What do you suggest to a young man who wants to impress his love interest for Valentine’s Day? Cauliflower shop, of course! Jokes aside cauliflower is the perfect way to show you care. Sounds silly, but is it? Laughing is good for your heart, and so is Graffiti cauliflower. Let me tell you why.
The benefits of consuming cauliflower can be associated with the same nutritional benefits of cruciferous vegetables, like kale or broccoli. Pair this with the flavonoid compound anthocyanin, found in Graffiti cauliflower (purple cauliflower), and you’ve done your body a favor, especially your heart. As many of you may know, flavonoids are a group of phytonutrients (plant chemicals) present in most all vegetables and fruits. Anthocyanin is a subtype of flavonoid that produces purple and blue hues in plants. This is the same flavonoid pigment found in blueberries, red cabbage, plums, purple carrots, etc. Yes, the same anti-oxidants that can help regulate blood lipid and sugar levels, reduce inflammation, and reduce the risk of heart disease. Research has shown that another important compound found in purple cauliflower called glucoraphanin, can be converted to compounds with anticancer properties.
In an article produced by SFGate.com they describe this process as follows; “Glucoraphanin is a member of a class of compounds called glucosinolates, which have been widely implicated as anticancer factors in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and kale. A study appearing in the September 2009 supplement to “Molecular Nutrition and Food Research” reported the presence of glucoraphanin in purple cauliflower. When you chew purple cauliflower, the glucoraphanin is broken down into a compound called sulforaphane by an enzyme called myrosinase, which is also present in the vegetable tissue. Heating the cauliflower can deactivate myrosinase, but this enzyme is also produced by bacteria that inhabit your large intestine. The sulforaphane produced through myrosinase activity is a member of a class of compounds called isothiocyanates, which are absorbed through your intestine and then modified in your liver to produce the compounds that actually have the anticancer activity. These modified sulforaphane compounds can inhibit a class of enzymes called histone deacetylases, which causes cancer cells to self-destruct without harming your good cells. A team of Linus Pauling Institute researchers led by Dr. Rod Dashwood made this discovery, and a review is published in the December 2009 issue of The Journal of Nutrition.”
The concluding evidence from this research is astounding, and it gives an even greater meaning to the adage, “you are what you eat”. Graffiti cauliflower will also provide you with an excellent amount of Vitamins C, K, B6 and folate. Plus, minerals such as magnesium, manganese and potassium.
Purple cauliflower has a tender texture and is delicious raw or cooked. To take advantage of all the wonderful properties offered by purple cauliflower you will want to consume it raw. Or, if you prefer to cook your cauliflower, cook it so it still maintains a crunchy texture. In doing so, you will also notice that your kitchen is less likely to fill up with the odorous compound of sulfur.
In conclusion, how can you show your loved ones you care this coming Valentine’s Day? Prepare a dish with Graffiti cauliflower! See some recipe ideas below, and checkout our Pinterest account for even more ideas. Cheers to celebrating good health, and the love in your life!
Purple Cauliflower Salad with Walnut Vinaigrette
(recipe by Angela Roberts at www.spinachtiger.com)
Yields 12 servings
- 1 head of Graffiti Cauliflower
- 1 head of green cauliflower
- 1 cup chopped sunflower seeds (or toasted walnuts)
- 2/3 cup golden raisins (or dried cranberries)
- 4 bunches of green onions
- 1 cup walnut vinaigrette (recipe below)
- Sea Salt & Pepper
- Red pepper flakes
Walnut Vinaigrette Ingredients:
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
- 6 Tbsp Walnut Vinegar (or preferred vinegar of choice; white, champagne, etc)
- 6 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 6 Tbsp of Walnut Oil
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- Cut out the bottom core of cauliflower. Discard
- Slice cauliflower as thin as you can. Mandolin is best, but you can slice with good sharp knife.
- Toss with vinaigrette. You will want the vinegar to be pronounced. I found that the cauliflower doesn’t hold the vinegar taste.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add in red pepper flakes.
- Add golden raisins, chopped scallions, nuts, (reserve some nuts for garnish).
- Add nuts right before serving.
- Infuse olive oil with chopped garlic for 20 minutes.
- Put mustard in a jar and mix well with vinegar.
- Slowly add olive oil. Mix well.
- Add red pepper flakes.
- Season with salt and pepper.
Purple Parmesan Cauli-Tots
(recipe by www.nibblesandfeasts.com)
Yields 20 Cauli-tots
- 1/2 head of Graffiti cauliflower, chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
- 2 eggs, beaten
- olive oil cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Place purple cauliflower pieces, cheese, bread crumbs and salt in a food processor. Pulse until all ingredients have been processed to fine pieces.
- Transfer mixture to a bowl and add eggs. Stir to combine.
- Spray mini cup cake pan with olive oil spray.
- Spoon in 2 tablespoon of cauliflower mixture in each mold. Press down with fingers until tightly packed.
- Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown.