Purple is one of the most popular colors on plant earth. Many people seek out purple vegetables and produce in the grocery store. The discovery of the purple cauliflower with its deep vibrant purple is a sight to behold. Knowing it comes from Mother Earth is an added bonus. All natural, fresh and packed with bioflavonoids, vitamin C, low in calories, growing purple cauliflower in your own garden is worth trying.
Around the turn of the century the purple cauliflower was created from natural selective crossbreeding after agricultural scientists noticed a natural color mutation and started hybridizing the crop.
As an heirloom the purple cauliflower does not date back as far as the white cauliflower but was first identified in the 6th century. As a member of the Brassica family the cauliflower is a close cousin of the cabbage and broccoli.
While the white cauliflower prefers cooler conditions and can be very particular about its growing conditions the purple cauliflower is less fussy. In good soil the harvested cauliflower head can weigh up to 3 pounds.
Seeds should be started inside about 6 weeks before last frost and transplanted when the seedling shave 2 sets of leaves. Space your transplants 18-24 inches apart and 2-3 feet between rows. The crunchy purple head will be ready to harvest in 60-80 days. When planting seedlings remember cauliflowers will grow quickly and need lots of space.
Cauliflower need watering and feeding. Give them about 1 inch water per week. Before planting mix in a few inches of organic compost or fertilizer. Alfalfa and Kelp meal are wonderful natural soil amendments and rich in nutrients to feed the soil and plants. Continue feeding every 2 weeks throughout the growing season until harvesting. Don’t forget to add worm tea also.
Purple cauliflower can be eaten fresh, blanched, roasted or steamed. Cooking time is less than 10 minutes and the color it adds to your plate makes it very rewarding.
Purple foods, particularly purple cauliflower are wonderful additions to your diet. Cauliflower is versatile and there are many possibilities. One popular serving ideas is mashing the purple cauliflower to resemble mashed purple potato, it adds vibrancy alongside dark leafy greens, tomatoes and other colorful vegetables. The rich purple color will create a visual palette and enhance appetite for fresh garden produce. Add seasonings of your choice.
Purple vegetables and herbs are rich in antioxidant-like properties that protect cells anthocyanin, which are well-known antioxidants they are also rich in in phytonutrients, vitamin C, B vitamins, and minerals. The purple cauliflower health benefits are well known and can help with digestive issues, erectile dysfunction, testosterone booster and libido booster in addition to overall immune health. Anthocyanins come from the red, purple, and blue hues seen in many vegetables fruits and flowers.
Purple produce may include higher levels of anthocyanins than white, green, or orange equivalents. These less florid fruits and vegetables provide higher lutein and beta-carotene and other nutrients that benefit health.
Cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower help our body’s natural detox methods.