Cauliflower is one of those vegetables that is a staple for a healthy diet, but can you eat raw cauliflower?
Any ad for a healthy diet or product will have a picture with many fresh vegetables that will almost always include broccoli which is like a symbol for healthy eating, but this “white broccoli” will be there most of the time as well. And since they are showing you a lot of fresh vegetables, you can assume that they are ok to be eaten raw.
We all know that any vegetable or fruit will lose some of its good nutrients when cooked, no matter how you cook them. Of course, there are some ways that will keep more nutrients than others, but there is no way to keep 100% of the nutrients.
So if you want to get the most nutrients out of your vegetables, it is best to eat them raw, but not all vegetables are safe to be eaten raw. Let’s see if cauliflower is one of them?
Can you eat raw cauliflower?
Yes, cauliflower is safe to be eaten raw. It is not so common to be eaten raw because other vegetables are, but it is totally safe. The best way to enjoy raw cauliflower is to dip cauliflower florets in hummus, guacamole, or any other healthy paste out there.
Raw cauliflower will have a slightly bitter and nuttier taste than the cooked one, while the cooked one will be a bit sweeter. Raw cauliflower tastes a lot like cabbage cores, minus the spiciness.
The crunchy texture of raw cauliflower can be useful when you need to add extra texture to a salad, and also, the sauce sticks very well to it because of the small crevices it has.
Make sure you wash the cauliflower thoroughly before eating it raw since the dust and small insects can also use its crevices to hide.
Can you eat cauliflower leaves?
You can eat cauliflower leaves, as well as the cauliflower itself. You can mix the raw cauliflower with the cauliflower leaves and a few more ingredients in a great healthy salad.
Cauliflower leaves can substitute for many other green leaf vegetables like escarole, cabbage, lettuce, and spinach in many different types of food.
Next time you have a cauliflower, make sure you don’t discard the leaves instantly since they are safe to be eaten raw and cooked as well. You can roast, boil, sautee, or simply eat them raw in a salad.
Uses of raw cauliflower
There are a few nice uses of raw cauliflower that will give you the best nutrients out of this awesome vegetable and also will make it more bearable to eat than eating it raw on its own.
-Cauliflower Dips. As we already said, the cauliflower dipped in hummus is a well-known snack and very healthy. You don’t have to limit yourself to hummus. There are other options for you, like guacamole or a great cheesy sauce(not as healthy but for sure tasty).
-Salad. Many salads make great use of the crunchy texture of the raw cauliflower. Make sure you don’t mix it with too many crunchy ingredients like croutons, radish, and so on since you most probably want a salad with many different textures, not just a crunchy snack.
-Smoothie. Of course, there is a way to drink this nutritious vegetable. Adding it to a mix with other fruits or vegetables that you like and blending them together will give you the good nutrients that cauliflower can offer with a taste that you like.
If you want a low-carb nutritious smoothie, you can mix it with other vegetables like kale, broccoli, carrots, etc. Or, if you want to cover its taste a bit, you are lucky since it can be combined with a lot of delicious fruits like banana, mango, peaches, strawberry, and so on.
Read Also: The Best Way To Reheat Salmon
Can you eat raw frozen cauliflower?
Sometimes you can’t find fresh cauliflower, so you have to buy it already frozen, which can work great in cooking, but is it as good as the fresh one when it comes to eating raw cauliflower?
While it can be safe to eat thawed cauliflower, the texture and taste will disappoint. The nice thing about eating raw cauliflower is its crunchy texture which will get lost in the case of thawed cauliflower. After thawing, you have a bigger chance of getting a more mushy and unpleasant cauliflower. This is not a problem in cooking, but it is for sure a problem if you want to use it in a salad or dip it in hummus.
How to cook cauliflower
There are quite a few recipes that make great use of cauliflower. I will give you some ideas on what to do with the cauliflower so you can check further on the internet for your favorite recipe.
-Fried cauliflower. A delicious way to eat a meat-free dish that will make you happy. The fried cauliflower can work great as a substitute for fried chicken, and it can make great use of a nice garlic sauce.
-Steamed cauliflower. While the fried cauliflower is delicious and has a great texture, it is certainly not as healthy as you might want while eating cauliflower. Steamed cauliflower will keep the most nutrients compared to any cooking method for the cauliflower.
-Cream soup. Cauliflower cream soup is delicious and healthy. You can add a few croutons for texture and enjoy it as a healthy dinner. Don’t go overboard with the croutons if you want to keep it healthy.
-Mashed cauliflower. Mashed cauliflower can work great as a healthy side dish. One mistake is to combine mashed cauliflower with soft meat like a fish that is not fried or crispy. I had mashed cauliflower with fish one time, and I tell you that you need something with a crispier texture beside.
-Cauliflower rice. Cauliflower rice can work wonders as a low-carb side dish substitute for regular rice.
How to buy good cauliflower?
If you plan to eat raw cauliflower, choosing the best one from the market is crucial since a fresh crispy cauliflower will be a nice snack, but one that is going bad will be bitter with a mushier texture.
I will give you a few signs that you have to check before buying cauliflower:
-Color. While the cauliflower can have different colors like purple, orange, green, or white. They should have a uniform and vibrant color without any spots or blemishes. The white one is the most popular and in this case you want to make sure that it has a nice uniformly white color.
Check also the color of the leaves, they should be a bright green without blemishes.
-Texture. The cauliflower should be firm and the leaves strong, not wilted.
-Appearance. The florets should be dense and compact all over the cauliflower without many differences from one side to another. That can be a sign that they weren’t stored properly.
-Smell. Cauliflowers don’t have the most pungent smell, so if they smell off or have a pungent odor, it is a sign that they are not good anymore.
-Weight. A good cauliflower should feel a bit heavy for its size, so don’t be afraid to pick it up.
Read Also: Are Raw Olives Poisonous?
Eating raw cauliflower is totally safe and can be eaten in a few different ways.
Now that I have written this article, I realize that there are a lot of ways to enjoy this nutritious vegetable. Some of them require cooking, but there are also enough ways to enjoy raw cauliflower.
I hope I also gave you some great ideas on what to do with raw or cooked cauliflower.