Cauliflower is the prima donna of the cabbage, broccoli and Brussels sprouts family. It is packed with minerals and vitamins for better health. This cruciferous vegetable comes in two varieties, a white and a purple ‘head’. When the purple cauliflower is cooked, it will turn green, much like broccoli. The cauliflower nutritional benefits reduce the risk of cancer, especially the colon, stomach and bladder. It is helpful with anemia and gout. It contains a compound, called indoles that stimulates the natural defenses to neutralize carcinogens. A great substitute if tired of carrots for a snack.
Cauliflower Nutritional Benefits
- Cauliflower has a high sugar and starch content
- It is rich in Vitamin C, Potassium, Magnesium and Phosphorous
- High in fiber
- High in sulfur, may cause flatulence
- Assists in keeping arthritis and constipation away
- Best eaten raw to get the full nutritional benefits
- Helps to control high blood pressure
Tips on harvesting and cooking Cauliflower
– When the plants are full grown, pick them as soon as possible, otherwise they tend to lose flavor and go to seed.
– Fresh cauliflower can be used in salads, stews, casseroles.
– It can be used as a substitute from regular carrots as a healthy crunchy snack.
Recipe with Cauliflower and Broccoli in a Cheese Sauce – CauliBrocli with a quick Cheese Sauce.
- Equal amount of Cauliflower and Broccoli
- Break them into bite size pieces
- Steam them together
- While they are steaming, make a Quick Cheese Sauce:
- 2-3 Tbs Butter, Margarine or Oil
- 2-3 Tbs Flour
- 2-3 cups of milk
- 1/2 cup of grated cheese
- Salt and Pepper
- 2 sprigs of Fresh Thyme and Rosemary, shredded
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
Melt the butter; add the flour and milk, using a whisk to continuously beat everything together at a high heat. Keep beating till the sauce has thickened. Add the cheese, seasoning, herbs and garlic. Pour over the cauliflower and broccoli and serve with a sprig of parsley on top.
How to Grow Cauliflower for maximum nutritional benefits
- The seed are small balls, blackish grey, and they germinate quickly when planted, in a seedbed or tray.
- You will need to prepare the soil well, adding a lot of compost, as it, like cabbage, is a heavy feeder.
- Transplant the seedlings when they are about 8 – 10 cm tall.
- You should feed lots of liquid manure to the seedlings, when you have just transplanted them, as they require a lot of nutrients to grow strong and well.
- Cauliflower will grow well when planted together with any other Brassica species.
- Strong smelling herbs help to keep damage-causing insects away like.
- Make a natural pest repellent to help keep the aphids away.
- Cauliflower prefers cooler temperatures to grow well.
Companions when growing Cauliflower
– Cauliflower loves the company of Potato, Beetroot, Onions, Dill, Chamomile, Peppermint, Sage, Rosemary, Marigold and Nasturtium.
– Most of these companions are insect repellent plants, being strongly scented herbs.
– Cauliflower loves to be around strong herbs to protect them from insect predators.
– They flourish with Basil, Celery, Thyme, Hyssop and Sage.
– Peas, Strawberry and Tomato should be planted away from Cauliflower. They do not do well together.
I am mother, artist, writer, organic gardener, permaculture consultant, yoga teacher, freelance journalist and editor… a student of the universe. As a rampaging farmer and mother during the 90’s, I got involved with environmental and permaculture projects in South Africa, I learned about rural life… spiders, cows, snakes and all. My 21st century focus is on communicating knowledge and sharing my art. Take a look at my book, Family Organic Garden, an easy and simple way to eating organic food straight from your own garden. notstraight.com