Why I love cauliflower on a keto diet
The keto community has gotten particularly creative with cauliflower, using it as a low carb potato substitute and even in place of rice or noodles. If pasta is your downfall, you can use cauliflower as a substitute in dishes like homemade mac and cheese and fettucini alfredo. If you love those starchy white potatoes, you can make mashed cauliflower dishes to substitute for the high-carb potato dish. You can easily put a keto spin on many of your favorite recipes by simply replacing the high carb ingredient with cauliflower. There are only 2.9 grams of net carbs in an entire cup of this popular low carb vegetable, making it a clear winner on a keto diet.
A single cup of Cauliflower contains only 25 calories, 77 percent your daily allowance of Vitamin C, with high levels of Vitamin K, and B6. It is a natural source of pantothenic acid, omega-3 fatty acids, fiber, choline, biotin, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium, niacin, vitamin B1, Vitamin B2, and protein. Wow!
Cauliflower has been found to have anti-carcinogenic properties, and studies have found it is a good defense against ovarian, prostate, colon, breast, and bladder cancer. The plant contains gluconasturtiin, glucoraphanin, and glucobrassicin, all of which help in the regulation of the body’s detoxification enzymes. The veggie contains phytonutrients that lend to the reduction of oxidated stress on cells in the body, and anti-inflammatory properties as well. The fiber content in the veggie also lend to improved digestive processes.
Curious where it stacks up in comparison to other vegetables? Check out the low carb vegetables list I put together!
How to cook cauliflower
When it comes to cooking this veggie, the possibilities are endless. As I mentioned before, you can substitute the rice, noodles and high starch veggies in your dishes with cauliflower.
Popular cooking techniques include: boiling, braising, deep-frying, puree, gratin, roasting, sautéed, simmered, steamed.
Of course, you can always just eat it raw!
If you want to make use of every single part of the plant, save the tender leaves and stems for soup stocks or roasting. In fact, The Kitchn has a pretty convincing argument for why you shouldn’t throw your cauliflower leaves away.
Cauliflower pairs well with the following flavor combinations:
- cilantro + cloves + cumin + turmeric
- cream + sorrel
- curry + vinegar
- pine nuts + lime
When looking to buy white cauliflower from the local market, make sure the curd has a creamy white, clean looking color and the buds should not be apart, but close together. Stay away from anything presenting with tiny flowers, dull areas, or darkened patches. If possible, get a head that has a lot of the thicker green leaves still protecting the curd.
Cauliflower is available in different varieties and colors. The most popular color is white, but if you are seeking a lighter flavor, try to get a hold of the orange variant instead – the plant contains as much as 25 percent more Vitamin A than the white head. The term broccoflower actually refers to the green variant. The dark purple cauliflower is a lovely plant, which is loaded with antioxidants because it contains anthocyanins.
How to Store the Vegetable:
When you put the veggie away, it needs to be refrigerated. It will last six to seven days if you have it wrapped or put in a paper bag. You need to keep it from getting too moist so make sure the stem side is facing downward during storage. Once cooked, it will only remain fresh for a few days in the fridge.
LOW CARB CAULIFLOWER RECIPES
The cauliflower parmesan soup I posted is so rich and creamy... without even adding any cream! Topped with an herbed brown butter, this soup feels ultra decadent. Perfect for chilly fall and winter days, but definitley tasty enough to eat all year round. Not to toot my own horn... but toot toot.
Low Carb Cauliflower Mini Recipe Roundup
- This Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower from Rasa Malaysia is as simple as butter, season and roast. Looks tasty and is super low carb. Win!
- A Cauliflower Crust Stromboli?! No. Way. This is a perfect example from The Iron You of just how innovative people have been getting with cauliflower!
- I see this Cauliflower Crusted Grilled Cheese every time I'm on Pinterest. OMG, you guys! YUM! I need this.
Everything you could possibly want to know about cauliflower (…and more!)
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable that is related to kale, collard greens, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, and broccoli, as it is one of several species identified as Brassica oleracea. Some people refer to the veggie as Broccoflower. The veggie is an annual growth plant that grows after being seeded. The head of the plant is identified as a curd. The curd has a diameter that measures about six inches across when it is full grown and ready to harvest. The curd is not solid but in separate small buds.
Cauliflower has green leaves that are course. The thick growths block out the sun and prevent chlorophyll development and it is this action that contributes to the veggie’s white color. Bare in mind, this veggie is also available in light green, orange, and brilliant purple colors. You can consume the veggie raw or cooked. It has what some identify as a nutty, sweet, milk like smooth flavor, and it is in season from late winter to early spring. When consumed raw, cauliflower is crisp, spongy, and firm. When cooked, cauliflower is soft.
This plant originates from Asia Minor and later, around 600 B.C.E., became common in the Mediterranean and Turkey. By the 16th century, cauliflower found a place on the palates of the French. Later, it was cultivated in Europe and Britain. Today, China, France, India, Italy, and the US are all big time producers of the vegetable.
Even mathematicians appreciate cauliflower, and not just for its wonderful flavor. Instead, experts have identified special fractal dimensions in the veggie, and that each branch is much like the entire plant. The angle of every branch has it grows away from the plant is exactly equal to 360 degrees once it is divided by the golden ratio.
Let me know how it goes!
If you are anything like I am, you will find playing around with low carb recipes super fun! I firmly believe you can eat delicious meals on the keto diet and still feel full, satisfied, and un-deprived. I hope you will share your recipes with me and let me know about your kitchen adventures. Try out some of the recipes or flavor profiles provided and let me know how it goes in the comments below. I would love to hear from you!
Hi, I'm Tasha–nutritionist, recipe developer, and multi-published cookbook author.