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Cauliflower 101

Everything you need to know about cauliflower, including cauliflower nutrition, storage, and the difference between cauliflower and broccoli!

Close up of cauliflower florets

We’re at the point on the blog where we’re revisiting some ingredients and spotlighting them…again! Because with an ingredient as chameleon-like as cauliflower, how could we possibly begin to uncover all of the deliciousness it’s capable of in a mere two weeks? Answer: we cannot.

So we’re dropping the cold hard cauliflower FACTS today to catch you up on everything you need to know about this cruciferous veggie, then jumping into the recipes this week! 

Head of cauliflower on white background

What’s the difference between cauliflower and broccoli?

Let’s start with what makes them the same, shall we? Both cauliflower and broccoli are in the same family as cabbage and Brussels sprouts. The parts we eat on all of these veggies are actually flower buds!

As far is differences go, cauliflower is actually just an albino broccoli…jokes! It’s not. Though they are quite similar, the edible flower buds I mentioned are more spaced out in broccoli. Cauliflower has less calories and carbs, while broccoli has more vitamins and minerals.

Varieties of cauliflower

  • White: Your average, tasty, always-got-your-back cauliflower
  • Orange: Similar to the white but with 25% more vitamin A!
  • Green (aka Romanesco or “broccocauli”): With mesmerizing spirals, this is probably the most beautiful vegetable you’ll ever eat.
  • Purple: Similar to the white but with anthocyanins, the healthy phytochemical responsible for the color of purple cabbage and red wine.
Closeup macro photo of cauliflower

How to cut cauliflower florets

Step 1: Remove the leaves from the cauliflower. (Tip: cauliflower leaves are edible! Roast them with a drizzle of oil and salt, yum!)

Cauliflower on a white background

Step 2: Place cauliflower stem side down and cut in half.

Cauliflower cut in half on a white background

Step 3: Cut each half into halves, leaving you with four pieces of cauliflower

Cauliflower cut in quarters on a white background

Step 4: Place each quarter stem side down, then cut down to remove the thick stem. The florets should come right off! Break larger florets into smaller pieces by hand.

Cauliflower cut in quarters on a white background

How to store cauliflower

Refrigerate raw, whole cauliflower in a plastics bag, leaving it unwashed until right before you use it. Store it stem side down to prevent any moisture from pooling around the edible bits. It should keep for about a week. Store washed and cut florets for 3 to 4 days in the fridge.

Favorite cauliflower recipes

General Tso’s Cauliflower
Fluffy Mashed Cauliflower
Roasted Cauliflower Street Tacos
Sticky Garlic Cauliflower
Shaved Brussels Sprout Salad
Ultimate Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Healthy Cauliflower Soup
Hidden Cauliflower Smoothie

Cauliflower nutrition information

per 1 cup chopped (107 g) raw cauliflower

  • Calories: 27
  • Carbohydrates: 5 g
  • Fiber: 2.1 g, 8% of Daily Value (DV)
  • Protein: 2.1 g
  • Fat: 0.3 g
  • 77% DV of Vitamin C: A water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant to fight against potentially damaging free radicals (molecules with unshared electrons that float around wreaking havoc) and an important cofactor in collagen synthesis.
  • 20% Dv of Vitamin K: A fat-soluble vitamin that allows for activation of enzymes in the clotting cascade, which is responsible for blood clotting. Also builds bone by modifying osteocalcin so that it may bind calcium, thus building the bone matrix.
  • 14% DV of Folate (Vitamin B9): A water-soluble vitamin that helps make DNA & RNA and metabolize amino acids.
  • 10% DV of Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine): A water-soluble vitamin that works behind the scenes as a coenzyme in many important reactions within your body, including protein metabolism and red blood cell formation, among countless other functions.

Hi, I’m Sarah!

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  1. GW says:

    It is worth noting that cauliflower’s protein content is also a very complete protein compared to other veggies.

    1. Sarah says:

      Absolutely! Certainly a great addition to the Thanksgiving table 🙂