Featured Vegetable: Cauliflower
Don’t discard this pale flower as though a weed—cauliflower has a bounty of attributes to appreciate. Although cauliflower wasn’t grown in the United States until the 1900s, it’s been cultivated and consumed in Europe since the 1500s. Today, the Salinas Valley of California is the top producer of cauliflower in America. It’s no wonder why this region, with rich soil and a potential ten month growing season, is referred to as the “Salad Bowl of the World.”1
Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables, which is named for the four-petal flowers that resemble a cross. Other cruciferous veggies include broccoli, cabbage, kale, turnips, Brussels sprouts, collards and more. Most of us wouldn’t be surprised that broccoli and cauliflower are relatives—but why the different hue? Cauliflower has protective leaves around the head that limit exposure to the sun, which prevents chlorophyll (a green pigment) from turning the head green like broccoli. If you come across orange or purple cauliflower though, don’t be shocked—these are relatively new varieties available at some grocery stores and farmers markets.
One-half cup of cooked cauliflower provides an excellent source of vitamin C, a good source of vitamin K, and more than 1 gram of dietary fiber, making this a nutrient-dense veggie for only 14 calories.2 Beyond the basic nutrients, research suggests that consumption of cruciferous veggies like cauliflower may provide anti-inflammatory benefits.3
Cauliflower at Cookouts and Beyond
How can you get more cauliflower in your diet? Bring a delectable dip like Bolthouse Farms® Greek yogurt dressings surrounded by fresh, crunchy cauliflower and other veggies like broccoli, mouth-watering grape tomatoes and Bolthouse Farms® Organic carrot chips. Roast or grill cauliflower with your favorite herbs and spices to please your palate. Its mild taste makes a perfect companion for most seasonings. Mix it up with cauliflower mashed potatoes to introduce (or sneak in) a veggie surprise to the little ones for fewer calories, too! Ever try cauliflower pizza crust? It’s a grain-free option that can replace the usual flour-based crust. Keep in mind that cauliflower can help make soups and sauces creamy without the added calories and fat that cream can contribute. So explore, experiment and enjoy cauliflower in your next culinary creation. Sample these recipes, compliments of Campbell’s Kitchen®, and cross paths with cauliflower more often:
- Pizza Primavera with Cauliflower Crust
- More Please! Veggies & Cheese
- Seasoned Vegetables Italiano
- Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Curry and Ginger
- Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Cauliflower Facts Sheet.
http://fns.dpi.wi.gov/files/fns/pdf/ffvp_fs_cf.pdf Accessed April 27th, 2014.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service. 2013. USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 26. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2957 USDA Nutrient Database. Accessed April 26th, 2014.
- Fruits & Veggies More Matters.
http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/cruciferous-vegetables-lower-inflammation.Accessed May 1st, 2014.