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A cruciferous relative of broccoli and cabbage, cauliflower abounds in cancer-fighting glucosinolates, which the body converts into compounds (including isothiocyanates) that increase the liver’s ability to neutralize toxic substances. With only 25 calories per cup, cauliflower supplies a nice dose of folate, fiber, and vitamins B6, C, and K. Vitamin C provides many benefits, including protection against diabetes, asthma, and stroke. Orange cauliflower, a sweeter hybrid, has about 25 times more beta-carotene, which may help disarm free radicals, than its white counterpart. You may also come across purple and light green varieties.
Choose It & Use It Seek out cauliflower with thick, compact heads and uniformly colored florets. It will stay fresh longer if tightly wrapped and refrigerated; precut cauliflower loses its freshness faster. Enjoy raw in salads, roasted in the oven (try it with a sprinkle of nutmeg), simmered in soups and curries, or steamed and mashed with olive oil for a low-starch variation on mashed potatoes.