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Cauliflower

Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family. The word "cauliflower" means "cabbage flower," and centuries of cultivation were necessary to produce a tight head of clustered flower buds in place of the compact leaves of the cabbage head. Although there are thirty-five or more varieties of this vegetable, there are probably not more six or seven distinct varieties used.

Cauliflower contains sulfur compounds that easily break up and produce hydrogen sulfide, which has an offensive odor. If cauliflower is cooked too long, it will bring about the decomposition of these sulfur compounds.

Cauliflower is available all year, but the peak months are November through March. California is, by far, the largest grower; Arizona is second; and Colorado and New York are third.

The size of the vegetable has little to do with its quality. Fine quality cauliflower is creamy-white or white, clean, heavy, firm, and compact, with outer leaves that are fresh and green. Avoid cauliflower that has the appearance of being rice-like or granular, speckled, or spotted. A head that is no longer fresh may have yellowing leaves. If the leaves drop from the stalk, it is definitely not fresh.

Benefits of Cauliflower

The greatest amount of calcium in cauliflower is found in the greens that are around the head. Most people throw these away, but they are good when cooked with the cauliflower or cut up in salads. It is best to undercook this vegetable.

Cauliflower is easier for diabetic people to eat than cabbage. It is also good for reducing diets, because it is so low in calories, but keep in mind that its high phosphorus content means it is gas­forming.

Nutrients in one pound

Calories
63
Iron
2.2 mg
Protein
4.9 g
200 I.U.
Fat
0.4 g
0.21 mg
Carbohydrates
10 g
0.22 mg
Calcium
45 mg
1.2 mg
Phosphorus
147 mg
Ascorbic acid
141 mg
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