All About Cauliflower — A Case For Plant Based

A Case For Plant Based
4 min readFeb 4, 2022

Welcome to the First Friday Food Feature! Where we’ll highlight a whole food plant based ingredient on the first Friday of every month. Today, we continue with cauliflower. We’ll discuss the health benefits as well as practical and creative ways to use it in plant based cooking. Plus, enjoy some delicious vegan recipes utilizing cauliflower!

First, what does whole food plant based (WFPB) actually mean? A whole foods plant based diet is a stricter version of the vegan diet. Foods are eaten in their most natural state (or as close to their most natural state as possible), and they are minimally processed. For a list of foods to avoid on a WFPB diet, click .

The term whole food plant based was coined by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study.

There are hundreds of varieties of cauliflower grown around the world, in many different colors:

  • white (most common)
  • orange
  • purple
  • green (may also be called broccoflower)

Health Benefits

  • raw cauliflower is 92% water, 5% carbohydrates, and 2% protein, with minimal fat
  • high in vitamin C
  • contains moderate amounts of vitamin K and B vitamins
  • high in fiber
  • nutrient dense and contains folate, calcium, iron, choline, and potassium, along with other vitamins and minerals
  • good source of antioxidants
  • can help reduce the risk of cancer
  • helps reduce the risk of heart disease
  • anti-inflammatory properties
  • helps aid digestion
  • natural substances in cauliflower, like sulforaphane, can help slow the aging process
  • natural compounds in cauliflower help the body detox from damaging chemicals

Fun Facts

  • a cruciferous vegetable in the broccoli, kale, and cabbage family
  • it actually is a flower
  • the word cauliflower derives from Italian meaning “cabbage flower”
  • notoriously difficult to grow
  • temperature sensitive
  • needs at least 6 hours of daily sunlight
  • PH of soil must be just right
  • dark, spotted florets with wilted leaves don’t taste as fresh
  • after buying, unwrap and transfer to a loosely sealed bag with paper towel inside to help absorb moisture and keep it fresher longer
  • the bigger the cauliflower head, the bolder the flavor
  • steaming preserves most of its nutrients
  • eating raw can cause indigestion in some people
  • yellow and sometimes green varieties get their color from exposure to sunlight later in the growth process
  • those people who don’t like the taste of white cauliflower often enjoy the orange variety which is sweeter and milder
  • purple is more nutrient dense than white

Plant Based Cooking with Cauliflower & Recipes

Cauliflower is very versatile and is even used as a healthy meat substitute in vegan cooking. It can be eaten raw, pickled, steamed, roasted, boiled, grilled, sauteed, mashed, fried, and air fried. Typically, only the florets are eaten, but the leaves are also edible. Purchased fresh or frozen.

  • add fresh to salads, vegan omelets, and stir fries
  • blend into purees and soups
  • add pickled to sandwiches and wraps
  • slice and serve grilled as steaks
  • puree for a mashed potato alternative
  • grate into rice or pizza crust
  • vegan buffalo wing or chicken nugget alternatives
  • make into a gnocchi
  • serve as a side with roasted vegetables
  • season and roast or sautee
  • add to veggie kebabs
  • dip in hummus or guacamole
  • use as a base for vegan cheeses

Purple Cauliflower Soup

Creamy Cauliflower Soup

Cauliflower can be “riced” using a box grater or food processor.

This was really, really good. 😍

For more amazing vegan recipes utilizing cauliflower, be sure to check out my Pinterest board. What are your favorite recipes with cauliflower? Did you realize it was this versatile? Let me know in the comments below!

Originally published at on February 4, 2022.