Cauliflower was introduced into medieval Europe by the Arabs during their occupation of Spain. In sixteenth-century England, cauliflower was called “Cyprus coleworts,” because it was first imported from the island of Cyprus. In Queen Ann’s time the term cauliflower was a comical phrase for a clerical wig, referring to anyone who wore powder on his head.
Cauliflower is a member of the cabbage family and as its name implies, is a flower growing from a plant. In its early stages, it resembles broccoli, which is its closest relative. While broccoli opens outwardly to sprout bunches of green florets, cauliflower forms a compact head of undeveloped white flower buds. The heavy green leaves that surround the head protect the flower buds from the sunlight. The lack of exposure to sunlight does not allow chlorophyll to develop so color is not produced, and the head remains white. Cauliflower contains a high amount of vitamin C, folate, Vitamin B9, fiber, and complex carbohydrates.
Quality cauliflower is creamy or snowy white, clean, heavy, firm, and compact, with outer leaves that are fresh and green. Avoid any that has the appearance of being rice-like or granular, speckled or spotted or that has yellowing leaves. Cauliflower is generally available year round, but it is usually more plentiful in autumn and early winter.
Cauliflower will keep for up to five days if stored in the crisper section of your refrigerator. If the head is not purchased wrapped, store it in an open or perforated plastic bag. Keep the head stem-side up to prevent moisture from collecting on it. For the best flavor, cauliflower should be eaten as soon as possible. Precut florets do not keep well, and they are best when eaten within a day of purchase.
Cauliflower is a good source of boron, which is an important trace mineral that has largely been ignored for health maintenance and freedom from disease. This is unfortunate as it is extremely important as a health supplement and can have profoundly beneficial effects in helping arthritis, osteoporosis, aging, menopausal symptoms, sex hormones, allergies, parasites, candida and lupus.
Boron is a very effective treatment for relief of arthritis. It works well partly due to its crucial role of calcium integration into the cartilage and bone. This is important for all of us as we age, even if we do not have arthritis. Aging is partly associated with weakening of the bones as they become increasingly porous. Boron can help prevent this aging effect. Cauliflower is high in fiber, vitamin C, potassium, phosphorus and calcium and is also a source of protein.
Cauliflower helps purify the blood, aids bleeding gums, as long as it is eaten raw, and is helpful in cases of asthma, kidney and bladder disorders, high blood pressure and constipation. All Brassica-genus vegetables contain dithiolthiones, a group of compounds that have anti-cancer and antioxidant properties; indoles, substances that protect against breast and colon cancer; and sulphur, which have antibiotic and antiviral characteristics. This family of vegetables also mildly stimulates the liver and other tissues out of stagnancy.
Cauliflower can be served raw in salads and vegetable dip platters and can even be made into a delicious creamy recipe that is so yummy you’ll want to scrape the sides of the bowl with your finger so you don’t waste a bite. My mother told me to never lick my plate, but behind closed doors who will ever know?
3 cups cauliflower
1 cup soaked cashews
1/2 cup white mild onion
1/2 tsp. garlic
1 tsp. Himalayan salt
Soak the cashews in 2 cups filtered water for four hours and drain. Put the cauliflower, cashews, onion, garlic and salt in a food processor or blender and blend until creamy. If needed you can add a little water to get the consistency just right.
Brenda Cobb is author of The Living Foods Lifestyle® and founder of The Living Foods Institute, an Educational Center and Therapy Spa in Atlanta offering Healthy Lifestyle Courses on Nutrition, Cleansing, Healing, Anti-Aging, Detoxification, Relaxation and Cleansing Therapies. For more information, call 404-524-4488 or 1-800-844-9876 and visit www.livingfoodsinstitute.com