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Nutritional Information

1 cup, cauliflower

  • Calories 25
  • Calories from Fat 0.9
  • Amount%DV
  • Total Fat 0.1g0%
  • Saturated Fat 0.032g0%
  • Monounsaturated Fat 0.014g
  • Polyunsaturated Fat 0.099g
  • Cholestreol 0mg0%
  • Sodium 30mg1%
  • Potassium 303mg9%
  • Total Carbohydrate 5.3g2%
  • Dietary Fiber 2.5g10%
  • Sugars 2.4g
  • Protein 1.98g4%
  • Calcium 2mg0%
  • Iron 2mg11%
  • Vitamin A 0%
  • Vitamin C 77%

When In Season:

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Cauliflower on Wikipedia:

Cauliflower Cauliflower, cultivar unknown Species Brassica oleracea Cultivar Group Botrytis cultivar group Origin Northeast Mediterranean Cultivar Group members Many; see text.

Cauliflower is one of several vegetables in the species Brassica oleracea, in the family Brassicaceae. It is an annual plant that reproduces by seed. Typically, only the head (the white curd) is eaten while the stalk and surrounding thick, green leaves are used in vegetable broth or discarded. Cauliflower is nutritious, and may be eaten cooked, raw or pickled.

Its name is from Latin caulis (cabbage) and flower,[1] an acknowledgment of its unusual place among a family of food plants which normally produces only leafy greens for eating. Brassica oleracea also includes cabbage, brussels sprouts, kale, broccoli and collard greens, though they are of different cultivar groups.


Classification and identification

Botanical varieties

Cauliflower and broccoli are the same species and have very similar structures, though cauliflower replaces the green flower buds with white inflorescence meristem.

Major groups

There are four major groups of cauliflower.[2]

Italian. Diverse appearance, biennial and annual types. Includes white, Romanesco, various green, purple, brown and yellow cultivars. This type is the ancestral form from which the others were derived. Northwest European biennial. Used in Europe for winter and early spring harvest. Developed in France in the 19th century. Includes the old cultivars Roscoff and Angers. Northern European annuals. Used in Europe and North America for summer and fall harvest. Developed in Germany in the 18th century. Includes old cultivars Erfurt and Snowball. Asian. Tropical cauliflower used in China and India. Developed in India during the 19th century from the now-abandoned Cornish type.[3] Includes old varieties Early Patna and Early Benaras.


Traditional varieties include 'Snowball', 'Hybrid White', 'Super Snowball', 'Snow Crown', 'Mayflower', Candid Charm', 'Mormon', 'Agrahani', 'poushi', 'maghi', 'Snow White', 'Snow Grace'.

Self-blanching varieties are 'Self Blanche', 'Early Tuscan', 'Late Tuscan'.

Heirloom varieties include 'All the Year Round', 'Early Pearl', 'Early Snowball', 'Igloo', 'Violetta Italia' and 'Walcheren Winter'. Commercial varieties includue 'Fremont', 'Igloo' and 'Snow Crown'. A comprehensive list of varieties is maintained at North Carolina State University.[4]


Orange cauliflower (B. oleracea L. var. botrytis) contains 25 times the level of Vitamin A of white varieties. This trait came from a natural mutant found in a cauliflower field in Canada.[5] Cultivars include 'Cheddar' and 'Orange Bouquet'. Green cauliflower of the B. oleracea Botrytis group, is sometimes called broccoflower or brocliflower/broccliflower. It is available both with the normal curd shape and a variant spiky curd called ``Romanesco broccoli`` Both types have been commercially available in the US and Europe since the early 1990s. Romanesco's head is an example of a fractal image in nature, repeating itself in self-similarity at varying scales.[6] Green curded varieties include 'Alverda', 'Green Goddess' and 'Vorda'. Romanesco varieties include 'Minaret', and 'Veronica'. Purple cauliflower also exists. The purple color is caused by the presence of the antioxidant group anthocyanin, which can also be found in red cabbage and red wine.[7] Varieties include 'Graffiti' and 'Purple Cape'. In Great Britain and southern Italy, a broccoli with tiny flower buds is sold as a vegetable under the name ``purple cauliflower.`` It is not the same as standard cauliflower with a purple curd.

Orange cauliflower

Purple cauliflower


Cauliflower, raw (edible parts) Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz) Energy 103 kJ (25 kcal) Carbohydrates 5 g Sugars 2.4 g Dietary fiber 2.5 g Fat 0 g Protein 2 g Thiamine (Vit. B1) 0.057 mg (4%) Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.063 mg (4%) Niacin (Vit. B3) 0.53 mg (4%) Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.65 mg (13%) Vitamin B6 0.22 mg (17%) Folate (Vit. B9) 57 μg (14%) Vitamin C 46 mg (77%) Calcium 22 mg (2%) Iron 0.44 mg (4%) Magnesium 15 mg (4%) Phosphorus 44 mg (6%) Potassium 300 mg (6%) Zinc 0.28 mg (3%) Percentages are relative to US recommendations for adults. Source: USDA Nutrient database

Cauliflower is low in fat, high in dietary fiber, folate, water and vitamin C, possessing a very high nutritional density. As a member of the brassica family, cauliflower shares with broccoli and cabbage several phytochemicals which are beneficial to human health, including sulforaphane, an anti-cancer compound released when cauliflower is chopped or chewed. In addition, the compound indole-3-carbinol, which appears to work as an anti-estrogen, appears to slow or prevent the growth of tumors of the breast and prostate.[8] Cauliflower also contains other glucosinolates besides sulfurophane, substances which may improve the liver's ability to detoxify carcinogenic substances.[9] A high intake of cauliflower has been found to reduce the risk of aggressive prostate cancer.[10]


Aloo gobi, an Indian dish prepared with cauliflower.

Cauliflower can be roasted, boiled, fried, steamed or eaten raw. When cooking, the outer leaves and thick stalks are removed, leaving only the florets. The leaves are also edible, but are most often discarded.[11] The florets should be broken into similar-sized pieces so they are cooked evenly. After eight minutes of steaming, or five minutes of boiling, the florets should be soft, but not mushy (depending on size). Stirring while cooking can break the florets into smaller, uneven pieces. Cauliflower is often served with a cheese sauce, as in the dish cauliflower cheese.

Low carb dieters can use cauliflower as a reasonable substitute for potatoes for while they can produce a similar texture, or mouth feel, they lack the starch of potatoes.

Fractal dimension

Fractal pattern of Romanesco broccoli, a variant form of cauliflower

As with many vegetables, the cauliflower has a distinct fractal dimension. The fractal dimension of cauliflower is predicted at about 2.88.[12]


^ ``Cauliflower: definition``. 2006. Retrieved 2008-11-22.  ^ Crisp, P. (1982). ``The use of an evolutionary scheme for cauliflowers in screening of genetic resources``. Euphytica 31: 725. doi:10.1007/BF00039211.  ^ Swarup, V. and Chatterjee, S.S (1972). ``Origin and genetic improvement of Indian cauliflower``. Economic Botany 26: 381–393.  ^ Farnham, M. (2007). ``Vegetable Cultivar Descriptions for North America:Cauliflower``. Retrieved 2007-09-19.  ^ Dickson, M.H., Lee C.Y., Blamble A.E. (1988). ``Orange-curd high carotene cauliflower inbreds, NY 156, NY 163, and NY 165``. HortScience 23: 778–779.  ^ John Walker. ``Fractal Food: Self-Similarity on the Supermarket Shelf``. Retrieved August 28, 2006.  ^ ``Anthocyanin in Cauliflower``.  ^ Carcinogens at Oxford Journal. Retrieved December 14, 2006 ^ World's Healthiest Foods article on Cauliflower. Retrieved December 14, 2006 ^ Kirsh, VA; Peters U, Mayne ST, Subar AF, Chatterjee N, Johnson CC, Hayes RB (2007). ``Prospective study of fruit and vegetable intake and risk of prostate cancer``. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 99 (15): 1200–9. doi:10.1093/jnci/djm065. PMID 17652276.  ^ Stephens, MJ (1998). ``Secondary Edible Parts of Vegetables``. Vegetarian 5.  ^ ``Fractal Structure of a White Cauliflower``. Journal of Korean physical society 46 (2): 474–477. Retrieved 2008-06-05. 


Sharma, S.R, Singh, P.K., Chable, V. Tripathi, S.K. (2004). ``A review of hybrid cauliflower development``. Journal of New Seeds 6: 151. doi:10.1300/J153v06n02_08. 

External links

PROTAbase on Brassica oleracea (cauliflower and broccoli) Fractal dimensions of a green broccoli and a white cauliflower (Kim) (PDF) Cultural information on cauliflower Orange Cauliflower Development Cabbages and Cauliflowers: How to Grow Them by James John Howard Gregory