The Benefits of Cauliflower as a Carb Alternative

When people think of carbs, they typically think of white bread, potatoes, rice, and all those other delicious starches that you know aren’t the best for you. In most cases, cutting out unhealthy carbs is a good idea, but how do you find substitutes for all those beloved side dishes and meal complements? You swap them for cauliflower alternatives.

Why Cauliflower?

Cauliflower presents similar characteristics to many beloved white starches, including texture and versatility. However, there are plenty of reasons to love this distinguished vegetable, including the fact it is loaded with vitamins, high in fiber, and a great source of antioxidants. Additionally, cauliflower is a source of those all-important omega-3 fatty acids, those integral blood pressure helpers. For the hair conscious, cauliflower also contains levels of biotin, a primary component in many hair health and growth booster products.  Finally, cauliflower contains potassium, good for the heart, and several other nutrients to earn its place as a nutrient powerhouse.

Beyond the nutritious value of cauliflower, it is also Keto and Paleo diet-friendly, unlike other carbs. Cauliflower is an excellent way to maintain your dietary commitments while still indulging in favorites similar to mashed potatoes or rice. However, you do not have to mimic comfort foods; you can eat cauliflower as it is with delicious results.

The Cauliflower Imposter

Cauliflower is a wonderful way to dress up conventional American meals with a healthier twist. For example, you can make a cauliflower bun for a burger or picnic dinner, use cauliflower mash instead of mashed potatoes, or why not use a cauliflower crust for the next pizza night.

Cauliflower is a perfect substitute to experience some of the textures and flavors you love from traditional carbs and starches. The best part is, the vegetable comes with fewer calories and many health benefits, including slower digestion and prolonged feelings of fullness.

Because cauliflower is a fibrous vegetable, your digestive system needs to slow the digestion process, allowing the body to maintain the nutrients from the vegetable. With the slower digestive process, you will likely feel fuller longer, leading to fewer consumed calories during the day, ultimately helping you lose weight.

Cauliflower Carb Alternative Recipes

You can find several cauliflower recipes online. However, there are at least two that people consider staples.

Cauliflower Buns

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb cauliflower florets

  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten

  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

  • 1 tsp sesame seeds

Instructions:

First, preheat the oven to 425°F and use parchment paper to line a large baking sheet. Place the cauliflower in a food processor and process until finely grated. Microwave the cauliflower for 3 minutes on high. Allow the cauliflower to cool before transferring it to a clean towel and wring out the excess liquid. Put the cauliflower back in the mixing bowl and combine the egg and cheese. Mix thoroughly. Divide the batter into 8 portions in three-inch circles — bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with sesame seeds when done.

Cauliflower Mash

Ingredients:

  • 3 cloves of garlic

  • 1 medium head of cauliflower

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper

  • ½ tsp salt

  • Garnish: chopped fresh thyme

Instructions:

First, in a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Add the cauliflower and garlic, allowing it to cook for 10 minutes. You want the cauliflower fork tender. Drain the pan and let the cauliflower stand for two to three minutes with the lid. Then, transfer the cauliflower to a food processor and add the other ingredients. Puree until smooth.

Do you have any other favorite cauliflower recipes? Leave a comment below with instructions.

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