The low down on the humble cauli

Cauliflower is definitely having a moment- you’ll find it raw and roasted in salads, pureed with spices, whizzed up into “rice” and even in pizza bases these days. It’s certainly no longer typecast as a cheesy side dish (although who doesn’t love a bit of cauliflower cheese?) One of my culinary highlights during a recent trip to a middle eastern restaurant Hummus and Friends in Berlin was a whole cauliflower simply wrapped in parchment paper and roasted with sea salt, olive oil and paprika- truly delicious!

Pale and interesting

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous (brassica) family along with broccoli, kale, cabbage and brussel sprouts. You might be mistaken in thinking that cauliflower’s pale hue mean it’s missing the nutrient profile of its dark green pals. Actually the florets simply lack the chlorophyll responsible for the green colouring as they are sheltered from the sun by the outer leaves during growth. In fact, cauliflowers are just as nutrient-rich as the rest of the brassica family.

Hormone helpers

Cruciferous veggies are particularly rich in two phyto-nutrients (chemical nutrients found in plants), sulforaphane and indole-3-carbinol both of which have been shown to help protect us from cancer by supporting the liver’s detoxification pathways. They are particularly helpful in maintaining healthy hormone levels and reducing the risk of hormone-related breast or prostate cancer. If you’re looking to relieve any hormone-related symptoms such as premenstrual tension or menopausal issues make sure you eat plenty of brassicas every day.

Cauliflower is also a great source of vitamin C , folate and fibre so supports our immune system and helps us to maintain a healthy heart.

I recommend that all my clients include at least one serving of cruciferous veg in their daily diet to maintain optimal health.

Versatile & great value

You should be  able pick up a decent-sized cauliflower for under a £1 at the moment. I bought a homegrown one earlier in the week from Carpenter’s Nursery. On Monday evening I used some in a delicious vegan curry for 4 people. The next day I  steamed a few florets as a side with cottage pie and I’ll roast up the rest to add to my lunch-time salad today. I call that great value!


About Michelle Lake

Hi, I run Mission Nutrition, and I'm a nutritional therapist/ nutritionist helping people all over St Albans & Hertfordshire feel happier & healthier. If your diet needs an overhaul, come and see me for a nutrition consultation! Tel: 01727 893 042 / 01727 869 929 or email