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Cauliflower is the close relation to cabbage that everyone loves
Cauliflower contains lots of nutrients, is highly versatile, and impresses with its subtle taste. It’s no wonder that it has recently been rediscovered as a trendy vegetable.
Similarly to kale, cauliflower is currently enjoying a renaissance. While kale is popular in smoothies and as kale crisps, cauliflower is being used lately in the preparation of pizza dough. The slightly more traditional methods of preparing cauliflower involve roasting it, pureeing it as a soup, or boiling it. If you hold off on the usual cream cheese sauce, the vegetable does in fact do wonders for your figure as it contains very few calories.
Since cauliflower has fewer carbohydrates than rice, and almost no gluten, it is the star of low-carb diets. Whether in a cauliflower rice, as a replacement for potato in croquettes, or as a flour substitute, cauliflower is being featured in more and more recipes. The hearty vegetable is particularly of interest to those on a slimming diet, or those with a gluten intolerance. It is easy to digest, goes well with a variety of vegetables, meat and fish, and even appeals to people who do not normally gravitate towards cabbage.
|Calories||26 kcal per 100g|
|Nutrients||2.3g carbohydrate, 2.4g fibre, 0.3g fat, 2.4g protein per 100g|
|Season||mid-May to mid-November|
|Shelf life||up to 10 days|
Like cabbage, its close relative in the brassica family, the origins of cauliflower can be traced back to the Mediterranean. It is now enjoyed across the world and particularly in India. The most common types are the white and white-yellow varieties, but cauliflower is also available in purple and green. The different colouring depends on the amount of exposure to the sun – this occurs in some varieties with looser leaves due to exposure to the sun. Romanesco broccoli and normal broccoli are other close relatives of cauliflower.
Cauliflower has a long season that lasts from spring until autumn. It is therefore available fresh for a large portion of the year, but it does spoil quicker than the likes of cabbage. When purchasing cauliflower, it is important to ensure that the head is firm and the outer leaves are fresh. It should have no black flecks on it and should not have a strong cabbage-like smell.
To avoid cauliflower going off, it should be eaten as soon as possible. It is advisable to remove the outer leaves before refrigerating for a few days. Under no circumstances should it be stored when damp or after washing, as this may cause it to spoil sooner. The best way to make cauliflower last longer is to freeze it: simply wash it, quickly blanch it, and then store it in a sealed container in the freezer.
Cauliflower usually emits a cabbage-like smell upon cooking. This can be avoided by placing a bay leaf in the cooking water. In order to preserve the whiteness of the cauliflower, add a drop of milk to the water. A classic way to serve cauliflower is with a generous amount of butter or some béchamel sauce. This dish is often served with potatoes – either whole or bite-sized pieces. Contemporary cauliflower dishes often call for the vegetable to be grated; it can then be mixed together with egg and made into a pizza dough, or gently roasted and served as rice. Both options are a great way to integrate some nutritious and low-calorie vegetables into your diet.
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