Dear Holly: Is cauliflower healthy? -Trendy Tastes
Dear Trendy Tastes: Cauliflower is quite the trendy vegetable this year (kale is so last season). It would be easy to assume that this bland looking vegetable has little nutrition to offer, but you would be mistaken!
1 cup of cauliflower provides only 25 calories, but packs in 2 grams of fiber, most of the vitamin C you need in a day, as well as a decent amount of folate, potassium and vitamins K and B6.
Like most fruits and vegetables, raw cauliflower is almost all water, 92%. This contributes to overall hydration status.
Cauliflower has several varieties. At my local grocery store, I can buy the usual white variety, as well as pale green, purple and orange. Their nutritional benefits are basically the same except for the compounds that give them their striking color. The purple variety gets its color from anthocyanins – the same cancer preventing compound that gives blueberries their color. If you’re cooking for a crowd, buy more than one color of cauliflower and roast them together. They look really beautiful and taste great!
In efforts to minimize food waste, I like that cauliflower stays good in fridge for a long time.
There are many ways to enjoy cauliflower beyond simple steaming. Raw cauliflower florets are great in dip, roasted florets, pickled or in soup. You can also use mashed cauliflower to make a low-calorie pizza crust, as a substitute for mashed potatoes. You can even finely mince cauliflower as a substitute for rice. At a restaurant recently, I enjoyed a braised cauliflower “steak” with a little drizzle of a creamy sauce. Delicious!
As an alternative to crunchy and salty chips or pretzels, give this pickled cauliflower recipe a try! If you’re not a huge fan of lemon flavor, skip the lemon in this recipe.
Lemony Pickled Cauliflower
Recipe by Marisa McClellan of FoodinJars.com
– 2 pounds cauliflower
– 1 cup apple cider vinegar
– 1 cup water
– 2 teaspoons sea salt
– 1 small lemon, sliced
– 1 large garlic clove, sliced
– ¼ teaspoon peppercorns
– ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
– Wash cauliflower and break it into florets.
– In a large saucepan, combine the apple cider vinegar, water and sea salt.
– Bring to a boil.
– Place two slices of lemon in the bottom of a quart jar and top with garlic clove slices, crushed red pepper flakes and peppercorns. Set aside.
– When brine is boiling, add cauliflower to the pot. Stir until the brine returns to a boil and remove from heat.
– Using tongs, pack cauliflower into the prepared jar and top with brine. – Place two to three slices of lemon on top of the cauliflower and put a lid on the jar.
– Let pickles sit out on counter until cool. Once they’ve reached room temperature, refrigerate jar. Pickles are ready to eat within 12 hours, though they will continue to deepen in flavor the longer the rest.