You may have heard me before banging on about the importance of eating the rainbow. Well how much more rainbow can you get than gorgeous colourful cauliflower?! While everyone is familiar with the common white cauliflower, the colourful ones are brimming with goodness. But what are these varieties, and how are they different?
While white and colourful varieties of cauliflower share many of the same nutritional benefits, the colourful ones are said to be higher in several vitamins and minerals.
The purple variety gets its gorgeous dark hue from the same flavonoid elements responsible for the deep colours in red cabbage, purple carrots and various berries. These are called anthocyanins and they are understood to be an essential nutrient for good eye health. Some research even suggests they may alleviate some inflammatory conditions as a result of their strong antioxidant profile.
Yellow / Orange
These beauties are packed full of carotenoids, which give the vegetable its stunning colour. The darker the pigment in the cauliflower, the higher level of carotenoids it contains. Carotenoids are essential nutrients that work as potent antioxidants to keep our skin, eyes and mucous membranes at optimum level.
When eating foods with carotenoids, remember to include some good fats too, as these nutrients are only broken down and absorbed when eaten with a little fat.
Unlike purple beans, which lose their deep colour after cooking, colourful cauliflower retain their deep hues throughout and post cooking. These varieties are just as simple to prepare as traditional white cauli. Here are some ideas:
- Process as a rice substitute (try my delicious cauliflower 'risotto' recipe)
If nothing else, these caulis add a gorgeous depth of colour to your dinner plate and will transform even the most simple dish into something special.