What’s in the fridge? Cauliflower! It may seem little, but make no mistake. Cauliflower is one of the most versatile and healthy options that you can add to your menu.
With vegetables you can prepare complete and tasty meals, such as cauliflower gratin, for example. But it is also possible to consume it as a salad, in the form of puree or fried.
Cauliflower is also an amazing substitute for wheat flour, being widely used in pizza doughs and pies.
But for everything to work out you need to know how to cook cauliflower properly, so that you get the maximum nutrients and flavor.
And guess what? We tell you all about cauliflower in today’s post. Come and see.
Cauliflower belongs to the cruciferous family, as do broccoli and cabbage.
Rich in vitamin C and vitamin K, cauliflower still has significant amounts of calcium and magnesium.
Vegetables are also a great ally in the treatment of inflammations, especially those of chronic origin, such as cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
This anti-inflammatory property of cauliflower also ends up being beneficial for heart health, helping the heart muscle to become stronger and more resistant. Cauliflower also helps control cholesterol.
According to a study by the National Cancer Institute (USA), vitamin C present in cauliflower and isothiocyanate, a substance with antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, causes vegetables to be categorized as an anti-cancer food, since it contributes to the protection of cells and inhibits formation of several types of cancer, mainly breast, esophagus, prostate and pancreas.
Want more? Cauliflower has been shown to be very effective in improving cognitive ability, especially in the elderly.
This is thanks to a component called choline, also present in broccoli and spinach. A study carried out by Harvard Medical School with three thousand elderly women, it was shown that cauliflower was beneficial for memory and for slowing cognitive decline.
How to cook cauliflower
The type of cooking of the cauliflower interferes with the texture, flavor and preservation of nutrients.
So it is important to know the different ways on how to cook cauliflower and, thus, know exactly which one is the most suitable for what you intend to do. Check out:
In the common pot
The most common way to cook cauliflower is in a regular pot with boiling water.
The problem is that this is not the best method for those who want to preserve the nutrients in vegetables, since most of these nutrients are lost in water.
But if that’s the only way for you, ok!
To cook cauliflower in boiling water, first wash and cut the bouquets of the vegetable.
Then add a little salt to the water and place the cauliflower bouquets inside.
And if that strange smell of cauliflower cooking bothers you, the tip is to drip a few drops of lemon or vinegar into the water.
You can also add a little milk to the cooking water or even cook the cauliflower with some celery stalks which, in addition to leaving the vegetable with a special taste, also eliminates the unpleasant cooking odors.
The average cooking time for cauliflower in boiling water is 10 to 15 minutes. To find out if the cauliflower is on point, stick it with a fork.
Depending on the preparation, it may be that the cauliflower needs to be more al dente (soft) or softer.
Another method of cooking cauliflower is steamed. This is the most suitable way for those who want to preserve the nutrients of the vegetable.
To steam the cauliflower, simply wash and cut the cauliflower bouquets and place them over the pan basket.
Add water to the pan, about three fingers, and place the basket with the cauliflower. The cooking time is about eight to ten minutes. Check the desired point with a fork.
Tip: To make cauliflower taste special, cook it together with some fresh aromatic herb, such as rosemary, basil or thyme. Simply place the desired herb in the basket with the vegetable.
In the pressure
Cauliflower can also be cooked in the pressure cooker. This is the best method for when you have a large amount of cauliflower and want to cook it as soon as possible.
Wash and cut the cauliflower bouquets and place everything in the pressure cooker. Cover with water and add a pinch of salt. You can add some aromatic herb to add more cauliflower flavor and aroma.
Then, close the pressure cooker and as soon as you get “pressure” count five minutes and turn off the cooker.
Wait for the steam to escape completely, open the lid and check the point. Remember that the pressure cooker cooks food more quickly, so be careful not to spend the cooking time and let the cauliflower soften too much.
In the microwave
Did you know that you can cook cauliflower in the microwave? Yes! To do this, you must wash and cut the bouquets and place them on a large glass plate.
Cover the cauliflower with water and turn the appliance on at full power for about four minutes.
In the oven
Cauliflower can also be prepared in the oven. The process is simple but a little longer.
Wash and cut the cauliflower bouquets, then grease a baking sheet with olive oil.
Accommodate the cauliflower so that the bouquets do not overlap one over the other. Season with salt, pepper and aromatic herbs.
Place in the medium oven for about 35 to 40 minutes, turning the bouquets in half the time.
How to store cauliflower
You can choose to cook a large amount of cauliflower at once and then freeze it.
That way every time you want to eat cauliflower, just take a portion of the freezer and you’re done.
To freeze cauliflower you must pass the vegetable through a process called blanching.
That is, first steam it quickly for about three minutes. Immediately after this time pour the cauliflower in a bowl with ice water and ice, let it soak for another three minutes. Drain the water, store the cauliflower in jars and take them to the freezer.
Now that you know how to cook cauliflower, just go to the kitchen and make your favorite dish with vegetables.