Cauliflower varieties are available in a variety of colors aside from the standard white. While you’re not too likely to find any of the fun colors in the grocery store, you might have more luck at our local farmers market. Like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage & kale, cauliflower is also a member of the prestigious cruciferous family. Contributing cancer fighting properties thanks to the sulforaphane content, cauliflower is a nutritionally dense fiber packed veggie!
A great way to reduce the amount of carbs and increase the nutrition at the dinner table next Sunday is to make ‘cheater mashed potatoes’. Perhaps you’ve heard of mashed cauliflower before & been skeptical? While I can’t claim they taste identical, it’s close enough to fool my own family members… I suggest not telling anyone & see if they notice! If ditching your peeler isn’t enough to convince you to try this out, here are some stats:
By choosing cauliflower instead of potatoes you save about 53 calories and 13 g carbs per half cup. The potatoes and cauliflower are nearly equal in fat and protein, so that’s not significant. What about nutrients? (More nutrients will be retained by steaming rather than boiling as these statistics reflect.)
They’re about equal in iron content (1.3% vs. 1.1%).
Potatoes contain more B1, B3, B5 and B6 than cauliflower:
B1 5.1% vs. 1.7%
B3 5.1% vs. 1.3%
B5 4.0% vs. 3.1%
B6 10.5% vs. 5.4%
Cauliflower contains folate, more B2, and calcium than potatoes, and the most significant edge they have is in vitamins K and C:
folate 1.8% vs. 6.8%
B2 0.9% vs. 1.9%
calcium 0.6% vs. 1.0%
Vitamin K 2% vs. 10.7%
Vitamin C 9.6% vs. 45.8%
Another factor to consider is Glycemic Index. Potatoes can raise your blood sugar really fast; they have a higher glycemic index than refined white sugar because of the way they are processed by our bodies. Baked white potato (no skin) has a GI of 98, while white sugar has a GI of about 60. Cauliflower, by comparison, has a very low GI of 15. This means it will have little to no effect on your blood sugar levels. This is a BIG DEAL!
Oh, and have I mentioned these are also faster to make than mashed potatoes?
Cheater Mashed “Potatoes”
- 1 head cauliflower, preferably organic
- 1 tbsp butter, preferably organic
- salt & pepper to taste
- optional: roasted garlic, chives
Steam the quartered cauliflower using an electric steamer, steaming basket or tray until tender. Cut it into smaller chunks for faster steaming time. Place cauliflower in the blender with butter, salt & pepper and any other mashed potato add-in’s you would usually use. Hold off on adding any milk or cream to the mixture. Depending on your steaming method, the cauliflower may already be holding enough liquid. Feel free to add some in after blending to achieve the desired consistency.