Glossary of Foods: Cauliflower

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The kids may still be skeptical when it comes to cauliflower. Although it's not a green vegetable, it's a vegetable nonetheless. But the clever cook in you knows that cauliflower is easy to prepare and disguise in meals!


Cauliflower is in the same family as broccoli, brussels sprouts, and cabbage. Cauliflower heads most resemble broccoli heads but do not have flowering buds as broccoli does. The head, or curd, is the only part of the cauliflower that is eaten; it is uncommon to eat the stem or leaves. Cauliflower has a mild flavor that sweetens slightly once cooked.

The most common variety of cauliflower is white, but you may also see orange, green, or purple cauliflower at the grocery. The orange variety, as you may well guess, is higher in vitamin A. Green cauliflower, also called broccoflower, may resemble the typical curd shape, or have a spiked head which is a variety called Romanesco. Purple cauliflower contains antioxidants also found in red cabbage and red wine.

Cauliflower is low in fat and calories and high in fiber, vitamin C, and folate. Although cauliflower is missing the natural plant chlorophyll found in green vegetables, it still has a high nutritional density making it a worthy addition to your dinner veggie rotation. Boiling cauliflower reduces its nutrition, but other methods of cooking, such as steaming, sautéing, or even microwaving, have no effect on nutrition. Cauliflower may also be eaten raw.


Common preparation for cauliflower includes the cooking methods described above. However, it is such a versatile veggie that there are endless possibilities. Try simply roasted cauliflower in a light pasta dish for an easy weeknight dinner. For a healthier take on mashed potatoes, serve mashed cauliflower with barbecue turkey meatloaf. If you want to please the kids but also sneak a vegetable into the meal, try our healthy and tasty cauliflower and quinoa pizza sticks.

cauliflower quinoa breadsticks

There are so many healthy, low-carb recipes to make using cauliflower. The kids may even grow to enjoy it!