I don’t know about you, but I see literally everything these days made from cauliflower including crackers, wings – yes even wings, gnocchi, tots, pizza crust and of course the riced cauliflower. You name it, I’m sure it exists. This trend has been around for a while, and we still get many questions about it as more of these plant-based products make their way to grocery store shelves.
It was initially started by the low carb movement as a way to reduce carbs (i.e. instead of rice choose riced cauliflower to go from carbs to no carbs). As a dietitian, I LOVE the fact that we are adding another veggie to the plate in so many creative and fun ways! I mean turning cauliflower into wings – that’s pretty amazing. The flavors are quite impressive, too. However, I do want to course correct and be sure we are all on the same page that carbs are GOOD for us and that we do need carbs at every meal, including those of us with diabetes and those trying to lose weight. It truly is the number way that our body prefers to get energy and its most efficient for our bodies. The problem is when we are getting too many carbs and when we are choosing simple carbs as opposed to complex carbs (i.e. whole grains, fruits, starchy veggies, milk and yogurt).
I tell clients that if they want to take part in enjoying all things with cauliflower, that’s great. I will definitely be cheering you on as you add another veggie to the plate, especially one that wasn’t especially desired prior to this trend. I love this rebirth of cauliflower, BUT please ensure that you are still getting carbs at that meal and of course those whole grains that are rich in iron, fiber, B vitamins and offering protein. What does this look like on the plate you ask?
When doing riced cauliflower, I would recommend doing half riced cauliflower half whole grain brown rice or quinoa. And then still half you plate being fruits and more veggies with of course your serving of protein and dairy as illustrated on MyPlate. Or if you are doing mashed cauliflower instead of mashed potatoes (which are still very healthy; it matters about the portion and what you are adding to them that makes all the difference) again you could do half mashed potatoes, half cauliflower or the mashed cauliflower, but add a slice of whole grain bread to the meal. This way you are still getting in whole grains and complex carbs during your meals 😊
Finally, just because something is made with cauliflower doesn’t mean it is always healthier, it can have added sugar, added sodium and lots of fat for it to taste good. For example, mashed cauliflower with all the bacon and cheese- we all know its tastes amazing, however, keep in mind “everything in moderation,” 😉 It’s best to always check the shelf tag for that ‘Dietitian’s Choice’ label indicating that it is a better for you option.
Cheers to making veggies cool and fun!!! Who knows what the next vegetable trend will be, perhaps cabbage? Who knows! More and more we are seeing consumer interest move towards more plant-based foods, bolder flavors, and overall healthy eating and gut-health are top of mind. Always remember that as trends change and new eating patterns appear in the media, ask our team of Registered Dietitians to give you the science-based research to help you know what truly is best for you and your personal health. You can count on us to keep you updated and well informed!!
Peace and Wellness,