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Cauliflower

Cauliflower is often a hit with kids when cauliflower cheese is served, but this affordable white veg is also amazing roasted – toss in a little oil and salt, roast until going golden and tuck in! Or try some of the cauliflower trends that were going round a few years ago – cauli rice, cauliflower pizza base and cauliflower “steaks” are all just as delicious now as they were in 2019!
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Cauliflowers are usually white, the size of a small football and look like a bit of human brain.  Super gardener Peter Glazebrook holds the record for the world’s largest ever cauliflower – it was six feet wide. He also holds the world records for beetroot, parsnip and onion.

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Nutrition

Cauliflower is another member of the cruciferous vegetable family and contains nearly every vitamin and mineral. It is particularly high in vitamin C making it a great support to our immune system.

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Shopping Guide

Look out cauliflower heads that are firm and tightly closed. White varieties should be very pale, try to avoid any heads that show signs of softness or brown spotting to maximise freshness at home. 

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Storage

To store it, keep it in a bag in the fridge for up to 4 days, just make sure there is a small opening in the bag to allow airflow, and storing it stem up will help keep the head from getting too wet. Only wash it just before using.

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Preparation

Cauliflower can be eaten raw, roasted, steamed, boiled or grilled. Cauliflower cheese is a classic for a reason. To prep the cauliflower, slice a head of cauliflower in half, then cut out the stem and pull apart the florets. Chop and roast the stem (along with any leaves), it’s a game changer! Or grate into soup or curry along with any other odds and ends of veg.

Tom Hunt’s guide to preparing cauliflower

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Kids in the Kitchen

For a younger child, why not get them breaking apart the cauliflower florets with their hands and washing them for you?

For an older child, maybe they could help you cut the cauliflower florets from the base and mix it in a cheese sauce to make a classic cauliflower cheese?

Find more ideas for involving kids in the kitchen here.

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Sensory

Why not explore what cauliflower feels and looks like when prepared in different ways? Get a few florets prepared in different ways for them – raw, frozen, boiled or steamed, roasted… Ask your child what they remind them of in different forms, and encourage them to touch and smell them to see if they feel and smell different to each other, too. If they feel up to it, they could even try a little nibble or lick of the different ones to explore the varied tastes and textures, and see which one is their favourite!

Find more sensory ideas, tips and videos here. If you get stuck and need a little help with describing words, we have a selection for you here, too!

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Serving

Try making one of our simple cauli sides (like our easy roasted cauliflower) and ask your child to help with one small part of the recipe (like breaking the florets off with their hands, or tossing the cauli in oil and salt and laying out on a baking tray).

While the dinner you are serving it with is cooking, ask your child to design a beautiful menu for the table, with special emphasis on “their” cauli side they helped you make!

Find the best ways of involving your own child and their skills and interests on our Roles for Kids page.

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Activities

Why not try making a cauli face mask?

Kids more interested in science? Why don’t you explore the colour and shape together? Did you know that a head of cauliflower is actually an unopened bunch of flowers? Can you see the tiny buds if you look closely with your eyes or a magnifying glass? If you cut through the middle of the cauliflower and remove the base, can you see the “branch-like” network in the centre connecting all the florets? If you spot a light green “Romanesco cauliflower” at the shops, can you see the repeating spirals and mathematical patterns in it? You can find more at-home science fun with veg with our videos from Stefan Gates’ here.

Find loads more free veg-themed crafts here and games here.

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Seasonality

Buying veg in season is not only great for the planet, it can be good for your wallet, too! Cauliflower is usually at its tastiest and most affordable in the late summer and autumn, so look out for it then.

Coming In:

June

At Its Best:

July - April

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Your Food

Cauliflower has a flavour and texture that changes hugely depending on how it is prepped – meaning if crunchy strong-tasting raw or soft strong-smelling boiled is not for your child, they may still enjoy sweet and mild roasted cauliflower. Bring out their favourite flavours and textures with our simple sides and by adding cauliflower to some of your family favourite dishes…

Family Favourites

Everyday Curry

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Pasta Bake

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Roast

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Shepherd’s Pie

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Stir Fry

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Simple Sides

Cauliflower Hummus

Effort: 2
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Simple Cauliflower “Steaks”

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Tom’s Roasted Cauliflower with Hazelnut Sauce

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 3

Tom Hunt

Microwave Cauliflower “Rice”

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

More Recipes

Cauliflower Cheese Spaghetti

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Jamie's £1 Wonders

Simple Cauliflower “Steaks”

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Tom’s Roasted Cauliflower with Hazelnut Sauce

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 3

Tom Hunt

Easy Roasted Cauliflower

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Lajina’s Nutty Cauliflower and Broccoli

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 1

Lajina Masala

cauliflower

If You Like Cauliflower…Try

Does your child enjoy cauliflower? That’s great! When cooked, cauliflower can be soft and a little bit bitter and savoury (or sweeter when roasted), so why not try a similar texture and/or taste…

The Wonderful World of Veg

Check out our vegepedia. When to buy in-season. How to store them to keep for longer. How to engage children with each veg, and simple ideas of how to prepare and cook them for maximum taste and minimum waste. Select a veg…

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