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Cauliflower Magic: increasing nutrition & reducing calories

Cauliflower Magic: increasing nutrition & reducing calories

It seems that cauliflower is all the rage these days. I can’t look at any form of social media without seeing a post with a recipe of some kind of cauliflower magic.  Cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza and cauliflower toast are just a few that I have seen.  I haven’t tried them all but there are a few out there that I have given a whirl with fair to good results.

Why eat cauliflower?
It’s good for you!!!  Cauliflower is a part of the cruciferous vegetable family.  This family includes other vegetables such as kale, brussel sprouts and many more.   Also, cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C.  In addition, it is a good source of vitamin K and some of the B vitamins that are important to energy metabolism.  And, cauliflower is low in calories and high in dietary fiber which contributes to feeling full longer.  It contains the soluble form of fiber which helps to block the absorption of cholesterol, making it a heart healthy food.

How to cook and eat cauliflower?
Cauliflower can be eaten both raw and cooked.  My favorite way of cooking is to simply toss it in some olive oil, add a little salt and pepper and roast in the oven.  In my opinion roasting cauliflower leads to more interesting and developed flavor than simply boiling.  In its raw form, I enjoy the crunch of cauliflower in salads or dip it in things such as hummus or tzatziki sauce for a quick snack.

Traditional cauliflower is white and contains the flavonoid pigment, anthoxanthin, which provides its white color.

But if you’re feeling especially adventurous…
Cauliflower Rice has been around for a while.  I can remember hearing about it years ago from a friend, but just never really got around to trying it.  Recently, I started seeing a ton of recipes utilizing cauliflower as a stand in for the rice in fried rice dishes. I decided it was time to break down and see what all the chatter was about.  I must say Cauliflower Fried Rice was fabulous and relatively easy to prepare.  When grated and cooked it has a similar texture to rice and the other ingredients made the dish taste great as well as mask the flavors of the cauliflower.  You can create your own form of stir fry with by adding your favorite ingredients!!

Cauliflower Pizza is another recent home experiment I tried out with favorable results and one I see myself repeating. The cauliflower crust has a unique flavor with a hint of sweetness.  The texture is very different from a traditional pizza crust.  And I wouldn’t really call it pizza as it did require me to eat it with a fork and knife.  But the cauliflower crust held up nicely and provided a nice vehicle for the toppings and cheese.

I have also experimented both successfully and unsuccessfully with making a Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce.  The first recipe I tried came out fabulous but unfortunately, I didn’t keep the recipe and my other endeavors have failed miserably.  I think the key to this sauce is to include cheese and milk.  I found substituting with a plant-based milk works well.  But in all the  failed attempts I tried omitting the cheese and the sauce failed miserably.  When blended the cauliflower takes on a consistency like alfredo sauce.  But you are not going to sneak this one by on someone as a replacement.  The difference, while in my opinion is not bad, it is noticeable.  Anyone eating it is going to know that it isn’t a traditional alfredo sauce.

Some other great ways to use cauliflower that I haven’t tried yet include Cauliflower Toast and Cauliflower Eggs Benedict which I think sounds fabulous.  Some of favorite recipes I have collected on to a board on Pinterest which you are welcome to check out.

Cauliflower Cautions
So, I want to make sure to point out that there is inherently anything wrong with flour used in pizza crust or white rice.  Or in its healthier whole grain form, brown rice.  Eliminating foods or food groups is only necessary in diagnosed health issues or unless scientific evidence proves that it is unhealthful.  You should feel free to eat the foods you enjoy and that make you feel good.  It’s all about balance.

But if you are looking to boost your vegetable intake or if you simply feel that you want to cut down on some calories while still enjoying some of your favorite dishes then definitely using cauliflower as a stand in may be an answer.  I suggest you some of these try recipes out.

Another caution I offer, is to make sure if you are watching your calorie intake that you pay attention to the addition of some of the other items in the dish.  Some of the recipes may be extra generous with the cheese or fat added.  These additions boost the calorie count right back up there.

What are your favorite ways to eat cauliflower?  Share them with me in the comments.

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0 thoughts on “Cauliflower Magic: increasing nutrition & reducing calories”

  • I’ve done the cauliflower rice a bunch of times and I’m in love with it. It’s a great alternative to rice while cutting some extra calories. I especially like it because it reheats very well.

    I’m super interested in trying the cauliflower eggs bendict. To be conitinued…

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