Cauliflower and Rice? Surprised how they both can go together? Don’t worry! We are here to answer all the questions and doubts you have about this less known concept of Cauliflower rice.
We all know that there are too many trends going out there with diets and fitness regimes. It also becomes a difficult task to decide which one goes for you and what would actually suit you best. To know that, it is imperative to do proper research and consult your nutritionist.
Many people claim to be following the “I eat all the colours of the rainbow” diet to make sure they’re eating all their vegetables. But since the time Keto is doing its rounds, many of these colours are avoided, which might bring a change in the colour of your health too.
A piece of good news for all these people who are looking for filling this gap of nutrients not being procured, Cauliflower rice is the one thing you could include in your diet. And what’s more, it also comes under the low-calorie foods that help you stick on to any other kind of diet that you wish to pursue.
Coming to the mystical cauliflower rice that is doing the rounds around the internet, it is known for its mild flavour, making it a smart trade for other high-carb, less nutritious foods. Apart from this, it also holds cancer-fighting nutrients that are seen in all the vegetables of the Brassica family.
What are the benefits of Cauliflower?
Before we go to the specifics of cauliflower rice, let’s talk about this off-white vegetable full of nutrients and why it is essential to include it in your diet.
Cauliflower is known for its nutritional value in the vegetable family. It not only carries a lower number of calories but also is a rich source of vitamins. The impressive profile of this vegetable comes into play when you’re trying to fulfil your food rainbow. Cauliflower has almost every vitamin and mineral your body needs.
The nutritional components found in 1 cup of raw cauliflower weighing 128 grams are – 25 calories, 3 grams of fibre, Vitamin K, Vitamin C, Vitamin B6, Folate, Potassium, Magnesium, Manganese, Phosphorus, and Pantothenic acid.
It is high in fibre content. One cup of cauliflower has 3 grams of fibre, which is basically 10% of the fiber requirement you need in a day. The vegetable is known to be a very rich source of fibre that is beneficial for the overall health.
The body requires fibre because it feeds the healthy bacteria in the gut that, in turn, reduces inflammation and promotes digestive health. Prevention of diverticulitis, inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) and constipation is possible by adequate consumption of fibre.
Studies also show that a diet that contains fibre-rich vegetables like cauliflower is related to evidence of lower risks of illnesses, including the ones affecting the heart, cancer and diabetes.
Fibre also plays an essential role in the prevention of obesity, because it contains properties that reduce the overall intake of calories and promote fullness of appetite.
It is also a good source of antioxidants. Cauliflower is a very excellent source of antioxidants, that guard your cells against inflammation and harmful free radicals. Like other cruciferous vegetables, cauliflower is unusually high in two clubs of antioxidants that have been revealed to slow down the maturity of cancer cells, that are glucosinolates and isothiocyanates.
Glucosinolates and isothiocyanates have also shown to be particularly protective towards lung, breast, colon, and prostate cancer.
Cauliflower also contains flavonoid and carotenoid antioxidants, that have anti-cancer outcomes and might lessen the uncertainty of various other ailments, as well as heart diseases.
The high amounts of Vitamin C in cauliflower acts as an antioxidant that is well known for anti-inflammatory and immunity-boosting effects.
Cauliflower is also high in content of choline, which is a necessary nutrient for DNA synthesis and brain development, especially in kids. It plays a significant role in synthesizing DNA, maintaining the integrity of cell membranes, and boosting metabolism.
There is 45 mg of choline present in one cup of cauliflower, which is around 11% of the adequate intake.
Choline is also required for brain development for the generation of neurotransmitters, which are necessary for a robust nervous system. It also helps in preventing cholesterol accumulation in the liver.
Not consuming enough of choline can lead to having a higher risk of heart and liver diseases apart from neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
Cauliflower and broccoli that belong to the same family are the most different sources of choline in the vegetable category to procure this nutrient.
Hence, cauliflower can be considered for its versatility to replace individual grains and legumes in the diet, since it is also considerably lower in the number of carbs when compared to grains and legumes.
It is not only a fantastic way to improve your veggies consumption, but it is also exceptionally useful for those following low-carb diets like Keto or Atkins.
A cup of cauliflower consists of just 5 grams of carbs. On the other hand, a cup of rice contains 45 grams of carbs, which is nine times more.
The best part is, you can include it in your diet effortlessly. You can consume it raw, or as a fresh snack in a healthy dip of hummus. In India, people also make curries or add it to mixed vegetable dishes.
Apart from steaming and roasting, cauliflower can also be sauteed. It goes well with soups, salads, casseroles and stir-fries. What’s more, it is also affordable and mostly available in all the groceries and vegetable markets.
What Is Cauliflower Rice?
The Cauliflower rice has become alarmingly famous in recent years given the emergence for low-carb diets in the market. The main credit goes to the Paleo diet, in which cauliflower rice is the essential grain-free alternative for regularly consumed rice. Including this powerhouse of nutrients in your diet, can show many positive effects on your health given the hardcore diets followed.
The reason cauliflower rice is a powerhouse of nutrients is because of the nutritional properties of cauliflower that was discussed previously. The Vitamin C, digestion supportive fibre and glucosinolates that are sulphurous compounds help in detoxifying and neutralizing carcinogens that are the causes for cancer.
Although cauliflower rice gets the popularity from the Paleo diet, it is not necessary to be a Paleo to enjoy the benefits of this superfood. The Cauli rice can also fit into many other diets from Vegan to Keto for its low carb properties apart from the other nutrients it contains.
Fun Fact – the hashtag #CauliflowerRice is trending on 28k posts on Instagram, which proves how it is picking up popularity in the nutritional scape.
One other thing about cauliflower rice is that it is complicated to say what is the best part about it, given its very many benefits. It is made from one of the most healthiest and cruciferous vegetables in the market.
How Is Cauliflower Rice Made?
To make cauliflower rice, you need one cauliflower head, salt as per preference, one tablespoon of coconut oil or olive oil.
First, break the cauliflower into large florets. Use a food processor or a mixer grinder to make these florets into smaller bits to the extent that they become grainy like regular rice.
If you want to try another way of losing out more weight while you do this, you could use your muscle power to trickle down these florets which chopping, chopping and chopping. Who knew cauliflower rice would involve so much of weight loss.
Meanwhile, warm up your coconut or olive oil from low to medium heat to cook these finely ground or chopped florets. Saute this for a good forty to fifty minutes, until the grains become soft. Season this mix with salt pepper or any other seasonings, and you’re good to go!
Another way of using this cauliflower rice is without cooking it and using it raw in your dish. But keep in mind the moisture content of your food.
Cauliflower Rice Recipes
Here are some recipes you could try with Cauliflower rice
1. Stuffed Peppers
Stuffed peppers are a hit dish when it comes to any kitty parties or evening events. A little bit of seasoning and the correct stuffing makes this dish the favourite for all ages. Many people with meat stuffings also prefer this dish.
It is not necessary to always have the meat fillings that go with this dish traditionally. A very delicious way of replacing the meat is cauliflower rice. Mix the super nutritious cauliflower rice with your favourite veggies, herbs, or beans with sprinkles of pesto, tomato sauce and soya sauce for an Asian flavour.
If you want to go with any other continental flavour, you can choose your favourite sauces ranging from the Mediterranean to Western onion or mustard sauce.
The best part about this dish is that it is yummy and healthy to the best level you could possibly think.
2. Cauliflower Rice Pizza Crust
Who doesn’t love the cheesy and extravagantly tasty pizza as their sport time snack or late night movie partner?
But little do people know that this cheesy wonder is also as healthy as it can get. The thin crust pizzas are more famous for being nutrient rich with tomatoes, eggs or even exotic veggies like jalapeno and peppers.
The cauliflower crust pizzas are a hit these days because of the popularity of this vegetable doing the rounds in all the popular low-calorie diets. The solution to a great cauliflower pizza crust is pressing out all the fluid from your cooked cauliflower rice.
3. Cauliflower Rice Bowls
One-dish meals have significance in the latest food trends. The simple rice bowl dish is gaining popularity amongst these for being able to envelope all the required foods into one single bowl as a meal.
Its popular demand to a bustle of current trends, particularly concerning the gluten-free craze, it is a better option to replace the regular rice with cauliflower rice for obtaining a wholesome and nutrition-rich meal.
A simple and perfect supper bowl comprises of good fats, a nourishing spring of protein, a gang of veggies, a fabulous flavouring and a mix of textures.
What’s more, there is also a good chance of making it in your own way by adding you favourite meat or any other appetizer for that matter.
4. Fried Cauliflower Rice
Fried rice is also one of the favourite fast foods. This delicious dish is popular all around the world for its quick making time and stomach filling experience.
Traditionally, this dish is made with the authentic rice that we all know of. It is a mixture of all the vegetables fried together with rice and the sauces of your choice. But to twist things a little, we can also use the cauliflower rice instead of the regular one.
With the blend of veggies, cauli rice, garlic and protein-rich tofu, you’ll discover yourself with a perfect gluten-free dinner recipe.
5. Cauliflower Rice Veggie Burgers
When we can put all sorts of veggies and patties in our burgers, why not include cauliflower? Not a good idea, you think? But we are not talking about adding it as florets.
To maintain the texture and the feel of a burger, you could add the cauliflower in the form of rice. Riced cauliflower adds some excess moisture to the veggie burger recipe, hence it is better to reduce any amount of liquid so you may need to reduce the amount of liquid elsewhere if required.
Notwithstanding the variety in flavour, riced cauliflower is capable of doing almost everything your favourite type of rice can pull off. But cauliflower’s fresh taste and delicacy are moderately incredible on their characters.
When it’s processed or shredded, so the florets are broken down into hard “grains,” can use it as much as you would use rice. It has also proven to be a grain-free, super-versatile alternative when you want a vegetable option to rice.
Although cauliflower rice is very beneficial to health and has great recipes that can make it an enjoyable ingredient for health conscious dieters, there are few exceptions.
Some people who use blood thinners should refrain from suddenly having a lot of cauliflower rice because the massive levels of Vitamin K could result in an adverse reaction with the drugs.
High-fibre foods are capable of causing flatulence and increased bloating. Most people can usually tolerate such foods like cauliflower rice when consumed in reasonable servings.
Nevertheless, while you’re trying to increase your fibre-intake, it has to be done gradually by monitoring symptoms that might lead to bloating or flatulence.
A good planning with the help of a professional to add cauliflower rice into your diet can help you stay healthy in the long run. When consumed appropriately, cauliflower rice shows amazing beneficial effects on health.