Cauliflower when eaten raw from your garden is moderately rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcuim, and phosphorus. Cauliflower is prepared best by steaming to save the water-soluble vitamins, such as Vitamin C. This vegetable is low in calories, fat, and sodium, however, adding cheese sauce, high fat dips, and butter or margarine will cancel these nutritional benefits.
Planting and Harvesting Cauliflower
The best time to plant cauliflower in Central Texas is January to February and September to October. Harvest will occur during April to May and November to December.
|Plant Cauliflower||Harvest Cauliflower|
|January to February||April to May|
|September to October||November to December|
Storing Harvested Cauliflower
Cauliflower should be washed thoroughly and stored in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. It retains its fresh flavor better if used within one week of harvest.
Choosing Cauliflower for Freezing
Harvest the heads as soon as they turn a clean, white color. Do not choose heads that have spots or bruises (for this indicates insect damage) and do not let the heads flower out.
To prepare the heads for freezing, separate into florets and cut into 1-inch pieces. To blanch these pieces, soak for 1/2 hour in a solution of 4 teaspoons pickling salt to 1 gallon of water. Drain solution from cauliflower pieces. To blanch, use 4 teaspoons of pickling salt to 1 gallon of water and boil for 3 minutes. Drain and cool immediately in ice cold water. Drain again and place in appropriate packaging and freeze immediately.
Blanching Procedures for Cauliflower
- Cut into 1-inch pieces.
- Blanch for 3 minutes in salted water (4 teaspoons pickling salt to 1 gallon water).
The following recipe is presented so that you and your family may enjoy your home-grown cauliflower straight from your garden.
Cauliflower with Parmesan Cheese Sauce
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 cup water
- 1 1/2 tbsp. margarine
- 1 1/2 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 c. chicken broth
- 1/2 c. lowfat (2%) milk
- 1/2 tsp. prepared mustard
- 1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
- Black pepper
- In a deep saucepan, bring water to boil and add salt.
- Place cauliflower in saucepan. Bring to a boil. Cover. Steam 10 minutes or until just tender. Do not overcook.
- As cauliflower steams, melt margarine in a small saucepan. Stir in flour and onion powder. Remove from heat. Blend in chicken broth, milk, and mustard. Return to heat. Cook, stirring, until thickened. Stir in Parmesan cheese and black pepper to taste.
- Remove cauliflower to a hot serving dish. Pour sauce over top. Sprinkle with additional cheese.
Nutritional Analysis (per serving): Calories:172; Protein:12 gm; Carbohydrates:14 gm; Total Fat:8.6 gm; Vitamin A:78.1 RE; Sodium:518 mg; Cholesterol:12 mg; Calcium:251 mg; Vitamin C:101 mg; Potassium:444 mg;
Diabetic Exchanges: 1/8 Bread, 3/4 Lean Meat, 3 2/3 Vegetable, 1/8 Milk, 1/2 Fat.
The information given herein is for educational purposes only. Reference to commercial products or trade names is made with the understanding that no discrimination is intended and no endorsement by the Texas AgriLife Extension Service is implied.
Educational programs of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, sex, disability, religion, age, or national origin.
Publication Revised January 2009