Crazy About Cauliflower
Cauliflower is such a cool veggie in that it is actually a flower, just like its name implies. The head of the cauliflower, the part people eat, is actually a tender, underdeveloped flower stem and buds. This vegetable is an easy crop to grow just about anywhere in Florida. This being said, it is mainly grown in West Central Florida for commercial use. Cauliflower’s growing season is from October through April, with January, February, and March being the most productively abundant months. It takes approximately 75-90 days for cauliflower to be ready for harvest. You can find fresh from Florida cauliflower ready to eat from January all the way through July. The best varieties to grow in Florida are Graffiti, Snowball, Cheddar, Verdi, Brocoverde, and Snow Crown.
Cauliflower provides a great source of nutrients! Eating just one half of a cup of cauliflower provides you with one serving of your daily vegetables. Cauliflower has lots of fiber contained in it which helps in the absorption of nutrients, digestion, and gives you a feeling of fullness. It is also packed with folate and vitamin C which plays a vital role in your body’s immune system.
When picking out a cauliflower, you should look for a head that is tightly closed and firm with no sunburned spots. Make sure to always wash your cauliflower under cold, running water before consuming it. It is best for cauliflower to be stored in the refrigerator and will last for about 5 days. Cauliflower is great eaten raw or cooked! The raw florets can be eaten as a tasty, crunchy snack with dip. If you prefer it cooked, you can steam, bake, grill, sauté, and even mash it! Cauliflower is a good lower calorie, more nutritious alternative to potatoes. Since cauliflower has a fairly neutral flavor, it pairs great with just about any seasoning and food.
For your enjoyment, try out a cauliflower recipe courtesy of Fresh From Florida!
Did You Know?
• Cauliflower comes in many colors! There is white, yellow, green, and purple cauliflower.
• Cauliflower is known as a cole crop.
• Cole crops are hardy, cool weather vegetables, also known as cruciferous or brassicas vegetables.
• Be sure not to overcook cauliflower because it will start to lose its important nutrients!
Content derived from the following websites: Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services and UF/IFAS Extension
Information compiled by: Avianna Liuzzo