Who would have ever imagined that cauliflower would be the “it” veggie that has found its way into popular foods like rice, pizza, and a slew of other foods that we enjoy every day? Whether you are scrolling through Instagram, perusing a restaurant menu, or exploring new products in the grocery store, you will be hard-pressed to avoid seeing this cruciferous veggie everywhere you look.
While you may be familiar with the mainstream ways to include cauli in your diet — think as rice or in a pizza crust — there are also some out-of-the-box ways to enjoy this veggie that are totally delicious. You may wonder how to use cauliflower or whether there are some healthy cauliflower recipes that actually taste good. And the answer to both of those questions is a resounding YES!
Read on to learn about some unique ways to include cauliflower into your healthy lifestyle that will appease both cauli lovers are those who may not be the biggest fan.
The Health Benefits of Cauliflower
Before we dig into how to use cauliflower, we need to cover why people are going cauli-crazy.
The health benefits of cauliflower are vast and versatile. The shining star of cauliflower’s resume is that it’s a low-calorie and fat-free food. Including it into dishes can cut calories while offering up some fiber — a nutrient that helps promote satiety.
Along with the low-cal benefit, eating cauliflower is linked to many health benefits. Cauliflower supports immune health by being an excellent source of vitamin C, helps support the body’s ability to clot blood by being a good source of vitamin K, and keeps bowel movements regular by providing fiber. It’s also rich in antioxidants and choline, an important nutrient for brain health.
And, since most Americans do not eat the recommended amount of vegetables every day, including this veggie in your diet is an easy way to up your intake.
Why Cauliflower Makes a Great Low Carb Swap
If you are trying to limit the carbs you are eating (especially refined carbs like white rice), then meet your new best friend, cauliflower. What makes this veggie such a good low-carb swap is that, between the consistency and the flavor (or lack of flavor), this veggie is an excellent stand-in for so many of your favorite foods.
When considering carbs, let’s compare cauliflower to rice, the most obvious swap. One cup of chopped cauliflower contains a measly 5 grams of carbs. Compare that to the 45 grams of carbs that one cup of rice contains, and it is clear why people lean on cauliflower to curb their carb intake.
5 Ways to Use Cauliflower You Probably Haven’t Tried Yet
At this point, most of us have tried cauliflower rice and pizza. But there are tons of other ways to sneak this nutritional powerhouse into your life that you may not have tried yet. Check out these five delicious ways to use cauliflower.
#1 Add Cauliflower to Smoothies
Similar to spinach, adding some frozen cauliflower to smoothies goes undetected! It’s a great way to up the veggie and fiber content without compromising on taste.
#2 Use Cauliflower as a Filling for Tacos
Skip the heavy beef and pork and cook up some cauliflower with taco seasoning for a satisfying and low-calorie filling for taco Tuesday.
#3 Mix Riced Cauliflower With Classic Rice
If you aren’t quite ready to jump on the cauliflower rice bandwagon, go for a half-and-half combo of riced cauliflower mixed with your favorite rice. You’ll be cutting the calories and carbs that you are taking in while still enjoying that classic taste.
#4 Grill a Cauliflower “Steak” Instead of Meat
If you are firing up the grill, consider cooking up some cauliflower “steaks” instead of the beef version. Simply cut cauliflower to resemble steaks and drizzle with olive oil, garlic, salt, and pepper, and cook up!
#5 Whip Up Cauliflower Oatmeal In The Morning
Instead of eating your ho-hum oatmeal in the morning, make equal parts rolled oats and riced cauliflower to start your day with a boost of veggies. Top with your usual cinnamon, berries, and nuts, and notice how satisfied you feel after you enjoy your brekkie.
Healthy Cauliflower Recipes
Mushroom, Kale & Cauliflower Rice
This cauliflower dish is grain-free, nutritious, and utterly delicious. Add a serving of your protein of choice for a main meal or serve as a nourishing side dish.
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- ½ leek, finely chopped
- 2 cups cauliflower rice
- 9 oz button mushrooms, sliced
- ½ bunch kale, chopped
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1 tsp curry powder
- Chili flakes to serve (optional)
Step #1: Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan heat over medium heat. Add the chopped leek and sauté until they turn translucent and golden.
Step #2: Add cauliflower rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes, or until it starts to brown. Next, add the mushrooms and kale to the pan. Continue to sauté for another 4-5 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through.
Step #3: Season with salt, curry powder, the remaining olive oil, and chili flakes if using.
Step #4: Plate up and garnish with fresh herbs, to serve.
Healthy Fish Tacos
These tacos are full of flavor and pair well with cauliflower rice!
- ¾ lbs white fish fillet, skin and bones removed
- ½ cup mixed herbs, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 head iceberg lettuce, stems removed
- ½ red onion, diced
- 1 tomato, chopped
- ½ avocado, chopped into chunks
- 1 lime, cut into wedges
- Salt, pepper, and chili flakes to taste
For the dressing
- 1 tbsp dijon mustard
- 1 lemon, juiced
Step #1: Preheat the oven to 200°C or 400°F. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
Step #2: Place the fish fillets on the prepared tray and top with the chopped mixed herbs, salt, pepper, chili, and olive oil.
Step #3: Bake the fish for 12-15 minutes or until cooked through. Allow to cool.
Step #4: Meanwhile, fill each lettuce cup with the onion, tomato, and avocado. Prepare 2-3 lettuce cups per person.
Step #5: Flake the fish into strips and place on top of the lettuce cups.
Step #6: In a small bowl, whisk the mustard and lemon juice.
Step #7: To serve, drizzle the dressing over the tacos and finish with a squeeze of lime juice.
Cauliflower: The Healthy Solution We Have All Been Craving
If you are looking for a way to bump up your fiber intake and supply your body with a slew of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, cauliflower makes an easy addition to a healthy diet. If you aren’t a fan of plain steamed, bland and boring cauli, try some of these fun and trendy ways to enjoy this veggie — even if you aren’t a typical cauliflower lover, you may find that these hacks add some satisfaction to your healthy lifestyle.
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