A Bit About Cauliflower


All members of the cabbage family, including cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and kohlrabi, are tremendously healthy additions to a person’s diet, whether eaten raw or cooked. Some studies have even shown that eating a portion of these plants daily might greatly help prevent or treat certain kinds of cancer.

Cauliflower is a tremendous source of vitamin C. A cup of cooked cauliflower can exceed the required daily allowance for this vitamin, so it is a good vegetable to eat during cold and flu season. It is also high in vitamin B6, folate, potassium and manganese. Yet a cup only has 25 calories, which makes it great for dieters.

When growing cauliflower, plant them in warm, rich, well draining soil and keep them watered well. The soil should be high in nitrogen, with plenty of finished compost or other organic additives dug in. Ground temperature is more important than air temperature for these plants. Once they are established, they tend to be cold hearty if the air temperature drops.

As soon as the head begins to form, draw the leaves up around the head and tie them together above the developing head. By doing this and blocking the sunshine, the heads take on a nice white color. This is sometimes called blanching, though it has nothing to do with the sort of blanching that is done during cooking.

The heads are usually ready for harvest when they are about 6 inches in diameter, but while the head is still tightly packed and hasn’t yet begun to become looser. The heads can get much larger, though.

Cauliflower is often cooked in boiling water, though there are other methods that can be used as well. Overcooking this vegetable should be avoided, because when it becomes too done, sulfates and other sulfur compounds are released, giving a sulfurous aroma and flavor to the vegetable.

Cauliflower is a very healthy vegetable to eat. If it isn’t overcooked, it has a great flavor. It isn’t difficult to grow. Last year, we grew many cauliflower plants. Several of them had heads over a foot in diameter. The largest was a little more than two feet across and tipped the scales at five pounds. I can attest to the fact that this isn’t a hard vegetable to grow.

It is no wonder than cauliflower is one of my favorite vegetables. Do you like cauliflower?




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Posted in food and plants and tagged , , , , by with 11 comments.


  • peachpurple says:

    I love this veggie too but a friend told me there are tons of creepy crawling worm in them

    • Yes there are but that can be taken care of.

    • rextrulove says:

      Don’t believe everything you hear, @peachpurple. 🙂 Cabbage moth caterpillars (they aren’t worms though they look like fat little green worms) can infest any member of the cabbage family, just as tomato hornworm (also a caterpillar) infests tomatoes and corn…it is called corn ear worm when it is on corn, but is the caterpillars of the same insect.

      The thing is that they are plenty large enough to see, so when the vegetables are being thoroughly rinsed, the caterpillars are removed, if there are any. They can be prevented, too, by using fine mesh screen so the moths can’t lay eggs. The egg cases can also be removed if they are laid. I only had one head of cauliflower that had any cabbage worms and it had three, which were removed.

  • Andria Perry says:

    I am planting cauliflower today as well as kohlrabi and cabbage if I find the cabbage seed. I am starting them inside and I will transplant into the garden. Winter is just now setting in and I do not know what is proper ground temps for the cabbage family but many people grow them now. So far our coldest night has been around 30°F but the days warm to above 50°F and warmer.

    • rextrulove says:

      The seedlings should do well once the ground temperature gets above the 60-65 degree range.

      You’re lucky. I won’t be starting any seeds, even in the house, until late april to mid may.

  • TAlberts says:

    I love eating cauliflower and I have not eaten this for a few weeks. Thanks for reminding me this veggie.

    • rextrulove says:

      Actually, I there isn’t any member of the cabbage family that I don’t like, @thelme55. I don’t like cauliflower, broccoli or cabbage when it is overcooked, but it isn’t hard to cook it the right amount of time.

  • Angeles says:

    Sorry so much @rextrulove, But even now that I’ve read, thanks to your clear article, how good is to eat cauliflower, I still don’t like it. I’ve tasted it, but I’m think now… Wouldn’t it be because I’ve always eaten it too much boiled?? Great article!!

    • rextrulove says:

      Yes, @angeles, it is very possible that it has been over cooked. It could also be that you didn’t have anything with it. I like eating it with either mayonnaise or lemon butter. still, it is very common for people to over cook it.

  • Angeles says:

    Oh yes, @rextrulove, I ate it with mayonnaise, so maybe the problem was the time it was over cooked! Thanks!

    • rextrulove says:

      One thing you *could* try is to eat the cauliflower raw, with ranch dressing or your favorite salad dressing. If you like it that way, it was almost certainly over cooked. For that matter, if it is cooked and is so soft that it tends to fall apart, it is way over cooked.

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