• An excellent source of vitamin C.
• A good source of folate and potassium.
• Low in calories and high in fiber
• An anticancer food.
Cauliflower is rich in vitamin C, folate, and various other phytochemicals
linked with good health. A cup of raw cauliflower florets has more than 50
percent of the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) of vitamin C, 15 percent
of the RDA for folate, and reasonable amounts of potassium and vitamin B6.
It also has bioflavonoids, indoles, and other chemicals that protect against
Filling, high in fiber, and low in calories (25 in a cup of florets), this
is an ideal snack food for weight watchers. Raw cauliflower has more folate
(80 percent is lost in cooking).
To retain flavor and reduce nutrient loss, cook cauliflower rapidly by
boiling in a minimum amount of water or steaming. Too much cooking turns
cauliflower mushy and releases sulfurous compounds, resulting in an
unpleasant odor and bitter taste. Boiling the vegetable in an open pot helps
disperse these compounds. To avoid discoloring the cauliflower, don't cook
it in aluminum or iron pots.
When buying cauliflower, look for a head with firm, compact florets. If it
is fresh, the leaves will be crisp and green, and the head, or curd, snowy
white. Broccoflower is a hybrid of cauliflower and broccoli; it resembles
cauliflower but is green and has a milder flavor. Another variety, purple
cauliflower, has more beta carotene than the white variety.