Parts of Asia Minor and the Mediterranean have been eating cauliflower for more than 2,000 years. By the 16th Century, it was being eaten throughout Western Europe. And it was only until the 1920’s that it made it it’s way on to the American dining room table
Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family. Its’ relatives includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts and collard greens. Nearly all plants in this family are easy to grow, except for cauliflower. Never the less, many parts of the USA grow cauliflower, but the majority of all cauliflower consumed comes from the Salinas Valley, California, where it is grown year-round.
Cauliflower is an awesome vegetable – especially terrific to eat during the cold and flu season. One serving contains 100% of the Vitamin C you need for the day! Cauliflower is also fat-free, low-carb, and a good source of potassium and folate.
At The Market: When buying cauliflower, select one that is white or creamy white in color, firm, and heavy. Cauliflower is also available in green (sometimes called brocciflower) and purple varieties too.
Storage: Refrigerate cauliflower in a plastic bag for up to one week. Keep it dry. Don’t wash it until you are ready to eat it. Trim away brownish colored bruises before cooking.
Age to introduce: 8-10 months (cooked and pureed). Raw cauliflower is choking hazard and is not recommended for children under 3 years old.
Toddler Treat: Cauliflower Soup
Soup is a terrific meal for toddlers. Smooth soups or broths are the best starters soups, because their textures are easily managed in the mouth. Soup also offers a great opportunity to develop “spoon” skills. For those less patient or more hungry, serve soup in a cup and sip away. Never serve soup hot, always room temperature or slightly warm.
- 1 head of cauliflower, cored, and chopped into florets
- 1 medium potato, peeled and diced
- 4 cups vegetable broth or chicken broth
- ½ teaspoon herbs de provence (or a pinch of each rosemary, parsley, oregano, and thyme)
Place all ingredients in a large soup pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Pour in batches into a blender, being careful not overfill the blender. Puree until smooth. You can also use a hand blender to puree the soup right in the pot. Serve.
Cauliflower for everyone
Does your cauliflower turn yellow when cooked? It could be the alkaline in your water. For whiter cauliflower, add a tablespoon of milk or lemon juice to the water before cooking.
- Add cauliflower to any stir-fry recipe. You may want to partially cook it in the microwave for a 1-2 minutes or blanch it in boiling water for 1-2 minutes before adding it to the stir-fry.
- Cauliflower couscous: Instead making high-carb side dish of couscous, try using cauliflower instead. Finely chop cauliflower florets, place in a saucepan with some broth and a dash of olive oil. Bring to a boil and simmer until tender. Done and delicious!
- Mash cooked cauliflower with potatoes to make and interesting mashed potato dish.
- Use chopped and cooked cauliflower florets in your favorite pasta sauce for a delightful dish. Cauliflower tossed in pesto sauce is terrific!
- Classic Cheese sauce. One of the best and favorite ways to enjoy cauliflower is with cheese sauce. Here is an easy recipe for quick homemade cheese sauce.
RECIPE: Classic Cheese Sauce
- 2 Tbsp. of butter or margarine
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 1 1/2 cups milk or chicken broth
- 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: In a saucepan melt butter over medium heat. Stir in flour, sauté for 2 minutes. Continue to stir and SLOWLY pour in milk/broth. Add cheese. Conitue to stir until melted. Salt and pepper to taste. Pour sauce over cooked cauliflower. Serve