This, we believe, is especially true at The Chef’s Garden. That’s because, although our farm-fresh white cauliflower shouldn’t be considered an imitation of any other vegetable, we also sustainably farm cauliflower in colors ranging from green to purple to a pastel shade of orange.
Live Science goes on to call cauliflower one of today’s trendiest vegetables, one that’s “very versatile and vitamin-rich.” Specific health benefits of cauliflower listed in the article include its antioxidants, which may help to prevent diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and arthritis.
In fact, cauliflower is included in an elite list—part of the 25 powerhouse fruits and veggies contained in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI). This list makes it easy to choose foods offering the most nutrients for each of its calories.
Knowing that, it isn’t surprising that cauliflower is included on the World’s Healthiest Foods website. This site lists cauliflower as an:
excellent source of vitamins C, K and B6, plus folate and pantothenic acid
very good source of choline, fiber, omega-3 fats, manganese, phosphorus and biotin
good source of vitamins B1, 2 and 3, plus protein, potassium and magnesium
Now, here’s more information about the health benefits of cauliflower.
Mayo Clinic Dubs Cauliflower as “Nutrition Superstar”
In 2017, they chose kale (hard to argue that!) and, in 2018, they crowned cauliflower because of its nutrition and versatility.
Research on Cauliflower and Cancer Prevention
According to Medical News Today, the antioxidants in cauliflower can help to reduce oxidative stress that comes from free radicals. These aren’t terms used in everyday conversation; fortunately, Healthline.com does a good job of breaking them down:
First, oxidation is a normal process, one that’s necessary.
Oxidative stress, though, isn’t desirable.
This kind of stress happens when there is an imbalance between free radicals and antioxidants.
When in balance, free radicals can help your body to fight off pathogens that can lead to infections and, ultimately, to a significant number of diseases.
When there are so many free radicals in your body that the antioxidants can no longer keep them in balance, the free radicals can damage “fatty tissue, DNA and proteins in your body. Proteins, lipids, and DNA make up a large part of your body, so that damage can lead to a vast number of diseases over time.”
These diseases include cancer.
Antioxidants can help to prevent too many free radicals from being in your body.
Cauliflower is a good source of the antioxidants that can help to keep free radicals in your body in balance—and can therefore play a role in cancer prevention.
Returning to explanations provided by Medical News Today, a particular type of antioxidant—indole-3-carbinol or I3C—has been shown to reduce the risk of developing breast cancer and reproductive system cancers in men and women alike. I3C is found in cauliflower, as well as in other cruciferous vegetables, including broccoli and cabbage.
The article also states that eating more cruciferous vegetables has been associated with a lower risk of colon and lung cancer. Plus, another compound found in cauliflower and other cruciferous vegetables, sulforaphane, may “delay or impede cancer,” with “promising results for melanoma, esophageal, prostate, and pancreatic cancers.”
WebMD brings up another consideration: glucosinolates. As you digest foods with them, such as cauliflower, these substances may help to prevent cancer because of their anti-inflammatory properties, along with antiviral and antibacterial ones.
Research on Cauliflower and Heart Health
According to Best Health by Reader’s Digest, the vitamin K found in cauliflower offers anti-inflammatory benefits, ones that “go hand in hand with heart health, improved blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, good circulation, and optimum cardiovascular function.”
Plus, when you don’t get enough choline in your diet, this can have a negative impact on heart health, according to a study housed at U.S. National Library of Medicine. The challenge? “Not many foods contain choline, but “Cauliflower, along with broccoli, is one of the best plant-based sources of the nutrient.”
Choline also plays a significant part in cell membrane health, brain development, healthy nervous system, and more. It also helps to keep cholesterol from building up in your liver.
Cauliflower and Fiber
Healthline, meanwhile, has gathered together studies that focus on how the fiber found in cauliflower is beneficial for your health. Just one cup of cauliflower contains three grams of fiber, which is 10 percent of your daily needs.
This fiber feeds healthy gut bacteria which, in turn, helps to reduce inflammation in your body and promote better digestive health. This may help to protect you from developing diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel disease and more. Plus, fiber-rich diets are recommended to help lower the risk of diseases ranging from heart disease to diabetes to cancer. Also, fiber allows people to feel full more quickly, which can help in weight management.
Food Trend: Replacing Grain Carbs with Vegetable Carbs
“In the food world, cauliflower is in the midst of an upsurge.”(Quoting ourselves!)
We recently wrote an article about this healthy food trend, one where we quoted Nation’s Restaurant News when they said this: “Cauliflower and zucchini—two overlooked vegetables—have become the darlings of the dinner table.” How? By serving as “veggie doppelgangers for grainy rice and carbo-loaded pasta.” They described riced cauliflower as being a diner favorite.
Farm-Fresh Cauliflower from The Chef’s Garden
We offer a rainbow of choices in fresh cauliflower, including traditional white cauliflower with its mild broccoli-like taste and nuttiness of winter squash. The small heads of this variety—and for all of the varieties we grow—are super clean. For their size, they’re very dense, compact, and heavy.
Other options include:
Alverdale cauliflower: This bright green cauliflower offers up a deliciously earthy flavor, mild and nutty, while adding pops of unexpected color on the plate; this variety tastes subtly different from white cauliflower and also cooks more quickly.
Coralflower/caulini: This variety is similar to the traditional white cauliflower, but we allow it to mature for a longer time; this allows its cream-colored florets to separate into stems. The flavor is delicate and sweet, with both the florets and stems flavorfully edible. This cruciferous vegetable is crunchy when raw, with a marvelous crunchy yet tender texture when cooked.
Mulberry cauliflower: If you’re looking for an exotic choice, this unusual cauliflower provides nicely wrapped heads in a pastel purple color. By looking at a cross-section of this vegetable, it looks as though white cauliflower was dip-dyed in lilac. Cook it, and it deepen to a marvelous blue-purple hue; add a touch of vinegar on a raw floret, the color transforms into a brilliant magenta.
Orange cauliflower: This mild, slightly sweet variety of cauliflower offers up a creamier texture than white cauliflower in a soft orange hue. You may hear this variety referred to as a cheddar cauliflower, but that refers to the color, not the taste; there is no cheese flavor.
Purple cauliflower: If you were to do a taste test comparison, the purple cauliflower does have subtle nuances in flavor that distinguishes it from the white variety. This variety has a mild, slightly sweet flavor, earthy with nutty nuances. Purple cauliflower cooks more quickly.
Romanesco cauliflower: Think nice, mild cabbage flavor, with a sweet start and a touch of saltiness, and you’ve captured fresh Romanesco. The texture is juicy.
Mixed cauliflower: Can’t decide? You know what to do!
Prized Over the Centuries
Cauliflower’s name comes from two Latin terms, one meaning “cabbage” and the other meaning “flower.” A Roman myth shares that another cruciferous vegetable—the cabbage—was actually formed by the tears of a king of the Edonians named Lycurgus. So, this food family goes back a long way, even if cauliflower itself wasn’t yet on the dinner table.
Then, centuries ago in the Middle East, cauliflower was being grown and consumed in the Cyprus region. By the 16th century, this cruciferous vegetable was being grown in royal French greenhouses and served to King Louis XIV and his court. Over time, cauliflower began to be grown in other countries, such as India and England; over time, this vegetable made its way to North America, as well, including to the United States.
Farmer Lee’s Confession
No in-depth article on cauliflower would be complete, in our opinion, without these insights from Farmer Lee.
I hated cauliflower as a kid. It wasn't necessarily the flavor that I disliked, but its resiliency, its ability to withstand the frost, to make it through to the colder months when everything else had succumbed to it.
My dad always wanted the season to go much longer than I did because I was young and cold during the cauliflower harvest and didn't yet understand that the later the harvest, the better off we would be as a family and the more vegetables we could provide to others, even as the frigid winter set in.
The freezing temperatures made the cauliflower even better, heartier, and more flavorful but it took me a long time to realize its virtues. It was not until I was older that I began to appreciate its sturdy character and ability to withstand an unforgiving season. But even as I came to appreciate it, white cauliflower still bored me. It was only when we began planting cauliflowers in brilliant shades of purples and yellows that I really became excited about it.
Here's something else Farmer Lee really appreciates about cauliflower: its health benefits, the role it plays in Farmacy. Here’s the definition:
Farmacy = yes, you can have incredibly flavorful foods that are visually appealing and bursting with nutrition. Yes, healthy eating can be a treat for the palate—including in dishes that feature farm-fresh cauliflower.
Why You Should Choose The Chef’s Garden
When it comes time to order farm-fresh cauliflower, we are unique in many ways, including:
The Chef and Farmer Concept®: We are genuinely proud of the deep and authentic relationships we have developed with the chefs we have worked with over the years. We are relentlessly devoted to delivering to a chef exactly what they require. We are here to serve as your personal farmer and will grow for you virtually anything that your creativity inspires.
Delivering Direct from the Farm: On a daily basis, we hand-harvest, pick-to-order and ship product to you overnight to assure that you receive the freshest, most vibrant and flavorful produce available. This is our efficiently shipped Earth to Table® promise that ensures ultimate freshness, incredible flavor and prolonged shelf-life, resulting in less waste for your business.
Regenerative Agricultural Practices: The Chef’s Garden has always been committed to regenerative agricultural practices and in the past thirty years we have never wavered from our commitment to farming that is environmentally friendly, socially responsible and economically viable.
Farm Food Safety: We take great pride in the cutting-edge food safety program we have developed that diligently tracks our products from seed to shipping, ensuring that when products from The Chef’s Garden arrive in your kitchen, you can be confident in knowing where it was grown and that it was cleaned, packed and shipped following a rigid system of the highest safety standards. We continually receive superior ratings in Food Quality and Safety from AVENDRA, Primus Labs and several other independent certifiers and are happy to share with you more about our program—or learn m/ore about our Farm Food Safety program here.
Superior Products: Ultimately, the most critical reason why we are confident you will be satisfied with your purchase from The Chef’s Garden is because our farm team works diligently to provide our customers with a dizzying array of products that were grown sustainably and are the most flavorful and nutritionally dense microgreens, heirloom vegetables, edible flowers and herbs in the world.
We invite you to check product availability now!