This cruciferous veggie is rich in vitamins A, C and K, as well as many B-vitamins, plus potassium, magnesium and manganese. The fiber in cauliflower helps you feel full, promotes stable energy levels, and good digestion. This superfood favorite is delicious on its own but easily blends with other flavors. Here are a few recipes to get you started.
Spiced Roasted Cauliflower
It doesn’t get much easier than roasted cauliflower. Enjoy as a side dish or add to salads, soups, grain dishes, and more.
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 tablespoon olive or sunflower oil
sea salt to taste
Optional additional spices: ½ teaspoon of turmeric, cumin, coriander, cinnamon, red chili powder, and/or garlic powder
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss cauliflower with oil, sea salt, and spices and spread on a baking sheet. Roast until cauliflower is crispy (about 30-40 minutes), shaking the pan a few times to prevent sticking.
Pureed cauliflower can be enjoyed as a side dish, but it also blends easily into foods like mac & cheese or even baked goods, as it makes a great canvas for other flavors. This hearty soup lets you enjoy all the comfort food flavor without breaking the calorie bank. Even better, you can make it in a blender or using a stick blender.
1 tablespoons olive oil
1 small white onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 large head cauliflower, cut into florets
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
1 teaspoon turmeric
½ teaspoon ground ginger
½ teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
4 cups water of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onion and saute until translucent. Add garlic and stir another minute or until fragrant.
2. Add cauliflower, and spices. Stir until cauliflower is softened. Add pumpkin and broth. Bring to a boil and reduce heat.
3. Simmer on low 20 minutes. Turn off heat.
4. When soup is cool enough to handle, blend until smooth using either a stick blender or by pouring soup in small batches into a standing blender.
5. Enjoy hot.
Made popular by Paleo diet enthusiasts, cauliflower rice might just become your low-carb kitchen staple. It’s super-easy to make and can be used in a variety of dishes. Use it in place of rice in a stir-fry or as a base or chili or stew. It’s also delicious in salads or even cooked into oatmeal or pancakes or tucked into baked goods. You can even freeze it to throw in a smoothie.
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Pulse cauliflower in a food processor or blender until it resembles rice.
2. Heat oil in a large skillet. Add cauliflower. Cook on medium low until slightly soft (about 5 minutes). Stir frequently to prevent sticking or burning. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Using frozen cauliflower in a smoothie lends a creamy texture that turns your concoction from a glass of sludge to a rich ice cream-like treat. Think: thick and decadent frosty vs melty slushie. Swear you can’t even taste the cauliflower! You can use frozen riced cauliflower or florets. Adding frozen greens instead of fresh ups the texture factor even more.
1 cup water
1-2 scoops protein powder of your choice
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 a frozen banana
3/4 cup frozen cauliflower
2 cups baby spinach or 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
1 cup ice (or more if needed)
1. Layer ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth.
2. Pour into a glass or bowl. Garnish with whatever sounds good to you: chia seeds, nuts, cacao nibs, a pinch of coconut flakes, or whatever else floats your boat.
However you choose to enjoy it, cauliflower is a great way to up your nutrition game and expand your kitchen repertoire.
Jessica Cording, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian, health coach, and writer with a passion for helping others experience a happier, calmer life and a balanced relationship with food. For those in need of some healthy-eating inspiration, Jess created five day's worth of delicious make-ahead lunches to make it even easier to eat well on a busy day. For more information on Jess, check out her website and follow her on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Main Photo Credit: Tim UR/shutterstock.com; Second Photo Credit: PHB.cz (Richard Semik)/shutterstock.com; Third Photo Credit: Brent Hofacker/shutterstock.com; Fourth Photo Credit: mama_mia/shutterstock.com