless it is already cut, in which case it will spoil much more quickly. For convenience, many supermarkets now sell containers of pre-cut cauliflower florets, so use these up within a day or two.
Gone are the days of over-boiled, mushy cauliflower. Cook it right, and you’ll be surprised how delicious it can taste. Try CFYL’s Spicy Oven Roasted Cauliflower using coconut oil, turmeric, and cumin. For a simple side dish, toss pieces of cauliflower in extra virgin olive oil, marjoram, and salt and pepper. Roast until the florets turn soft and brown. Eat as is, or drizzle on balsamic vinegar and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. For a somewhat healthier version of the comfort food classic mac ‘n’ cheese, simply make a homemade style version using lightly steamed cauliflower florets in place of the macaroni. Cauliflower is also an Indian food classic and is delicious in curries.