Produce Picks: Cauliflower




Photo by: YelenaYemchuk



A popular substitute for starchy and gluten-heavy foods, cauliflower is an unsung superfood! As a member of the cruciferous-vegetable family (think kale, cabbage, bok choy, broccoli), cauliflower has significant levels of glucosinolates, which break down to form chemicals that may ward off cancer. Mom may have been onto something when she reminded you to eat your broccoli.


One cup of raw cauliflower contains 27 kilocalories, 2 grams of fiber and 2 grams of protein, and is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, manganese and potassium. It is also a good source of riboflavin, thiamin, magnesium, niacin and phosphorous.

Textures and Flavors:

Cauliflower is versatile in both its raw and cooked forms. Its nutty flavor is strongest in its raw state, which means it pairs well with savory dishes, as well as with fruits and spices like dates and cinnamon. Once it’s cooked, its texture is smooth, buttery and rich. Blanched and pickled with other vegetables, it makes a light, crunchy and tangy relish called giardiniera that is used as a spread on beef sandwiches. Substituting cooked cauliflower for potatoes in creamy soups cuts carbs and adds flavor, while pizza crusts and breadstick doughs have been successfully substituted with a cauliflower-and-egg mixture to create a crunchy, nutty, gluten-free option.

Food Pairings:

Cauliflower + mixed vegetables (carrots, onions, cabbage, peppers) + red pepper flakes + vinegar

Cauliflower + cream + nutmeg + Gruyere cheese

Cauliflower + turmeric + Sriracha + lime

Cauliflower + other root veggies (e.g., carrots, parsnips, winter squash) + roasted with olive oil and garlic or rosemary

Cauliflower + dates/raisins + cinnamon

Cauliflower + cream + lemon juice + celery + bacon + Parmesan

Cauliflower + red peppers + tomatoes + capers + roasted with olive oil


Through his book and blog, Death of the Diet, Jason Machowsky, MS, RD, CSCS, empowers people to live the life they want by integrating healthy eating and physical activity habits into their daily routines. You can follow him on Twitter @JMachowskyRDFit.

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