Cauliflower is one of the most popular vegetables, not just in Germany, but throughout Europe. So almost everyone knows it cooked – but can you also eat cauliflower raw? Is that healthy?
More and more people are putting vegetables on their plates uncooked. And for a good reason: the valuable ingredients are preserved. But because not every variety is suitable, the question arises: Can cauliflower – also known as cauliflower – be eaten raw? Is raw cauliflower healthy or maybe toxic? Don’t worry: raw cauliflower is not only allowed to be eaten, but it is also even recommended – with two exceptions!
Cauliflower is healthy
Flowering vegetables are rich in nutrients. It contains for example:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
Cauliflower is also high in fiber but low in carbohydrates, fat, or sugar. Anyone who eats cauliflower regularly can prevent heart disease or strokes, reduces the risk of developing type II diabetes, and can inhibit the growth of tumor cells thanks to the sulforaphane it contains.
Can you eat cauliflower raw?
Flowering vegetables are particularly suitable for raw consumption. Not only because the nutrients are lost during cooking: unlike other vegetables – such as raw spinach and raw beetroot, which contain oxalic acid among other things – there are no toxins in cauliflower that you have to watch out for.
Most of the ingredients are found in the leaves, which should therefore be eaten with them. The stalk of cauliflower can also be eaten raw, but it is quite hard and tastes rather bitter. Not everyone likes that. The contained mustard oils (secondary plant substances) give the raw cauliflower a slightly spicy note.
Cauliflower can cause abdominal pain and bloating when eaten raw
Normally, cabbage is easy to digest and can be eaten without hesitation. However, some people are sensitive and show these symptoms, for example:
- The stomach is bloated.
- You may feel nauseated.
- Slight stomach pains set in.
- Bloating occurs.
This is mainly because the sensitive stomach cannot break down the fibers quickly enough with larger quantities of raw cabbage: gases are formed that can trigger the symptoms mentioned above.
The exception: eat cauliflower raw if you have thyroid problems
Cabbage plants – in addition to cauliflower, these include broccoli, kale, Chinese cabbage, and Brussels sprouts – are also called cruciferous vegetables. They contain so-called goitrogens: These can inhibit the absorption of iodine, for example, in the case of an underactive thyroid gland or Hashimoto’s. The result: the thyroid gland becomes larger and swells, resulting in what is known as a goiter. However, you have to consume very large amounts.
To be on the safe side and to retain most of the valuable nutrients, the cauliflower should be gently blanched or boiled in this exceptional case, as this reduces the number of goitrogens.
Enjoy cauliflower raw: recipe for cauliflower salad
Before preparing it, it is important to wash the cabbage well and remove the outer leaves. If you want to enjoy cauliflower raw, you can prepare a colorful salad, for example. Here’s how it works: Grate the cauliflower and mix it with chopped peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, roasted pine or pumpkin seeds, and chopped parsley, for example. A simple dressing of wine vinegar and oil, pepper, salt, and a pinch of sugar goes well with this.
Unless you have a thyroid malfunction and a sensitive gastrointestinal tract, cauliflower is wonderful to eat and enjoy raw.