Cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust, even cauliflower mac and cheese… it’s pretty clear that there is a cauliflower craze going on around the country. As more and more people choose to live a lower carb lifestyle, more hearts are being converted to this inconspicuous, cruciferous flower (yes, it really is a flower!)
Perhaps the most nutritious aspect of cauliflower is its high fiber content. Fiber is amazing. It promotes digestive and gut regularity, of course. Fiber also lowers blood sugar. Researchers believe these results are due to the way fiber affects gut bacteria. Fiber has a strong effect on certain varieties of gut bacteria, causing them to create natural chemicals like butyrate and acetate, that improve insulin resistance.
If the gut does not obtain sufficient fiber, high cholesterol can develop, increasing inflammation in the body, and increasing risk for heart disease. Conversely, a high fiber intake has been found to reduce one’s risk of cardiovascular issues.
Who would have thought that a little fiber could be such a big deal? Even with all of the evidence confirming the importance of a diet high in fiber, the vast majority of Americans get less than half of the daily recommended 25 and 35 grams of fiber. There are 12 grams of fiber in one head of cauliflower.
Its high water content also credits cauliflower as an excellent addition to a diabetic’s diet. The water contained in cauliflower not only helps to keep the body hydrated, but in combination with fiber, helps you feel more full for a longer period of time. Bonus – cauliflower only contains 25 calories per cup!
The antioxidants found in cauliflower, including carotenoids and flavonoids, are free-radical fighters – helping to fend off everything from heart disease to some forms of cancer. Believe it or not, cauliflower also contains high amounts of the ever-popular vitamin C!
With all of these health benefits, why isn’t every grocery store sold out of cauliflower? Simply because the majority of American adults don’t know how to prepare it, and if they tried it when they were kids, it probably wasn’t a fun trip to cauliflower-town.
This flower is vastly underrated from both a nutrition and flavor standpoint. Forget boring steamed cauliflower florets sitting sadly on your plate next to the chicken. We’re talking flavor here people! Open your eyes (and your mouth) to cauliflower’s potential.
Cauliflower is a diamond in the rough when it comes to hacking your favorite indulgent foods. What would you give to enjoy some fried rice, pizza, or macaroni and cheese right now? No lies… just cauliflower!
The next time you get a craving for Chinese take-out, put down the phone and try this recipe for Cauliflower Fried Rice instead. It has bacon. Who doesn’t want to eat fried rice with bacon? And shrimp!
To make cauliflower pizza crust use your food processor to get the cauliflower very fine, then mix with cheese, eggs and spices. Top with your favorite sauce, meats and veggies, for a pizza that is high in fiber, low in carbs, and out of this world! It’s so fast and easy, you’ll be chowing down long before the pizza delivery driver could even make it to your house!
Now for the big guns. Macaroni and cheese – the quintessential food of childhood, am I right? This recipe for Almost Mac-N-Cheese will be a family favorite for generations! (No kidding, it’s seriously that good.)
For your next family holiday meal why not prepare a bowl of garlic parmesan mashed ‘potatoes.’ Bet someone 10 bucks that they can’t tell you the secret ingredient. Instead of potatoes, this recipe uses cauliflower. These ‘taters’ are rich, creamy and delicious; and you’ll win the bet every time because no way is anyone going to guess that this is mashed cauliflower!
Need something a little ‘meatier’? Try cauliflower steaks. Cut the head of cauliflower through the center, creating large, flat slices. Season with salt and pepper, or spice things up with some curry, or chili powder. Roast the slices in the oven on a baking sheet until the center is cooked through and the edges are crispy.
Ready to really push the cauliflower envelope? Cauliflower buffalo wings. Yep, I said it. The spicier the better!
Just looking for a light snack? Cauliflower hummus is cool and refreshing paired with crunchy raw veggies. Combine roasted cauliflower with lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, pepper, and olive oil in a food processor and blend until smooth.
If this article hasn’t convinced you to pledge your devotion to the low-carb, versatile deliciousness that is the cauliflower… well, just try it anyway because it’s really great!