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Four 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 a vegetable closely related to broccoli, various types of cabbage, kale, and Brussels sprouts. Cauliflowers contain a lot of vitamin C and other nutrients. They are very nutritious and low in calories. They are included in every diet plan. One cup of raw cauliflower contains over three-quarters of our daily vitamin C requirements and 20% of our vitamin K needs. We also get 2.5 grams of fiber, which is 10% of our daily fiber requirements.

Perhaps white cauliflower is the only one consumers know about because they have not seen the other three colors of the vegetable in their local grocery stores.

Besides white, there are also orange, green, and purple cauliflowers. Like the different colors of bell peppers, each color has different characteristics, flavors, and health benefits.

In this article, you will find out good information about all four colors of cauliflowers. Let's check them out.


Colored Cauliflowers

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 ten years ago. In the last few years, those other colors have become popular and available worldwide.

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.


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.

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


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.


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.


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.


Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 26, 2021:

I would purchase all of them, even the spikey green one if I ever have the chance. It would be fun to see if there is any flavor difference.

Margaret Minnicks (author) from Richmond, VA on February 25, 2021:

Peggy, I have seen only white cauliflower in my local grocery store. However, it was interesting to write about the other colors. The green one looks scary with the spiked florets. I won't be buying that one if I ever see it in the store.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on February 25, 2021:

What an interesting article! It would be fun to find and eat the different colors of cauliflower. The only one I have ever eaten is the white-colored one.

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