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4 Colors of Cauliflower: White, Orange, Green, and Purple

Margaret Minnicks is a health-conscious person who researches the health benefits of foods and drinks.

Cauliflower is available in four different colors

Cauliflower is available in four different colors

Cauliflower is a vegetable closely related to broccoli, various types of cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Cauliflower is very nutritious, containing lots of vitamin C and other nutrients, and it is low in calories, as well.

Nutritional Value of 1 Cup Raw Cauliflower

  • 75% of our daily vitamin C requirement
  • 20% of our daily vitamin K requirement
  • 2.5 grams fiber (10% of our daily requirement)

Many consumers may be familiar only with white cauliflower because this is the type that is most widely available. However, cauliflower varieties also include orange, green, and purple. Like the different colors of bell peppers, each color has different characteristics, flavors, and health benefits.

In this article, I'll share information about all four colors of cauliflowers.


Cauliflower in Many Colors

It is not unusual to see white cauliflowers in the produce section of grocery stores. Even though there are three other colors, it might be strange to see them. White cauliflowers are the ones that have been around all the time. However, the other three colors started showing up at farmers' markets only about a decade ago. In the last few years, those other colors have become popular and widely available.

All cauliflowers have firm florets with the same texture and a similar mild, sweet, and nutty flavor. All the colors can be prepared the same way. They can be roasted, steamed, mashed, fried, grilled, made into rice, made into potatoes, made into flour, or cooked in a soup. You can also eat all of them raw.

At first glance at the above photo, one might mistake the variety of cauliflowers for a bunch of beautiful flowers. It is no wonder the word “cauliflower” means “cabbage flower” in Italian.

You have a better chance of finding colored cauliflowers at local farmers' markets than in grocery stores. You might also be able to find them at Whole Foods stores.


1. White Cauliflower

White cauliflower is the standard and most popular color. It has a contrasting white head surrounded by green leaves. It is the one found in most grocery stores while the other colors are hard to find.

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White cauliflower is generally the type of cauliflower most shoppers purchase, but colored cauliflower may be healthier than the white varieties.


2. Orange Cauliflower

Orange cauliflower gets its coloring from additional beta carotene, which also gives carrots their color. The orange cauliflower's vitamin A content is about 25 times higher than the other colors which makes them healthier.

Orange cauliflower is called “cheddar” cauliflower because it has the color of cheese, but it tastes nothing like cheese. Its flavor is mild, slightly sweet, and creamy like the purple cauliflower.

Unlike purple cauliflowers that tend to lose their color when cooked, the orange ones usually become more intense in color when cooked.


3. Green Cauliflower

Green cauliflower contains chlorophyll and is known as "broccoflower." It may look more like broccoli than a cauliflower. Green cauliflowers are similar to broccoli in their texture and are more fibrous than the other colors.

Notice that the florets look like spikes and are sticking out instead of being flat like those of the other colors. Green cauliflowers tend to have a tad sweeter and milder taste than their cousins.


4. Purple Cauliflower

Purple cauliflower is the healthiest one you can eat with many benefits. The purple color is caused by the presence of the antioxidant anthocyanins. Those are the water-soluble pigments that are found in many other plants and plant-based products, such as red cabbage and red wine.

Like the orange cauliflower, the purple one is higher in antioxidants than regular white cauliflower. Purple cauliflowers have been linked to reducing inflammation, cardiovascular disease, and the risk of cancer.

Purple cauliflowers may turn light green when they are cooked. If you want them to keep their bold color, simply add lemon juice while cooking to preserve the deep purple hues.

More About Cauliflower

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