11 Fun and Nutritious Things to Do with Cauliflower

Cauliflower may look pale and useless, but it is surprisingly healthy. A single serving of cauliflower contains the following nutrients:

  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K1
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B6
  • Choline
  • Fiber
  • Omega-3 fatty acid
  • Manganese
  • Biotin
  • Phosphorous
  • Potassium
  • Vitamin B2
  • Protein
  • Vitamin B3
  • Vitamin B1
  • Magnesium
  • Vitamin B5

Cauliflower is particularly high in vitamin C, vitamin K1 and folate. This cruciferous vegetable can benefit our health in several ways:

Antioxidants: Cauliflower is incredibly high in antioxidants. In particular, cauliflower is high in phytonutrients that work to reduce oxidative stress, which in turn reduces inflammation and cancer risk. Both vitamin C and vitamin K1 also help to fight inflammation and reduce cancer risk.

Digestive aid: Every 100 calories of cauliflower has nine grams of fiber. This high fiber content makes cauliflower excellent for digestion. Cauliflower also contains sulforaphane, which has been shown to reduce bacterial overgrowth in the stomach and intestines.

Heart health: The anti-inflammatory properties of cauliflower make it ideal for keeping cholesterol low and supporting heart health. Cauliflower also has the added benefit of being one of the few vegetable sources of omega-3 fatty acid, which makes it ideal for individuals who eat low-meat diets. The combination of sulforaphane and omega-3 work together to keep the heart healthy and prevent damage to the blood vessels.

11 ways to prepare cauliflower

No one wants to eat a soggy, tasteless vegetable, even if it is good for our health. The naturally bland flavor and colorless appearance of cauliflower has caused many a child and adult to swear off the vegetable forever. But you may change your tune after preparing your cauliflower in the following ways:

Oven roasted
Cauliflower can often have a mealy texture, but you can counteract this by roasting it in the oven. Heat your oven to 350℉ and toss the cauliflower florets with olive oil and your favorite seasoning. Roast the cauliflower for about 20 minutes until the edges start to brown and crisp. Serve immediately while the cauliflower is still crispy.

Lightly steamed
Cauliflower is best when it retains its firm texture. Rather than boiling the vegetable, try lightly steaming it in a steamer basket for about 10 minutes until it is cooked, but still firm. Drizzle olive oil and lemon juice over the cauliflower for added zest.

Cheese and garlic mash
Cauliflower can replace mashed potatoes as a crowd-pleaser. Steam the cauliflower until softened and blend in a blender or food processor. Add a sprinkle of cheese, garlic, sea salt and pepper along with a pat of organic butter and a drizzle of organic milk or cream. Blend together and serve alongside steak or pork dishes.

Cauliflower soup
Add a cup or two of chicken broth and milk to the mash recipe above and heat until boiling. Add some leeks or onions to the soup for extra flavor and a bit of crunch.

Cauliflower toast
Rather than cut off individual florets of cauliflower, slice the entire head into thin slices as big as a piece of bread. Toast the cauliflower in the oven and use it as the base for appetizers, chicken salad or nachos.

Cauliflower patties
Mix cooked cauliflower mash with sea salt, pepper, and an egg until you have a dough-like consistency. Roll the dough into palm-sized balls, then roll them out to form patties. Brown the patties for two minutes on each side in a hot skillet over a medium-high heat until they start to brown. Serve immediately.

This beats french fries every time. Fry your cauliflower in coconut oil, ghee or avocado oil to avoid the health risks of unstable canola or corn oil.

Cut a head of cauliflower lengthwise into thick slices. Grill the slices on your barbecue with your favorite steak spice for a vegetarian steak that packs a surprising punch.

Mix a cup of cauliflower purée with a tablespoon of almond butter, red pepper flakes and your favorite spices to create a spicy hummus to serve alongside other fresh veggies.

Finely chop your cauliflower and sprinkle it into rice as it cooks. Once the rice is cooked, sauté the mixture with onions, spices and red bell pepper.

Add cheese
Everything tastes better with cheese, including cauliflower. Add a sprinkle of your favorite raw or organic cheese to your baked or steamed cauliflower for additional flavor and texture.

Can you say yummy?

-Dr. Joshua Levitt