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Eat Smart, Move More at Farmers Markets: Cauliflower



Authors as Published

Melissa Chase, Consumer Food Safety Program Manager, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; Austin Brooks, Project Associate, Family Nutrition Program, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech; Renee Boyer, Associate Professor, Extension Specialist, Food Science and Technology, Virginia Tech; Carlin Rafie, Assistant Professor, Human Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise, Virginia Tech; Anne-Carter Carrington, Central District Coordinator, EFNEP/SCNEP

Key Points

  • Excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of vitamin K. Contains carotenoids and flavonoids that may be good for health.
  • Children learn from you. Eat vegetables, and your kids will too. Replace cauliflower in a healthy mashed potato recipe — they may not even notice they are eating these cruciferous veggies.
  • Fruits and vegetables that will be eaten raw should be kept separate from other foods, such as raw meat, poultry, or seafood.

Cauliflower Mashed ‘Potatoes’

Number of servings: 4


1 head cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
8 ounces low-fat sour cream
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 cup seasoned breadcrumbs


  1. In a large saucepan, add chopped cauliflower and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until soft, about 15-20 minutes.*
  2. .When done, drain water and mash with a fork or potato masher until smooth. Set aside.
  3. In a small bowl, add chopped parsley, sour cream, and onion powder and mix well. Pour over cauliflower and mix well.
  4. Spoon cauliflower mixture into a baking dish. Sprinkle top with breadcrumbs.
  5. Heat oven to broil.
  6. Broil the cauliflower for 10 minutes or until breadcrumbs begin to brown.

 *Can also microwave in microwave-safe container that is large enough to hold cauliflower. Add 1/4 cup water and microwave on high until tender-crisp, about 8-10 minutes.

Per serving: 105 calories; 3 g fat (2 g saturated fat); 5 g protein; 14 g carbohydrate; 1 g dietary fiber; 11 mg cholesterol; 273 mg sodium.

Oven Roasted Vegetables

Number of servings: 4


Nonstick cooking spray
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 stalk broccoli, cut into 1-inch pieces
2 carrots, sliced into 1-inch pieces
1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch pieces


  1. Heat the oven to 450 F. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a large plastic bag, mix the oil, lemon juice, oregano, and pepper.
  3. Add chopped vegetables to oil mixture. Seal the bag and shake to coat well.
  4. Spread vegetables on baking sheet. Bake at 450 F for 20 minutes. Stir after the first 10 minutes of baking.

 Tip: Any dense vegetable is suitable for roasting. Just cut pieces about the same size for even cooking.

Per serving: 93 calories; 4 g fat (trace saturated fat); 5 g protein; 13 g carbohydrate; 6 g dietary fiber; 0 mg cholesterol; 58 mg sodium.

Quick Tips

  • Choose cauliflower with compact, creamy white clusters and bright green, firmly attached leaves. Avoid those with brown spots or loose sections that are spread out.
  • Steam cauliflower by placing in a covered microwave-safe container with 1/4 cup water,low-sodium seasonings, and minced garlic. Cook on high for 8-10 minutes, until tender-crisp.
  • Try stir-frying with your choice of vegetables and ginger.
  • Refrigerate in a perforated plastic bag up to five days. Wash thoroughly under running water before eating, cutting, or cooking.

This institution is an equal opportunity provider. In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, disability, and reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) This material was partially funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP – and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP). SNAP is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service and the Expanded Food and Nutrition Education Program (EFNEP) is funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA/NIFA).

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Publication Date

July 24, 2020