Integrative Nutrition Blog

Cut Carbs with This Quick Cauliflower Rice

February 6, 2018

Image via Shutterstock. 

Fancy a gluten-free, low-carb version of your favorite meal?

Look no further.

If you’re following a low-carb diet and missing rice, we have just the solution for you: rice made from cauliflower. That’s right – a low-carb, grain-free side that uses champion ingredient cauliflower in place of the starchy, high-carb rice.

How is this possible? All it takes is ten minutes, a head of cauliflower, and the S blade of your food processor to turn this cruciferous vegetable into “rice.” If you don’t have a food processor, simply grate the cauliflower head on a box grater.

Cauliflower is rich in health-promoting phytochemicals, has a high level of anti-inflammatory compounds, and can ward off cancer, heart disease, brain disease, and even weight gain. There isn’t much cauliflower can’t do.

Cauliflower, along with broccoli, cabbage, kale, and brussel sprouts, is a member of the cruciferous vegetable family. Cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of natural antioxidants, due to their high levels of various phytochemicals, and are good suppliers of essential vitamins, carotenoids, fiber, soluble sugars, minerals, and phenolic compounds. One cup of cauliflower contains:

  • 29 calories
  • Close to 0 grams of fat, sodium, and sugar
  • 73% daily value of vitamin C
  • 19% daily value of vitamin K
  • 15% daily value of folate 14%
  • 13% daily value of pantothenic acid
  • 12% daily value of vitamin B6
  • 11% daily value of fiber
  • 9% daily value of omega-3 fatty acids

If you’re shopping at your local farmers market, look for cauliflower that is tightly packed with its pieces pressed firmly together, not splayed open. While most cauliflower is found in white varieties, purple, yellow, and green cauliflowers, found in certain parts of the world, are just as nutritious.

Ingredients

  • 1 large head cauliflower, separated into 1-inch florets
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt

Directions

  1. Trim the cauliflower florets, cutting away as much stem as possible. Break up the florets in a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles grains of rice.
  2. Heat the oil in a large pan on medium-high, add cauliflower, and stir to combine. Add salt and continue to cook, stirring frequently until the cauliflower has softened, about 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
  3. Spoon the cauliflower into a large serving bowl and salt to taste; serve warm. 

But it doesn’t end there – this versatile recipe can easily adapt itself to become a quick risotto, a tasty and comforting pizza crust, a gut-healthy cauliflower mash with probiotic rich yogurt, a Mexican-style rice with black beans and chili chicken, lunch box–friendly sushi rolls, or a simple fried rice with plenty of crunchy fresh veggies.

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