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Sure-fire way to get your kids to eat a salad

Kid-friendly summer side salad of purple cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and romaine lettuce.
Kid-friendly summer side salad of purple cauliflower, cherry tomatoes and romaine lettuce.
Photo by Kathy L. Harris

I’ll admit that we are lucky. Our preschooler will eat vegetables without much coercion. He even seems to enjoy them. But recently I found something that makes him actively seek out a salad with dinner and lunch with the fervor he might use for a chocolate-chip cookie. And we tested it on his more reluctant little salad-eating friends, too.

The secret? Purple cauliflower.

I found the purple cauliflower at the Lakewood King Sooper’s, with a price right in line with regular white cauliflower.

At home, we simply washed it thoroughly and chopped it up on a salad. Let’s just say the fun-looking “trees” were scooped up immediately, and there were requests for more.

The fun color and mild taste partner for a kid-friendly vegetable that works every time. Just put out some homemade ranch dressing and you're set.

An added benefit is that purple cauliflower is even better nutritionally than the white kind. Its beautiful dark violet color comes from anthocyanin, which is full of antioxidants. In addition, purple cauliflower is chock full of vitamin C and A, folate, potassium and fiber.

Further research into purple cauliflower showed that it is actually a type of broccoli. I just may have to put this awesome vegetable on my garden list for next year.

One note of importance with purple cauliflower:
According to several produce websites I reviewed, purple cauliflower is best when eaten raw or roasted. Using water to boil or steam the vegetable will produce a mushy, green/black dish that won’t look or taste near as good. Plus, you’ll lose much of the anthocyanin, as it is water-soluble.

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  • Leslie 5 years ago

    I'll have to try this trick on myself! I love cooked cauliflower, but I'm not such a fan of it raw. Maybe if it's purple... Thanks!

  • Sushil 5 years ago

    Like Leslie, I'll have to try this trick on myself. I actually don't mind raw cauliflower, but if purple tastes better, I'm all for giving it a go!

  • Tricia 5 years ago

    I'll have to see if we have it in Texas! Sounds good!

  • sue 5 years ago

    I love cauliflower no matter what color it----we've tried them all and true the more color you have in your produce the better it is for you----it's a winner no mater how you like it!

  • Lu 5 years ago

    I'll have to see if it works for adults -- I don't like cauliflower or broccoli, and I know I should eat them.

  • Linda W 5 years ago

    Sounds great---kids liking food that is really good for them!!

  • Judy 5 years ago

    Where were you when I was a Kid?? This sounds so much better than canned peas!

  • Herman 5 years ago

    Whatever works!!

  • Lisa F 5 years ago

    We did boil it once, and it does get pretty nasty! Love the article.

  • Patty 5 years ago

    I agree...whatever works for the little ones to get better nutrition...also adults! But, as a grandma.....a cookie is good too once in awhile.

  • Deane 5 years ago

    My nine year old loves cauliflower - she calls it the white broccoli (which she also loves). I have not ever seen purple cauliflower - I will definitely have to try it! THANKS!

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