Nutritional Values Cauliflower, Fresh, Cooked

Serving Size: 1/2 cup

Calories: 15

Fat: <1 g

Saturated Fat: 0 g

Cholesterol: 0 mg

Carbohydrate: 3 g

Protein: 1 g

Dietary Fiber: 2 g

Sodium: 9 mg

Vitamin C: 28 mg

Folic Acid: 27 mcg

Potassium: 88 mg

Cauliflower, one of several cruciferous vegetables, is an ideal weight-loss companion for meatless meals. Its strong flavor allows it to stand alone without meat or other fatty foods. And if you're really hungry, raw cauliflower makes a wonderful snack. Because it's extra crunchy, cauliflower takes longer to chew, giving your body time to realize you're full before you eat yourself out of house and home.

Cauliflower has no fat, is high in vitamin C, and can pass for a low-carb version of mashed potatoes with ease. Read on to discover how this edible flower can help you to keep off the pounds.

Health Benefits

After citrus fruits, cauliflower is your next best natural source of vitamin C, an antioxidant that appears to help combat cancer. It's also an important warrior in the continuous battle our bodies wage against infection. Cauliflower is also notable for its fiber, folic acid, and potassium contents, proving it's more nutritious than its white appearance would have you believe. Cauliflower may also be a natural cancer fighter. It contains phytochemicals, called indoles, that may stimulate enzymes that block cancer growth.

Selection and Storage

Though cauliflower is available year-round, it's more reasonably priced in season -- fall and winter. Look for creamy white heads with compact florets. Brown patches and opened florets are signs of aging. Store unwashed, uncut cauliflower loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in your refrigerator's crisper drawer. Keep upright to prevent moisture from collecting on the surface. It will keep two to five days.

Preparation and Serving Tips

Remove outer leaves, break off florets, trim brown spots, and wash them under running water. Cauliflower serves up well both raw and cooked. Raw, its flavor is less intense and more acceptable to children. Let them dip it into fat-free dressing.

Steam cauliflower, but don't overcook it. Overcooking destroys its vitamin C and folic acid. Moreover, overcooking gives cauliflower a bitter, pungent flavor. To prevent this, steam it in a non-aluminum pan over a small amount of water, until a fork barely pierces a floret -- about five minutes. Remove the cover soon after cooking begins to release odoriferous sulfur compounds.

Although cheese sauces are popular over cauliflower, they add a hefty dose of saturated fat and calories. Why ruin a good thing? Better to serve cauliflower plain or with a little dill weed or flavored olive oil. For a low-calorie, meatless meal, add cauliflower, white beans, broccoli, and carrots to homemade tomato sauce; simmer for 15 minutes, then enjoy over hot pasta.

Cauliflower is a low-carb veggie that can improve heart health, fill you up with its fiber, and strengthen the immune system. This is must-have for your diet-friendly weight-loss routine.

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