In the same way you used to roll your eyes and tune out your mother when she said “eat more vegetables and fruits,” your eyes will probably glaze over at yet another reminder. But of all the health messages we receive on a daily basis, this one really is one of the easiest to assimilate, and it can make a huge difference in whether or not you will develop a chronic disease.
Why should you eat more vegetables and fruits? Research shows that eating a diet rich in vegetables and fruits may reduce your risk for cardiovascular disease–and that includes both heart attack and stroke. It may also (1) provide protection against certain types of cancers; (2) help you maintain or lose weight; and (3) enable you to consume more fiber, which keeps you feeling full and aids in elimination.
Not sure how much to eat? Just fill half your plate with vegetables and fruits. Sound too simple? That’s because it is! Just remember to select whole fruits (instead of juice) and vary your veggies.
To help you get there, one vegetable in particular you might want to reconsider is cauliflower. It is the flower of the plant; growing in tight, compact clusters. This mild white vegetable is available fresh or frozen. Most of us eat cauliflower raw with dip or steamed as part of a vegetable medley. I personally love it steamed with broccoli, carrots and onions. It is colorful and tasty, and steaming seems to bring out a mellower flavor.
Why should you eat cauliflower?
- Low, low calories – ½ cup serving provides 13 calories
- Contains 0 grams of fat
- Contains photochemicals which have anti-cancer properties.
- Rich in Vitamin C
- Complex Carbohydrate which may help regulate blood sugars
- High in folate
Want a new way to enjoy this vegetable from the cabbage family?
- Make low-calorie “mashed potatoes” with cauliflower.
- Roast it for a crunchy unique flavor. I added a dash of smoked paprika for more flavor.
- Try cauliflower pizza crust – great if you eat gluten free or are watching your calories.
- Make stir-fry using cauliflower as one of the vegetables. Stir-fry onion, garlic, and cauliflower, then add flavor with low sodium soy sauce. After the vegetables are crispy, add two beaten eggs. Heat until eggs are firm, and then serve with brown rice and quinoa.
- Enjoy Cauliflower-Cheese Soup on a cool winter day.
- Try this kid friendly and cute idea, named “Hiding Rabbits”.
One head of cauliflower can yield about 10 ½ cup servings.
So… I challenge you that next time you are at the grocery, pick up a head of cauliflower and find a new way to enjoy this healthy vegetable.
Photo Credits: Doug Wilson
Written by: Michelle Treber, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University, Pickaway County, email@example.com
Reviewed by: Donna Green, Extension Educator, Family and Consumer Sciences, Ohio State University Extension, Erie County, firstname.lastname@example.org