cauliflower

I’ve come to depend on “heavier” vegetables, such as cauliflower, since transitioning to a plant-based diet. Green leaves, brute vegetables and fruit can really only go so far to fill me up – I need something dense, something with a hefty chew factor or a smoothness inherent in decadent cream; ultimately, something that keeps me full and satisfied. Adapting cauliflower to fit into recipes that otherwise require the bulk of cheese or meat has been a lifesaver. As handy as it is in a plant-based kitchen it is beneficial for the well-being of your body. Cauliflower is a superfood you should never go without.

Cauliflower belongs to the Brassica Oleracea species, which has the likes of Brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli, and collard greens. In 1 cup of chopped cauliflower, there are 27 calories, 320 milligrams of potassium, 2.1 grams of dietary fiber, 85 percent of the RDA of vitamin C, 10 percent of the RDA of vitamin B6 and 4 percent of the RDA of magnesium. Cauliflower is a great source of vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, and B9, contains omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin K, and is a good source of proteins, phosphorus and potassium.

Its antioxidant content is also praiseworthy. It is full of carotenoids and phytonutrients, which work to prevent diseases and halt free-radical damage and hence, aging.

Cauliflower also contains sulforaphane, which is important for liver health, and thus supporting detoxification. Its glucosinolate content is particularly important in cleansing the body. Glucosinolates have been credited for their protective effect against cancers especially those of the lungs, stomach, colon and rectum.

One cup of cooked cauliflower holds 11 micrograms of vitamin K and .21 grams of omega-3 fatty acids, both of which help to reduce inflammation, which is the root to many diseases.

Get creative with cauliflower, beyond eating it raw or boiled. Make a lower-carb version of mashed potatoes or use it in a burger!

Aylin Erman is founder of GlowKitchen. There she shares step-by-step picture recipes of her plant-based creations. Aylin lives and works in Istanbul as a writer and editor at the country’s first-ever green-living and sustainability platform, Yesilist. Like her on Facebook and follow her on Twitter to keep up with food news and recipes.

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Image: Nick Saltmarsh