There is no limit to the many ways one can enjoy nutrient-rich cauliflower.

This versatile vegetable is a great source of several vitamins and nutrients, and has quickly become a family favorite.

In the past, cauliflower seemed like a forgotten vegetable, relegated to raw mixed veggie trays and a simple salad ingredient. However, in recent years researchers have found that cauliflower is in fact one of the healthiest, most versatile foods in the vegetable crisper.

Cauliflower originated in Asia and the Mediterranean region, and dates as far back as the 6th century B.C. It wasn’t until the 20th century that this nutritious superfood made its way over to the United States.

Today, California, Arizona, Florida, Michigan, New York, Oregon, Texas and Washington all produce cauliflower. California produces the most in the country, specifically in the Salinas Valley, which is also known as the Salad Bowl of the World.

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, meaning that it has four-petal flowers that resemble a Greek cross. Cruciferous vegetables contain nutrients that have been linked to cancer prevention. Known for its high nutrient density, cauliflower is a great source of vitamin C, along with vitamin K, folic acid and vitamin B6. Half a cup of cauliflower contains roughly 40 percent of your daily intake of vitamin C and has about 15 calories. Not only is this vegetable low in fat, but it is also low in carbohydrates and ranks low on the Glycemic Index, making it a great choice for diabetics.

Not all cauliflower is the same: The veggie comes in a variety of colors, including white, purple, orange and green. Purple cauliflower is rich in tannins, while orange cauliflower is rich in beta-carotene. White cauliflower possesses a stronger, more-bitter taste — those with sensitive palates may prefer the sweet and mild taste of orange cauliflower.

This superfood can be prepared in multiple ways, such as boiled, roasted, steamed or fried (you can even use it to make pizza crust), but is best consumed raw to maximize the nutrients consumed. Although cauliflower has a long growing season of about 10 months, they are best from September to November.

Did you know?
The sulforaphane, an organic sulfur compound, found in cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower has the potential effect to improve kidney function and blood pressure.

 

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Need a Superfood recipe? Try one of these: 

Cauliflower mash

Cauliflower rice

Cauliflower pizza crust