My mum doesn’t like cauliflower so I never had much to do with it as a kid.
As a grown up I always regarded it quite suspiciously – what is this albino broccoli wannabe, and why would I ever cook with it?
Next minute, cauliflower recipes are popping up all over my social media feeds – it is the darling of the diet squads and I am its latest conquest.
Read on to discover how I became a cauliflower convert and why you should be as well.
1. Low in calories
Quick disclaimer: I know we are supposed to measure in kilojoules but I still don’t really know what that is. What I do know is that cauliflower has only 29 calories per cup, so no matter how you mash, fry or boil it, you are starting out with an advantage.
2. Get your vitamin C
That same cup of cauliflower provides 75% of your RDI of vitamin C, which as we all know is a lovely lift for your immune system and also has the ability to combat free radicals – in other words, help in the battle against ageing.
3. It is amazing with cheese
Most things are amazing with cheese, but if you get the ratio of cheese to cauliflower right you can pretend you’re not eating vegetables.
It’s a guaranteed hit when it comes to dinner party side dishes.
4. Low in carbs
Unlike its starchy mates corn and carrots, cauliflower is given the green light by anti-carbsters and ketosis seekers, with only 3 grams of net carbs per cup.
5. Boost your brain power
Cauliflower is high in choline, a nutrient related to B vitamins and folate that is key for healthy brain function, and I need all the help I can get.
6. You can make it into rice
On to some of the uses of this versatile white wonder. Chuck raw cauliflower in the food processor for several quick pulses and you’ve got a grainy mixture that’s dying to be fried up with butter, oil and salt.
It’s surprisingly satisfying and very inoffensive when it comes to taste, and makes a great base for a quick stir fry.
7. You can make it into pizza base
It sounds way too gourmet and fiddly, but making cauliflower pizza base is actually as easy as blitzing, microwaving, draining, mixing with eggs, cheese and other binders, spreading and baking.
There are a trillion recipes on the internet and although they will never take the place of wheat dough, the taste of cauliflower pizza base is not too shabby at all.
Your inside and outside tummy will thank you profusely.
8. You can use it instead of potatoes
Mash it up, use it as a soup base, or fry slices into chips – it’s true that cauliflower will never fill the place left in a diet left by potatoes, but unlike so many options it is actually a tasty alternative.
Just like potato, the mild taste makes it an excellent complement to other sauces and flavours – see point 3!