Move Over, Kale -- Cauliflower Is the Nutritious New 'It' Veggie

Move Over, Kale -- Cauliflower Is the Nutritious New 'It' Veggie

Cauliflower is the new produce department darling -- and with good reason!


By Kelly Bryant

Sorry, kale, it looks like your 15 minutes are up! There’s a not-at-all-new darling of the produce section, and she goes by the name of cauliflower. That’s right, folks, maybe you can’t turn cauliflower into chips (or can you?), but the cruciferous veggie is finding itself subbing for all kinds of things, because its nutritional value is totally on point and it’s incredibly versatile.

“Most people who have become health conscious realize that too many calories are coming from large portions of starch (a form of carbohydrate/sugar),” says Steve Della Croce, a registered dietitian and president of the Long Island Dietetic Association.

“In an effort to cut calories and possibly lose weight they have cut back on starches,” says Della Croce. “Since we love our starches, this can be a challenge. One of the best strategies for cutting calories is to swap a ‘bad’ food for a ‘good’ food. Cauliflower can be a great alternative to a starchy food because it can be mashed like a potato, flattened out and baked like bread, pizza, and pasta, or grilled like a panini.”

So how do its nutritional stats stack up? According to Della Croce, it’s only 25 calories and five carbohydrates per cup, and packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.

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“Cauliflower is an anti-cancer type of veggie rich in phytochemicals such as indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, thought to help prevent obesity and diabetes while offering protection from prostate, ovarian, and cervical cancers,” says Janet Brill, PhD, RDN, author of Blood Pressure Down: The 10-Step Plan To Lower Your Blood Pressure in 4 Weeks – Without Prescription Drugs.

To prove just how multipurpose cauliflower is, try Brill’s recipe for Buffalo Cauliflower Wings.

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings
Yield: 6 cups of cauliflower (1 serving = 1 cup), ¾ cup of yogurt dip (1 serving = 1/8 cup)

Ingredients:
1 head of cauliflower

Batter
¾ cup of whole wheat flour
¼ cup of nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon of garlic powder
1 cup of original almond milk (you can substitute with soy milk, skim milk, or any other milk substitute)

Buffalo Hot Sauce
¼ cup of hot sauce
¼ cup of tomato sauce (no salt added)
1 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 Tablespoon of olive oil
1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes

Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip
½ cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 Tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast
Juice squeezed from ½ lemon
½ teaspoon of garlic powder
½ tsp of black pepper
¼ cup of blue cheese (you can substitute with goat cheese or gorgonzola)

Directions:
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Wash and chop the cauliflower into pieces similar to the size of small chicken wings. In a large bowl, whisk together the batter ingredients until there are no clumps. Add the cauliflower to the batter and toss until all the pieces of cauliflower are evenly covered with the batter. Place the cauliflower on the baking sheet and place in the oven to cook for 30 minutes.

While the cauliflower is baking, mix all the buffalo hot sauce ingredients together. In a large bowl, toss the baked, battered cauliflower and buffalo hot sauce together until the cauliflower is evenly covered with the buffalo hot sauce. Place the cauliflower bake on a new sheet of wax paper and bake for another 20 minutes until the cauliflower is crispy.

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Then, mix the Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip ingredients together in a small bowl. (Keep your dip clumpy or mash up the pieces of cheese to make a smooth dip.) Serve the cauliflower immediately with the yogurt dip, the carrots, and the celery sticks!

Nutrition Information Per Serving:

Buffalo Cauliflower Wings:
Calories: 169 kcal, Fat: 5 g, Cholesterol: 0 mg, Carbohydrate: 27 g, Dietary Fiber: 7 g, Protein: 8 g, Sodium: 101 mg

Blue Cheese Yogurt Dip:
Calories: 40 kcal, Fat: 2g, Cholesterol: 7 mg, Carbohydrate: 7g, Dietary Fiber: 0g, Protein: 4g, Sodium: 96 mg

Have you jumped on the cauliflower bandwagon?


Kelly Bryant is a freelance writer and pop culture junkie. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and their two sons. Follow her on Twitter @MsKellyBryant.

Image ©iStock.com/bhofack2


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