December 1, 2012

The Divine Secret Of Cauliflower

Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that just finds itself forgotten. So many cooks and parents focus on giving their children vegetables like corn and carrots and green beans while forgetting about the delicious alternative of cauliflower. While cauliflower provides many, many health benefits, it also is very tasty and versatile.

Let’s start with the health benefits. According to the Men’s Health website, white-fleshed fruits and veggies, like cauliflower, help to lower the risk for stroke by up to nine percent more than other fruits and vegetables. Although a diet rich in fruit and veg consumption naturally helps lower the risk for a stroke, it’s the cauliflower that helps increase this even more. In a world where heart disease is the number one killer, this is a definite reason to eat more cauliflower.

Beyond lowering the risk of stroke, cauliflower also has cancer-fighting properties. As LIVESTRONG explains, cauliflower contains isothiocyanates, a compound that inhibits the growth of cancer cells. redOrbit reported specifically about the cancer-fighting benefits in cauliflower pertaining to breast cancer. Apparently, even those diagnosed with breast cancer found benefits in eating cauliflower as it lowered their chances for mortality. So eating cauliflower lowers the risk of both stroke and cancer, which are two of the three top killers in the world. Oh yeah, that definitely makes cauliflower a winning veggie.

As if these two were not enough reason to eat more cauliflower, the Mayo Clinic says it is also high in fiber. This means better heart health all around as well as better digestion, regularity, and general health. No diet is complete without fiber, and cauliflower is a perfect way to incorporate it into a good, healthy diet.

So, if all these reasons are not enough to convince people of the power of cauliflower (yep, I totally rhymed that), then it’s time to talk options for eating this delectable. Most people look at cauliflower and think, “What a boring veggie. It looks so anemic and blah.” But we should not let its looks fool us. It most definitely is not boring.

First of all, cauliflower is appetizing raw or cooked. If eating it raw, it pairs well with other veggies. Most often, people eat raw cauliflower in a salad mix with lettuce, tomatoes, carrots, celery, and onions. It compliments these flavors very well, not to mention how pretty it looks in the salad. Okay, so food does not have to be pretty, but isn’t it better when it is?

Beyond the salad, cauliflower is good for dipping in ranch, Italian, sour cream, or other dressings. Again, it is a wonderful canvas for other flavors. Sometimes, it’s best to eat it all by itself. Clearly, cauliflower is just a lovely little veg full of fiber and cancer-fighting properties.

Then there’s cooked cauliflower. Ohmigosh, are there so many ways to cook cauliflower. The best, in my humble opinion, is mashed cauliflower. That’s right; cauliflower mashes just as well as potatoes, and frankly, even better because cauliflower is much better for you due to all its nutrients. The texture is similar, but the flavor is more divine.

Roasting, steaming, baking, grilling, and frying are other magnificent options for cooking, and really, there’s no bad way to eat cauliflower. It will taste scrumptious no matter how it’s cooked. It enhances other flavors while also adding to the tastes. It can be savory, salty, or sweet. Cooked cauliflower is one of the most versatile vegetables ever because it can do it all.

The next time we want to try something new, look to cauliflower. The options are endless, and it only makes us healthier. The real reason to eat it, though, is because it’s just the best. A quick Google search will yield myriad options for cauliflower recipes, so go for it. Don’t forget this mouth-watering veggie.

Image Credit: Oliver Hoffmann / Shutterstock

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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