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All about “Cauliflower”, a low-calorie vegetable rich in vitamins

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Cauliflower is a vegetable from the cruciferous family. It is found on market stalls in the fall and winter. It can be eaten both raw and cooked and the colorful varieties brighten up the preparations. Low in calories, it is ideal for weight loss and contains various health benefits.

Features of cauliflower:

  • Rich in vitamin C;
  • Fight against the appearance of certain cancers;
  • Low in calories;
  • Source of vitamin B9;
  • Source of selenium.

What is cauliflower?

Food identity card

  • Type: Vegetable;
  • Family: Cruciferae;
  • Origin: Europe;
  • Season: September to April;
  • Color: White, purple or orange;
  • Flavor: Sweet.

Features of cauliflower

During harvest, the cauliflower can weigh up to 1.5 kg. It is generally white with green foliage.

Differences with nearby foods

Cauliflower is close to broccoli in its structure and nutritional composition. Broccoli owes its green color to chlorophyll which is not found in cauliflower and which has antioxidant properties. Broccoli also contains much more magnesium than cauliflower.

Word from the nutritionist

To get the most out of it, eat it raw or lightly cooked. One portion of cauliflower corresponds to 150 to 200g of cauliflower.

Nutritional values

For 100g of cooked cauliflower:

Nutrients                                                              Quantities                                                            
Protein 1.6g
Fat 0.46 g
Carbohydrates 1.6g
Water 93.7g
Fibers 2 g
Vitamin C 9.718 mg
Vitamin B9 78.8 µg
Vitamin B6 0.05 mg
Magnesium 12.9 mg
Manganese 0.12 mg
Selenium 10 µg


7 benefits of cauliflower: why eat it?

  1. Several studies have shown that regular consumption of vegetables from the cruciferous family (eg cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts) could prevent certain cancers, such as those of the lung, ovaries and kidneys (for the woman).
  2. Like most cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower contains glucosinolates.
    Glucosinolates in cauliflower have the ability to transform into active molecules (allyl isothiocyanate or AITC, indole-3-carbinol and 3,3-diindolylmethane) when the food containing them is chopped, chewed or in contact with the intestinal bacterial flora.
    Several of these molecules are said to help limit the development of certain cancers.
    Cooking cauliflower leads to a loss of glucosinolates. Thus, moderate cooking would optimize the formation of bioactive compounds. To date, the optimal therapeutic concentration of these compounds has not yet been evaluated in clinical studies.
  3. Boiled cauliflower and frozen cauliflower are good sources of vitamin C. Raw cauliflower is a good source for women and a source for men. The role that vitamin C plays in the body goes beyond its antioxidant properties; it also contributes to the health of bones, cartilage, teeth and gums. In addition, it protects against infections, promotes the absorption of iron from plants and accelerates healing.
  4. Cauliflower is a source of vitamin B6. Also called pyridoxine, this vitamin is part of coenzymes which participate in the metabolism of proteins and fatty acids as well as in the manufacture of neurotransmitters (messengers in nerve impulses). It also contributes to the production of red blood cells and allows them to transport more oxygen. Pyridoxine is also necessary for the transformation of glycogen into glucose and it contributes to the proper functioning of the immune system. Finally, this vitamin plays a role in the formation of certain components of nerve cells.
  5. Cauliflower is a source of vitamin B9. Folate (vitamin B9) is involved in the production of all cells in the body, including red blood cells. This vitamin plays an essential role in the production of genetic material (DNA, RNA), in the functioning of the nervous system and the immune system, as well as in the healing of wounds and wounds. As it is necessary for the production of new cells, adequate consumption is essential during periods of growth and for the development of the fetus.
  6. Boiled cauliflower and frozen cauliflower are sources of vitamin K. Vitamin K is necessary for the production of proteins that help to clot the blood (both stimulating and inhibiting blood clotting). ). It also plays a role in bone formation. In addition to being found in food, vitamin K is manufactured by bacteria present in the intestine, hence the rarity of deficiencies in this vitamin.
  7. Frozen cauliflower is a source of manganese. Boiled cauliflower is a source for women only. Manganese acts as a cofactor for several enzymes that facilitate a dozen different metabolic processes. It also participates in the prevention of damage caused by free radicals.

Choosing the right cauliflower

The cauliflower heads should be firm and the florets tight. What remains of the leaves should be fresh, green and swollen with water. Whether purple, creamy white, orange or green, the apple must have preserved its original color.
The presence of brown spots indicates an onset of rot. The grainy appearance of the florets is not a problem as long as they remain tightly closed. If they are discarded, it is a sign that the vegetable was harvested too late.

The cauliflower stems are eaten. Peel if necessary and cut lengthwise so that it takes the same time to cook as the buds.

The different varieties

The varieties of cauliflower differ in color. The most common cauliflower is white, but purple and orange are also found. These colors are natural and depend on the varieties.

Keep well

In the refrigerator: Four or 5 days in the vegetable drawer.

In the freezer: Blanch it for three minutes in boiling water, then cool in ice water. Drain and put in freezer bags.

Cauliflower preparation

How to cook it? How to match it?

Raw cauliflower:

  • As a dip. It is the ideal way to serve purple cauliflower because it loses its color when cooked. A serving dish garnished with florets of white, purple, lime green, and orange cauliflowers will look great.
  • As an Algerian salad, serve with a bunch of radishes, watercress, parsley, celery, dill, olives and a lemon juice vinaigrette.
  • With herb cheese, anchovy butter or aailloli.
  • Finely chop it, then add tomato slices and fresh spinach. Top with a yogurt and chive sauce.

Cooked cauliflower:

To improve the digestibility of the cauliflower, cook it for 5 minutes in boiling salted water and drain it before preparing it. Then continue with any of the following preparation methods.

  • With cream. Dress the cauliflower in a timpani by restoring its shape. Serve with a cream sauce.
  • Cauliflower fritot. Sprinkle the chopped cauliflower with the parsley, let it marinate for 20 minutes in oil and lemon juice. Then dip the bouquets in batter and fry in oil. Serve with fried parsley and top with a tomato sauce.
  • Au gratin. Brown the blanched cauliflower in a little butter to dry it, then put it in a bowl with Mornay sauce. Sprinkle with grated cheese mixed with fine breadcrumbs, drizzle with melted butter and brown.
  • Polish style. Chop boiled egg yolks and parsley, mix them and sprinkle the surface of the cauliflower. Fry very fine bread crumbs in hazelnut butter, then coat the cabbage with this preparation.
  • Dubarry cauliflower puree. Cook the cauliflower in salted water, then strain it through a sieve and add a mash of potatoes to the cream (a quarter of the amount of cauliflower). Reheat, butter and serve. Add beaten eggs and nutmeg to this preparation. It turns into a cake which is baked for about twenty minutes in an oven set on low heat.
  • Turkish Moussaka. Cook the cauliflower for half an hour with minced meat, onion, a glass of water and a little tomato puree.
  • In meat pie. With potatoes, sausage meat and onion.
  • Topped with a tomato basil sauce, or a horseradish, mustard or paprika sauce.


Irritable bowel syndrome

Some people with irritable bowel syndrome may experience intolerance to crucifers, such as cauliflower, to varying degrees. Limiting or avoiding fermentable foods like those of the cruciferous family can alleviate symptoms in people with this syndrome. When the symptoms are mild, or during so-called “remission” periods, it is sometimes possible to gradually reinstate these foods, always respecting individual tolerance.

Interaction between crucifers and certain drugs

Indoles, compounds found naturally in cruciferous plants, can in particular reduce the action of certain analgesics such as products containing acetaminophen (Tylenol®, Atasol®, Tempra®) and other drugs combining a mixture of ingredients active ingredients (Benylin®, Contac®, Robaxacet®). People who consume a large amount of cruciferous plants should take this into consideration.

History of cauliflower

The term “cauliflower” appeared in the French language in 1611. It comes from the Italian cavalo-fiore and, before taking its final form, this vegetable was called in French “coliflori”. The Latin name of the subspecies to which it belongs, botrytis, means “bunch of grapes” by analogy of form between the florets of cauliflower  and the bunch of grapes. “Cauliflower with turrets” and “apple broccoli “, The names we give to Romanesco cabbage, testify to the difficulty of differentiating these two vegetables. Some also say that Romanesco appeared after broccoli, but before cauliflower, constituting in a way the missing link between these two neighboring species.

According to genetic research, cauliflower has evolved from broccoli and has followed roughly the same trajectory. It would have almost disappeared from Europe after the decline of the Roman Empire, and would have reappeared there at the end of the Middle Ages, from the countries of the Near or the Middle East, probably passing through Cyprus. Indeed, around 1586, in England, it was called Cyprus coleworts (cabbage from Cyprus). It was cultivated in France around the 1600s.

As for Romanesco, whose beautiful tender green florets are nicely arranged in a spiral, it was not introduced on the international markets until the early 1990s. It is an ancient variety which was cultivated exclusively in the Rome region (hence its name) until Dutch researchers got hold of it and improved it.

Finally, we sometimes see on our markets an orange apple cauliflower, the fruit of a natural mutation. It has the advantage of being 100 times richer in beta carotene than white apple cauliflower

For further a

Organic gardening

More difficult to grow than broccoli, cauliflower requires that the soil temperature be 7 ° C to 28 ° C and the pH between 6.0 and 7.0. As it does not like heat or drought, it is necessary to plant the early varieties (50 to 60 days) early in the spring to harvest them before the heat. The late varieties (60 to 80 days) are planted around July 1, so that they are ready in the fall when the temperature cools.

It is said that cauliflower likes to have its feet in the water and its head in the sun. It must grow quickly, which means it must be well irrigated and well fertilized. No undue delay should pass between the time of sowing and that of transplanting, even if it means protecting young plants from the sun with a shade house if it is too hot. In addition to fertilizing at the time of planting, it is recommended to incorporate about a liter of poultry manure at the foot of each plant, three weeks after transplanting.

When the flower head begins to form, it should be protected from the sun by tying the upper leaves with string.

Ecology and environment

California researchers have discovered that burying broccoli residue in the soil can control verticillium wilt. This fungal disease causes cauliflower plants to wilt and results in significant losses for producers. It is difficult to treat and requires the use of powerful chemical fungicides, part of which ends up in runoff and groundwater. Broccoli is said to contain substances toxic to the spores of this species of Verticillium, to which it is itself completely resistant. This technique significantly reduces or even eliminates conventional treatments based on chemical fungicides.

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