Cauliflower: The Versatile Veggie for Every Meal

Cauliflower: The Versatile Veggie for Every Meal

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If you only associate cauliflower with the remnants of a veggie tray at a family gathering, then you’re probably missing out on all the delicious offerings of this cruciferous vegetable.

While many people grew up seeing cauliflower exclusively served alongside carrots and broccoli, times have changed — and for the better. Rich in nutrients, this pale vegetable is finding its way into just about any meal, with incredibly creative results. You don’t have to dip your cauliflower in ranch or eat it steamed and plain; it can be turned into rice, crackers, or even jerky.

Want more reasons why you should include dehydrated cauliflower on your ingredients list as a food distributor or processor? Here’s the low-down on how people are eating cauliflower these days, and why the demand for it won’t be drying up any time soon.

What Do People Love About Cauliflower?

TIME didn’t name cauliflower the new “it” vegetable in mid-2017 for no reason. It was because U.S. farmers sold $390 million of cauliflower in 2016 — a huge jump from the $239 million of cauliflower sold in 2012. Cauliflower is now being served in all forms at restaurants and homes around the country. What is it about this cruciferous vegetable that makes it so popular?

Its health benefits, for one. Cauliflower makes a health-conscious replacement for many guilty pleasures. For instance, cauliflower baked with the right seasoning makes a smart substitute for buffalo wings. This veggie can even be cut and grilled like a steak. The specific health benefits of cauliflower include:

  • A wealth of vitamins: 1 cup of cauliflower contains 77% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin C, 20% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin K, and 11% of the recommended daily intake of Vitamin B6.
  • A high fiber content: a single cup of cauliflower has 3 grams of fiber, or 10% of the amount you should be getting each day.
  • A healthy dose of sulforaphane, a powerful antioxidant that has been linked to everything from brain development to cancer cell suppression.

Just How Creatively Can Dried Cauliflower Be Used?

The creative uses for this vegetable are widely varied. Cauliflower is often used as a substitute for gluten-containing foods like pizza dough, which gives new options to people with a gluten intolerance or who are trying to limit their grain intake. It can also be used in place of meats, for vegetarian and vegan friendly recipes. With a bit of seasoning, dehydrated cauliflower makes a healthy alternative to many deliciously crunchy snacks.

Here are just a few ways dried cauliflower can become the star of your food products:

  • Season dried, sliced cauliflower to use as crackers or chips
  • Package dried cauliflower as meat-free jerky
  • Season dried cauliflower pieces to create an alternative to popcorn
  • Use in instant soup mixes
  • Include in boxed mixes for breads or cakes
  • Use cauliflower powder in place of traditional flour for gluten-free recipes
  • Use cauliflower in place of bread for gluten-free tortillas, pizza crusts, breadsticks, and more

What Does the Market for Cauliflower Look Like?

The market for cauliflower is going strong. Between 2015 and 2016, the price per pound dipped only nominally, and the pounds sold increased by 6.5%. While China is a huge producer of the fiber-rich vegetable, a lot of cauliflower is also produced domestically in California. What’s more, this cruciferous vegetable is available all year round.

Aiding in the outlook for cauliflower is the fact that the FDA has approved several descriptors that can easily become major selling points. Sellers are allowed to refer to cauliflower as low in calories, fat-free, a good source of Vitamin C and folates, and cholesterol-free. Still, selling a successful suite of food products is about more than just labels — it ultimately comes down to having top-notch ingredients.

At Seawind Foods, our dehydrated cauliflower is sourced from GFSI-certified processors. We exceed the strictest quality standards and food safety requirements at every step of the way, from the field to the product stand. That means our dehydrated veggies are of the highest quality and shelf stable, ready to make a wonderful addition to your healthful product offering.

Contact Seawind Foods today to order a sample of dehydrated cauliflower or to find out more about our array of dried food ingredients for processors, retailers, and consumer brands.