14 Feb 14 Goodbye kale. Hello cauliflower
If there’s any vegetable that’s going to knock kale off its top spot as trendy vegetable #1 it will be cauliflower. Once undeservedly dismissed as a nutritional lightweight due to its pale appearance and often overshadowed by its bold green couisin broccoli, cauliflower is now poised to take 2014 by storm.
The star status of this white cruciferous vegetable started rising in 2013, and now it’s showing up on the lists of several trend trackers.
Many foodie websites make mention of this move – that cauli is pushing kale off its perch as the trendiest eat around. Says one bloggist: “Last year, we couldn’t talk enough about kale. We made kale chips, kale smoothies, and even wore T-shirts telling us to eat more of it. Well, that was last year and now is now. Kale will be playing a second fiddle to cauliflower this year.”
Cauliflower is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables that includes broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and bok choy. Cruciferous vegetables contain glucosinolates, which give them that very pungent aroma when you cook them.
Aroma aside, when you cook, chew and digest cruciferous vegetables, the glucosinolates are broken down to form active compounds such as indoles, nitriles, thiocyanates, and isothiocyanates, which may have anticancer properties, according to the National Cancer Institute. Research suggests that these compounds may help fight cancer by protecting your cells from DNA damage, inactivating cancer-promoting compounds, stopping tumours from forming in the blood vessels, and also by having anti-inflammatory effects in your body.
How can you enjoy cauliflower? Chefs this year will be steaming, deep-frying, stir-frying, mashing, roasting and even thickening soups with cauliflower.