Cauliflower: Why You Should Love The Low-Carb Vegetable

Boring vegetables? No way! We’ll show you why you should go for cauliflower if you want to lose weight and eat healthily. Plus: professional tips for preparation and the tastiest FIT recipes with the flowering vegetable.

Gone are the days when cauliflower was skimmed with butter or drowned in gallons of hollandaise. Today, athletes, models, and influencers enjoy cauliflower as a delicious low-carb alternative to rice, flour, or pasta. How does it work? We’ll tell you…

Origin and interesting facts

A fun fact up front: cauliflower (also called cauliflower) actually got its name because it’s a flower. Or rather, the white, narrow florets are buds that simply haven’t unfolded into flowers yet.

If it were not harvested, after some time the florets would grow apart, sprout and yellow flowers would appear.

By the way, just like cauliflower, broccoli, and artichoke also belong to the “flowering vegetables”. But the “cabbage” in the name is also justified. Like Brussels sprouts, cauliflower belongs to the vegetable cabbage and thus to the cruciferous family.

The cauliflower probably originated in Asia Minor, where it is said to have developed from a mutation of the cabbage flower. Before it made its way to us in Germany, it first came to Italy and Greece. Today, it is impossible to imagine German cuisine without vegetables.

White cauliflower: distinguished paleness

Cauliflower (just like asparagus) retains its white color only when it is not exposed to sunlight. For this reason, the head of the cabbage is covered with its large green leaves. If the cabbage shows yellowish or purple spots, it is a sign of insufficient protection from sunlight.

In this country, white cauliflower is particularly popular. However, it is also available in purple, green, or even yellow. However, there is little difference in taste between the color varieties. Only the rather pointed “Romanesco”, even in floret form, tastes more intense and aromatic.

When is cauliflower in season?

Cauliflower is in its peak season from July to September, but you can also find tasty cabbage in supermarkets in June, October, and November.

After the season, the cabbage must be stored to benefit from the harvest for a few more months. The ideal storage temperature is 0 to 1 degree Celsius.

Cabbage is not sensitive to cold and does not ripen after harvest. So for cauliflower storage, a cool, dark cellar or the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator is best.

However, cauliflower is not a storage vegetable, i.e. it should be eaten as soon as possible, but at the latest after about seven days.

Cauliflower is so healthy

Unlike other types of cabbage, cauliflower is a very digestible vegetable, even easy to digest, because:

  • …it consists to a large extent (almost 90 percent) of water.
  • …has hardly any fat.
  • …and also contains almost no sugar.
  • …it contains mustard oils, which have anti-inflammatory and antibiotic effects.

Thanks to its easy digestibility, cauliflower is suitable even for people with a sensitive gastrointestinal system. Other types of cabbage often burden the gastrointestinal tract, as they are difficult for it to decompose and digest.

The result: stomach discomfort, bloating, or flatulence. The finer cell structure of cauliflower is good for the stomach, which is why the vegetable is even suitable for light foods or baby food.

Ingredients and nutritional values of cauliflower

Cauliflower contains countless minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin B or C. Especially the latter is important for good connective tissue and is therefore so good for athletes who strive for a toned body.

Cauliflower is also a very low-calorie vegetable, coming in at just 22 calories per 100 grams. In addition, its carbohydrate value is only 2 grams per 100 grams of cabbage – making it the perfect low-carb alternative to rice or pasta.

Preparing cauliflower properly

When it comes to preparing cauliflower, opinions differ: some love it raw, others cook it al dente, and the next cook it through and turn it into a puree or soup.

If you want to benefit from all the health advantages of cauliflower, you should always eat it raw. According to research conducted by the University of Warwick (England), the loss of bioactive ingredients is 20 to 30 percent after only five minutes of boiling in water. After 30 minutes, this even increases to 75 percent.

These cooking methods are suitable

  • Raw: The raw consumption of cauliflower is not yet so well known and popular in Germany. However, the white cabbage tastes very tasty completely uncooked, and can be eaten chopped in a raw vegetable salad, for example, or as a whole floret between meals.
  • Steamed: If you want to prepare your cauliflower gently and firmly to the bite, you can steam it. To do this, simply heat some water, salt, and lemon juice in a pot and then place the washed, portioned florets in a cooking tray. After about 20 minutes, the cabbage will be steamed and ready to eat.
  • Roasted: Cauliflower has experienced a real renaissance in recent months, becoming the lauded vegetable for all fitness enthusiasts. Why? Because chopped up and roasted, it can easily be used as a rice substitute. With “Cauliflower Rice” you save unnecessary carbohydrates and still don’t have to sacrifice taste.
  • Cooked: Of course, you can also simply cook cauliflower in boiling salted water. When cooked whole, the cabbage takes about 30 minutes to cook. The individual florets are already done after 10 to 15 minutes. Tip: The cooking water can be used to make a great sauce thanks to the nutrients and flavors it contains.
    When cooked, the cauliflower can then be stored in the refrigerator for about 2-3 days.

Recipes with cauliflower

Cauliflower, thanks to its almost neutral taste, goes well with countless dishes, how about, for example:

  • Cauliflower pizza with zucchini and chicken: light pizza delight with lots of protein and a few carbohydrates.
  • Cauliflower mint salad with kefir dressing: raw vegetables can be so delicious!
  • Vegetable curry with coconut and cauliflower rice: fruity curry with a figure-friendly low-carb rice variation.
  • Crispy cauliflower: a simple and tasty variation that also has an anti-inflammatory effect thanks to turmeric.
  • But if you do want to go sweet, cauliflower also goes wonderfully with brownies, making them super moist, low-carb, and even gluten-free.

Or how about “cauliflower rice pudding” with cinnamon and sugar? Simply cook the chopped cauliflower in milk and refine it with delicious spices to taste.

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Written by Bella Adams

I'm a professionally-trained, executive chef with over ten years in Restaurant Culinary and hospitality management. Experienced in specialized diets, including Vegetarian, Vegan, Raw foods, whole food, plant-based, allergy-friendly, farm-to-table, and more. Outside of the kitchen, I write about lifestyle factors that impact well-being.

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