Buying or growing fresh cauliflower means that you will end up with the outer leaves you don’t need, but don't let these go to waste. Maybe you didn't realize that cauliflower leaves have many uses. So, instead of throwing them away, try a few of these simple ideas.
1. Flavor Soups and Stews
The leaves of the cauliflower have a strong flavor alone. Anytime you are using a cauliflower recipe, you can toss the leaves in for extra flavor. This works especially well in soups, dips, and stews. Many people find that just tossing the leaves in a pot of boiling water and eating the leaves as a side dish is wonderful. They can also be prepared in other ways, with seasonings or sauces. For example, cauliflower leaves can be roasted with garlic and soy sauce for a tasty side dish. Look for other recipes online if you don’t care to experiment. Luckily, you can store the leaves in the crisper section of your fridge for up to five days, so there’s no immediate rush.
2. Eat Raw
An easy way to add extra nutrients to your diet is by eating a few cauliflower leaves raw. The vitamins are just as high in the leaf as in the head. One serving of cauliflower (½ cup) contains almost half of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C, and is loaded with appetite suppressing fiber. Sometimes, eating the same raw vegetables for a daily snack can kill your appetite for them, so switch out your carrots, celery, or cucumbers for these leave to get some more variation.
3. Make Healthy Finger Foods
At your next party, why not serve some cauliflower leaves with a soft dip? Many people enjoy the flavor when combined with a hollandaise or Mornay sauce. This will give your guests something a little out of the ordinary, tasty, and healthy to boot.
4. Cover Food
Use cauliflower leaves to cover food in the microwave instead of paper towels. Leaves can be washed, stored in refrigerator, and used several times, so you can save some money and do a little more to decrease your impact on the environment.
Also, after they have been used to their fullest, you might still compost them to add nutrients to your plants later.
With a little ingenuity, you can use every piece of the fresh cauliflower you buy, so don’t just throw it out. Get your money’s worth!