I used to be quite skeptical of cauliflower “rice”. To be fair, my only comparison was making steamed cauliflower from the frozen food section. Now it’s something I rave about it! I even prefer it over rice.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable with a lot of versatility. You can use it as a substitute for foods that are normally high in starch such as rice, potato and the infamous pizza dough (which I have yet to try). It also tastes great when baked, as a creamy dressing or with cheese in soup. I love experimenting with different ways to cook cauliflower. Turning it into “rice” really only requires one ingredient and anything else you would like to add in. It’s a simple way to explore how you can use cauliflower to make your meals carb-friendly!
Cauliflower Nutritional Benefits
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and Prevention’s Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) ranks cauliflower number 24 on a list of “powerhouse fruits and vegetables” (1). Cauliflower is naturally high in fiber and B-vitamins.
Cauliflower is only 25 calories per 100g, compared to white rice which sits at 140 calories per 100g (2). Meaning that you can eat larger portions without all the empty calories.
There are two types of vegetables: starchy and non-starchy vegetables. Both types of vegetables are rich in many important vitamins and minerals. Starchy vegetables include potatoes, peas, beans and sweet potatoes. Some examples of non-starchy vegetables are broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.
Cauliflower is classified as a non-starchy vegetable. Vegetables with low starch content tend to have low calories and carbs (3). They are made of 90-95% water. Despite its low calorie content, non-starchy vegetables are high in fiber and contain all the essential vitamins and minerals you need.
Choosing a Cauliflower
Cauliflower is available fresh or frozen at most grocery stores. A fresh cauliflower should have a firm head with no dark spots. The leaves that are attached to the stem should be bright and green.
How Long Does Cauliflower Last?
- Cooked Cauliflower can be stored in the refrigerator in an air-tight plastic bag for up to 5 days.
- Uncooked Raw Cauliflower can be stored in the freezer for up to 1 month.
How to Make Cauliflower Rice
One of my favourite things to do with cauliflower is turning it in “rice.” There are three ways to make cauliflower rice. You can use a grater with medium-sized holes, a food processor or chop it up finely with a knife to create the ‘rice-like’ texture. This is a great way to increase your vegetable intake.
Healthy Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Servings: 8 (½ cup servings), Prep time: 5 minutes, Cook time: 10 minutes
- 1 head of cauliflower (Medium)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Spices of your choice
- Remove all the leaves from the stem. Wash and thoroughly dry the cauliflower.
- If using a grater, cut the cauliflower into quarters and use the medium-sized holes to grate it into “rice.” If using a food processor, cut it into small chunks and blend. You can also use a large kitchen knife to chop the cauliflower into tiny pieces.
- Remove all excess moisture by transferring the cauliflower bits onto a paper towel and pressing it dry.
- You can enjoy the cauliflower rice raw or simply sauté it in a large skillet over medium heat with 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Season with your favourite spices (I use turmeric, cumin, garlic powder, onion salt, black pepper and smoked paprika).
- Cook the cauliflower for 5-8 minutes with the lid on to give it more tenderness. Cauliflower rice can be used for any rice dish, stir fries, curries or fried rice. You can also pair it with your choice of meat or vegetable protein for meal preps.
Adding wet sauces will make the rice more wet in texture. Use these sauces sparingly.
Nutrition: Cauliflower Rice Recipe
Calories: 33, Fat: 1.8g, Protein: 1.4g, Carbs: 3.8g
More Cauliflower Rice Recipes for You to Enjoy!
- Mediterranean Cauliflower Rice (Cookie and Katie)
- Cauliflower Fried Rice in 4 Ways (Tasty)
- Asian Cauliflower Fried Rice (Once Upon a Chef)
Other Things You Can Make with Cauliflower
- Roasted Parmesan Cauliflower (Healthy Recipes Blog)
- Cauliflower Soup (Taste of Home)
- Healthy Cauliflower Fritters (Just a Taste)
- Perfect Cauliflower Pizza Crust (Detoxinista)
Replacing rice and starchy vegetables with cauliflower is an easy way to reduce carbs and calories. If you enjoyed this recipe, feel free to check out other quick meal prep recipes on my blog!
PS – Here’s a Pinterest-friendly image if you want to save this recipe!