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Catching the Cauliflower Craze

Have you caught the cauliflower craze yet? Starring as the nutrient-packed main ingredient in many recipes today may be reason enough to make cauliflower your next favorite vegetable. GettyImages-915331568.jpg

Cauli-Power Nutrients

Packed with powerful health benefits, cauliflower is a part of the cruciferous vegetable family which is among the top ten brain-healthy foods. Beyond its brain benefits, its unique plant compounds may also reduce risk of heart disease and cancer. Just one cup of cauliflower provides more than 75 percent of your daily recommended vitamin C intake. It is also a good source of vitamin K, B6, potassium and manganese.

One cup of raw cauliflower contains:

  • 25 calories
  • 0 g fat
  • 5 g carbohydrates
  • 5 g fiber

It’s easy to prepare, inexpensive and extremely convenient. Traditional ways to eat cauliflower include:

  • Steamed
  • Roasted
  • Sautéed
  • Raw
  • Added to stir-fries, soups, casseroles and salads

 

A “Sneaky” Starch Swap

Helping reduce calories and carbohydrates (not to mention expand your veggie palate), cauliflower can replace starches in many recipes as a weight loss friendly food.

One cup of cooked rice:

  • 240 calories
  • 45 g carbohydrates

One cup cooked cauliflower:

  • 30 calories
  • 5 g carbohydrates

 

By making this substitution, you save eight times the amount of calories and carbohydrates!

This amazing veggie contains three times the amount of fiber than white rice, which promotes fullness, an important aid in weight control. Cauliflower also contains 92 percent water content by weight, which, like other water-packed, low-calorie foods such as fruits and veggies, can also help with weight loss.

 

Local grocery stores now offer a wide range of cauliflower-based products, so you don’t have to go out of your way to find an array of conveniently fresh and frozen items.

Mix up your menus by adding these items to your grocery list:

  • Cauliflower rice, grated cauliflower that can replace white or brown rice.
  • Cauliflower mash, pureed cauliflower and used instead of mashed potatoes (see recipe below).
  • Cauliflower pizza crust and tortillas are made from pulsed cauliflower for a low-carb version of pizza, wraps, tacos or burritos.
  • Cauliflower hummus uses cauliflower to replace chickpeas in recipes.
  • Cauliflower mac and cheese, risotto or couscous utilizes cooked cauliflower that is mashed and used as a guilt-free way to replace these carbohydrate-rich foods. Try preparing these with lower fat milk and cheese, along with your favorite spices.

 

You can purchase many of these items pre-made such as seasoned cauliflower rice, mash and even pizza crust, but beware of added sodium and fat that can creep in. It is ideal to buy a bag of fresh or frozen riced cauliflower, which can be added into delicious homemade recipes with a few easy steps.

 

Cauliflower Mashed Potatoes Recipe

Makes 4 servings

Ingredients:

1 large cauliflower, cut into small pieces (about 1 pound)

3 garlic cloves, chopped

2 (14 oz.) cans low-sodium chicken (or beef) broth

2 Tbsp. chives, chopped (or green onions)

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped

 

Instructions:

  1. Combine cauliflower, garlic and broth in a large saucepan. If the broth does not cover the cauliflower, add water to cover.
  2. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer until cauliflower is fork tender, about 15 minutes.
  3. Drain cauliflower and garlic, reserving 2 Tbsp. broth.
  4. Hand mash or transfer to a food processor and pulse until smooth, adding broth if necessary to moisten mixture.
  5. Season with salt and pepper; add chives (or green onions) and parsley and stir. Serve hot.

 

Nutritional analysis:

88.7 calories

1.8 g fat

124 mg sodium

13.8 g carbohydrates

4.3 g fiber

8.2 g protein

 

For more information about Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, visit cooperclinicnutrition.com or call 972.560.2655.

Blog provided by Elana Paddock, RDN, LD, CDE, and Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services.

Categories: Cooper Updates
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