When Baby Can Have Cauliflower & How to Prepare it for Baby
Did you know that the “flower” of the cauliflower is actually called a curd? It sounds odd because when I think of curds, I think of cottage cheese!
The Goodness of Cauliflower for Baby Food:
Cauliflower (like other cruciferous veggies such as broccoli and brussel sprouts) is packed full of phytochemicals which are said to help prevent cancer. Just one cup of cauliflower is packed with Vitamin A, Vitamin C and even calcium. Cauliflower is a great addition to a healthy diet but it causes many people to be a bit gassy.
Vitamin A – 15 IU
Vitamin C – 54.9 mg
Niacin – .5 mg
Folate – 55 mcg
Thiamine – .05 mg
Pantothenic Acid – .6 mg
Vitamin B6 – .21 mg
Lutein – 36 mcg
Potassium – 176 mg
Sodium – 19 mg
Calcium – 20 mg
Phosphorus – 40 mg
Magnesium – 11 mg
Iron – .40 mg
Also contains small amounts of selenium, manganese, copper and zinc.
Age for Introducing Cauliflower to Baby: 6-8 or 8-10 months
As with broccoli, cauliflower is not a good choice for one of Baby’s first vegetables. It may cause gas and may also be a bit difficult for a young infant to digest. Cauliflower is best given to babies between 8-10 months old but you could try to introduce it earlier. If your baby has had any digestive issues, it would be best to introduce cauliflower into the diet later rather than sooner.
As always, we recommend that you consult with your baby’s pediatrician on introducing solid foods as generalities may not apply to your infant.
How to select and store the perfect cauliflower for homemade baby food
According to the EWG, cauliflower is not one of the “dirty dozen” foods that are most highly contaminated with pesticides – purchasing organic is a personal choice.
The size of the cauliflower does not affect the taste and buying the largest or the smallest will get you the best tasting cauliflower. The most important thing to lookl for when buying cauliflower is a cauliflower that is almost completely wrapped in its green leaves. The leaves protect the tender curd from bruising and mold and the more leaves, the more protection.
Store cauliflower in a plastic bag in the refrigerator with the stem portion down. The stem portion in the downward position will help keep moisture from pooling on the curd.
Freezing pureed cauliflower
Cauliflower puree may be frozen just like you would freeze other foods you make for your little one. The cauliflower puree may be a bit watery when it is thawed.
Best Way to Cook Cauliflower for Baby Food
When cooking cauliflower you should always steam it to retain the most of its nutrients. Baking or roasting cauliflower is another option. Roasted cauliflower is nice but seldom is cauliflower baked by itself without being a part of a recipe.
Please be sure not to over steam cauliflower or you will find a mushy and bitter tasting veggie.
A Few Yummy Cauliflower Baby Food Recipes
Cauliflower – Basic Purée
Step 1: Wash cauliflower under cool water.
Step 2: Peel away the green leaves to get to the curd
Step 3: Chop the curd (flower) into small pieces; using just the florets if possible. This will give you a smoother and better tasting puree. Steam until tender.
Step 4: Place into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing.
Step 5: Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency.
Cauliflower, Apple & Zucchini
- 1 small cauliflower
- 1 cored and peeled apple
- 1 small zucchini – chopped
Step 1: Wash cauliflower under cool water.
Step 2: Peel away the green leaves to get to the curd and chop into small pieces – Steam until tender.
Step 3: Steam until tender – 1 peeled and cored apple with 1 chopped zucchini
Step 4: Place cauliflower, apple and zucchini into your choice of appliance for pureeing and begin pureeing. Chop or dice for finger food
Step 5: Add water as necessary to achieve a smooth, thin consistency – you will probably not need to add water as these foods are watery as it is.
If you wish to steam all 3 foods together, then steam the cauliflower separately for approximately 15 minutes then add the apple and zucchini. Cauliflower takes a longer time to cook than apples and zucchini.
Cauliflower Bake (8 months+ due to cheese unless dairy is ok)
Cauliflower is wonderful when baked with cheese and a sprinkle of breadcrumbs! This makes a wonderful finger food for self-feeders.
- 1 large white cauliflower
- 2 tbs butter
- 4 green onions, finely chopped
- 2 tbs flour
- 1 cup milk
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon basil
- 1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
- 2 Tablespoons grated Parmesan
Step 1: Cook cauliflower whole in boiling water about 20 minutes.
Step 2: Drain and place in baking dish.
In a small skillet, melt butter and saute green onions over medium-low heat for 5 minutes.
Step 3: Blend in flour and cook for another 3 minutes over low heat – you’re making a roux. Slowly stir in the milk and simmer until the mixture is smooth and thick, stirring constantly.
Step 4: Add the garlic, pepper, and basil. You may increase the spices as you desire, we enjoy more garlic and even chopped garlic.
Step 5: Pour the sauce over the cauliflower. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and cheese.
Step 6: Bake at 375 F for about 20 minutes or until slightly browned.
Cauliflower Soup – Creamy or Not
- 6 cups of chicken stock (low sodium all natural or homemade preferred)
- 1 large head of cauliflower
- 2 carrots
- 1/2 cup diced onions
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 clove garlic, crushed (or 2 tablespoons minced garlic)
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch of cinnamon
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- pinch of salt
Step 1: Dice the carrots. Remove the leaves from the cauliflower and then cut the curds away from the stem. Dice the curds.
Step 2: Use a large stock pot and melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic and the onions and saute until translucent. Add the spices, stir then pour in the broth.
Step 3: Add the cauliflower and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the temperature, cover the pot and simmer for approx. 30 minutes until the cauliflower and carrots are fork tender. Stir occasionally.
Step 4: Allow soup to cool for 10 minutes then puree to a consistency you like. Some prefer an entirely smooth soup while others enjoy some bits of veggies. You can use a blender, food processor or use an immersion blender straight in the pot. If you want to make this creamy, replace 2 cups of water with milk. Enjoy!
Foods Good to Mix With Cauliflower:
- Green Beans
- Dried Beans
- White Potato
- Summer Squash – zucchini or yellow/crooked necked
- Brown Rice
Remember, always consult with your pediatrician regarding introducing solid foods to your baby and specifically discuss any foods that may pose allergy risks for your baby.