Cauliflower Nutritional Profile
(calories per serving): Low
vitamin contribution: B vitamins, vitamin C
mineral contribution: Potassium
is an excellent source of vitamin C and a moderately good source of folate,
a member of the B vitamin family.
cooked fresh cauliflower florets (the top of the plant) has 1 g dietary
fiber, 13.5 mcg folate (7 percent of the RDA for a man, 7.5 percent of the
RDA for a woman) and 34.5 mg vitamin C (57.5 percent of the RDA).
Nutritious Way to Serve Cauliflower
lightly steamed to protect the vitamin C. Cooked or frozen cauliflower may
have up to 50 percent less vitamin C than raw cauliflower.
That May Restrict or Exclude Cauliflower
Anti-flatulence diet Low-fiber diet
Creamy white heads with tight, compact florets and fresh green leaves. The
size of the cauliflower has no bearing on its nutritional value or its
Cauliflower with brown spots or patches.
cauliflower in a cool, humid place to safeguard its vitamin C content.
Pull off and
discard any green leaves still attached to the cauliflower and slice off
the woody stem and core. Then plunge the cauliflower, head down, into a
bowl of salted ice water to flush out any insects hiding in the head. To
keep the cauliflower crisp when cooked, add a teaspoon of vinegar to the
water. You can steam or bake the cauliflower head whole or break it up
into florets for faster cooking.
Happens When You Cook Cauliflower
contains mustard oils (isothiocyanates), natural chemicals that give the
vegetable its taste but break down into a variety of smelly sulfur
compounds (including hydrogen sulfide and ammonia) when the cauliflower is
heated. The longer you cook the cauliflower, the better it will taste but
the worse it will smell. Adding a slice of bread to the cooking water may
lessen the odor; keeping a lid on the pot will stop the smelly molecules
from floating off into the air.
cauliflower in an aluminum pot will intensify its odor and turn its creamy
white anthoxanthin pigments yellow; iron pots will turn anthoxanthins blue
green or brown. Like red and blue anthocyanin pigments (see BEETS,
BLACKBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES), anthoxanthins hold their color best in acids.
To keep cauliflower white, add a tablespoon of lemon juice, lime juice,
vinegar, or milk to the cooking water.
stir-frying cauliflower preserves the vitamin C that would be lost if the
vegetable were cooked for a long time or in a lot of water.
Kinds of Processing Affect Cauliflower
Before it is frozen, cauliflower must be blanched to inactivate catalase
and peroxidase, enzymes that would otherwise continue to ripen and
eventually deteriorate the vegetable. According to researchers at Cornell
University, cauliflower will lose less vitamin C if it is blanched in very
little water (2 cups cauliflower in 2 tbsp. water) in a microwave-safe
plastic bag in a microwave oven for four minutes at 600—700 watts. Leave
the bag open an inch at the top so steam can escape and the bag does not