Can You Eat Cauliflower Leaves?

Cauliflower florets are a common vegetable to eat and their mild flavour are perfect for children, or even adults who struggle with eating their veggies. There is one thing we all tend to do when we prepare cauliflower to eat and we do it without thinking. We remove the leaves that surround the heart of the cauliflower. But, have you ever stopped to wonder if you need to do this? Can you eat cauliflower leaves instead?

The Quick Answer

Can You Eat Cauliflower Leaves?

You can eat cauliflower leaves. These greens are edible and can be eaten in many of the same ways you eat other leafy greens. You do need to be a little careful if they have been grown using pesticides because the leaves can absorb these. If you have grown your own or are confident in where you source your vegetables then there is no reason you can’t eat your cauliflower leaves along with the cauliflower itself.

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What Do Cauliflower Leaves Taste Like?

Cauliflower leaves have slightly different taste and textures depending on which part you are eating.

Once it has been cooked, the stalk has a similar texture to leek but tastes like cauliflower. The leaves are a little more bitter than other types and have a taste that could be likened to kale. If you don’t like this bitterness then there is no need to worry – you can add seasonings and spices and they will soon be a delicious treat you can enjoy as a snack or as part of a meal.

How to Eat Cauliflower Leaves

Whilst you could eat them raw if you wanted the best way to really enjoy your cauliflower leaves is by cooking them. Take a look at these ideas.

Roast Your Cauliflower Leaves

For a delicious snack or side dish, you can’t beat some roasted cauliflower leaves. Roasting these leafy greens gives you a couple of different textures to enjoy. The leaves themselves go crispy and are similar in texture and taste to kale crisps. The stalks themselves have a little more bite to them but these are equally delicious.

All you need to do is spread the cauliflower leaves out on a baking tray. Drizzle some oil over them and season with a little salt and pepper. If you like, you can also add some garlic, chilli, paprika, cumin or any of your favourite flavours. Bake in the oven for about half an hour for a delicious savoury treat.

Add Cauliflower Leaves to a Warm Salad

Either roast or steam your cauliflower leaves until they are tender enough to eat and then pop into a bowl with some vegetables. Drizzle over some oil and salad dressing and mix the salad and serve immediately. This is a delicious alternative to your traditional lunchtime salad or side salad to accompany your evening meal.

Add Cauliflower Leaves to Your Juices and Smoothies

Another method, albeit not a popular one is to add the leaves into your juicer and juice. If you prefer smoothies you can also blend in some cauliflower leaves to your other ingredients to make yourself a healthy green smoothie.

Cauliflower leaves are nutritious and this is a fantastic way of drinking in that nutrition. However, the leaves can be a little bitter which will make the juice bitter in taste too. You also need to take care to use cauliflower that hasn’t been farmed using pesticides if you are eating it raw in this way.

Eat Cauliflower Leaves Smoothies

Benefits of Eating Cauliflower Leaves

The major benefit of eating cauliflower leaves is that you aren’t wasting any of this amazing nutrition! It’s such a waste to throw away half the plant when you eat it especially when they are edible and safe to eat.

Cauliflower leaves also contain a whole host of vitamins and minerals including a high dose of vitamin C. They also include folate, vitamin A, calcium, potassium and selenium. If this wasn’t enough the leaves are high in fibre to help aid your natural digestion.

Should You Eat Cauliflower Leaves?

If you can be sure of where your cauliflower leaves have come from, or have grown them yourself then yes you should eat any cauliflower leaves you have! This reduces waste, they are good for you and if they are cooked right can be absolutely delicious too.

You do need to be a little careful of any cauliflower leaves that have been farmed using a lot of pesticides as the leafy green parts do absorb a lot of these chemicals used. Make sure you wash any cauliflower leaves that you plan to use well before using and then cook them up and enjoy.

Other Questions about Eating Cauliflower Leaves

Below are some other questions people often ask when it comes to eating cauliflower leaves. If you do find yourself with further questions, however, then please do ask in the comments area at the bottom of this page:

Can You Eat Bay Leaves?

Although you can some leaves, there are others that are less enjoyable to eat. So, can you eat bay leaves? Although you should be perfectly fine to eat them, they won’t pleasant, especially if you have used dry bay leaves. Instead, remove these from your dishes before serving.

Can You Eat Bay Leaves

Can You Eat Broccoli Leaves?

You can eat broccoli leaves in the same way you can eat cauliflower leaves. Again, just use them how you would use any normal leafy greens such as spring greens, kale or cabbage. Toss with oil, throw into a hot oven and roast until they turn crispy for an almost healthy alternative to crisps.