Cauliflower is the less popular cousin of broccoli, but this veggie has a lot to offer! It has a sweeter, milder taste than broccoli, and its texture is a bit different, with the florets more densely packed. The two veggies have a lot in common nutritionally. One cup of raw cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamins C and K, and a good source of dietary fiber and the B vitamins folate and vitamin B6.
Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family. It is a cool-weather crop, and it doesn’t survive well in extreme heat or cold. In the northeast, cauliflower is mainly harvested in the fall/early winter and in the spring. It’s a fairly easy plant to grow, though it needs to be protected from sunlight and moisture for a couple of weeks before it’s harvested. This “blanching” process involves wrapping the plant’s outer leaves around the maturing head to keep out the elements, which is a great activity to do with kids. Cauliflower is most commonly white, but may also be purple, orange, or lime green.
Like broccoli, cauliflower florets make a great veggie to eat raw with hummus or bean dip. It’s also delicious roasted with olive oil, salt, and pepper until crisp on the outside, and served with a splash of lemon juice. One of our absolute favorite cauliflower recipes at HealthBarn USA is our friend Mike’s Sicilian Stew. No one could say no to cauliflower this delicious!
What is your favorite way to eat cauliflower?
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Mike’s Sicilian Stew
from Appetite for Life
The kids at HealthBarn USA think our friend Mike makes the best pizza in New York City, but he also has another gift: he can make cauliflower taste better than pasta! The lowly cauliflower isn’t too popular because so many people don’t know how to cook it properly, but Mike’s here to help. His super stew will satisfy, plus it uses an underrated but amazing veggie that offers riboflavin, niacin, magnesium and phosphorous, fiber, vitamins C and K, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, manganese, and pantothenic acid (phew!).
Kids can break cauliflower into florets using their hands.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 sweet onions, such as Vidalia, cut into ¼-inch dice (about 2 cups)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can (14.5 ounces) crushed tomatoes
1 cup water
1 large head cauliflower (2½ pounds), broken into 1½-inch florets
1 pound lean ground beef (93% lean)
1 tablespoon minced fresh thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh basil leaves
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- In a large saucepot or Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until tender, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds, stirring.
- Stir in tomatoes, water, and cauliflower; heat to boiling. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 25 minutes or until cauliflower is fork-tender.
- Meanwhile, in a large skillet, over medium-high heat, cook ground beef until browned, stirring occasionally. Drain off fat.
- When cauliflower is done, stir in browned beef and herbs and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes to blend flavors.
- Spoon into 8 individual bowls and sprinkle with Parmesan, divided evenly among the bowls.
Makes 8 servings (1 cup per serving)
Nutrition Facts per serving: 150 calories; 5g fat (1g sat fat, 3g mono, 1g poly, 0g trans fat); 30mg cholesterol; 14g carbohydrate (3g fiber, 6g sugar); 15g protein; 150mg sodium; 8% Daily Value (DV) vitamin A; 90%dv vitamin C; 6% DV calcium; 10% DV iron.