We do confess to being a bit crazy about cauliflower. As a family we cook it in most of our dishes (as ‘wings’, in curries, as ‘steaks’), and that is why it is included in most of our homemade dog food recipes as we love it so much!
Cauliflower comes from the Latin words caulis, meaning “cabbage,” and flos, meaning “flower.” It is a part of the Brassica or cruciferous family of vegetables (which includes brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage), named for their unique cross-shaped leaves. Like flowers and cabbages, cauliflower comes in different colours, not just the white varieties we usually buy in the UK.
Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse, offering an array of vitamins and minerals that are excellent for your dog’s health. Boiling cauliflower causes it to lose some of its vitamins and minerals in the cooking water which is why you should not throw that nutrient rich water away but keep it for them to drink or store in your freezer for use later.
Cauliflower is rich in micronutrients like phosphorus, potassium, vitamin C, folate, and vitamin K1, as well as antioxidants. Like most other plant foods, it also contains small amounts of all nine essential amino acids, so definitely worth including in your dog’s diet!
Cauliflower and the other cruciferous vegetables contain an extensively studied set of plant compounds that turn into the powerful cancer-fighting phytonutrient sulforaphane. This sulforaphane is also responsible for the strong smell of cruciferous vegetables (nature’s way of warding off pests). Sulforaphane is a potent antioxidant with anti-inflammatory, brain-protective, anticancer, and antimicrobial properties.
All necessary in our pets and even more important in our elderly dogs to ward off doggy dementia as well as keeping all the cells in their body healthy and fending off tumours by inhibiting cancer cell growth.
Wy else should we buy cauliflower?
As for its global warming impact, a 2019 study in the UK found that cauliflower was among a few vegetables with a low impact, based on factors such as farming practices, storage, packing, and transportation.
Remember that all parts of the cauliflower can be eaten – the leaves, stalk and flowers (a tip given by Jamie Oliver on one of his cooking programmes:) so even more beneficial to the environment as nothing goes to waste!