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Cauliflower: Ghost Broccoli or Nutritional Land Mine?


Cauliflower. Growing up it was the Ghost Broccoli that didn’t taste good. Now, it’s literally everywhere. Cauliflower rice, mashed potatoes, pizza crust… You name it and it’s probably made out of cauliflower somewhere. It’s great as a gluten-free option for pizzas, and a low carb option for rice and mashed potatoes, but are there any health benefits at all to this white, tasteless mini ghost tree? Let’s break it down and see.

Other than white, there is actually green and purple cauliflower which are really pretty. The most common is the white one and that’s the one that is made into the different items that we see in every grocery store.

Some of the benefits of eating cauliflower are (in 1 cup of raw cauliflower):

  • Calories: 25
  • Fiber: 3 grams
  • Vitamin C: 77% of the RDI
  • Vitamin K: 20% of the RDI
  • Vitamin B6: 11% of the RDI
  • Folate: 14% of the RDI
  • Pantothenic acid: 7% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 9% of the RDI
  • Manganese: 8% of the RDI
  • Magnesium: 4% of the RDI
  • Phosphorus: 4% of the RDI
  • Has a significant amount of antioxidants
  • It has several key nutrients that aren’t found in other veggies
  • The different colors contain different nutrients!

Being on a gluten-free diet (not by choice) is pretty sad since gluten is in everything delicious. So I personally have gotten creative with finding recipes and products that are substituted with veggies instead of flour. It has also made me creative with using cauliflower as a substitute for other carbs, like mashed potatoes (add enough cheese and it’s really delicious!).

I’ll list off a few different things below: some you can find in your local grocery store, others you can make at home!

Mashed “potatoes”: you can buy this in some frozen sections in different stores; they come as plane or others are more like a loaded baked potato style with cheese, chives, and bacon added! If you can’t find it in the store, you can make your own! I’ve heard of people using a blender but I’d suggest a food processor. You can take either fresh cauliflower or use the “rice” packages at the store; either way, you’ll just have to blend/mash the heck out of it to get it to a “mashed potato” feeling. Adding water/milk/butter will help with the texture and get it to that same consistency.

Pizza crust: There are a lot of different types at your local health store, or you can attempt to make your own! The basic idea is that you take finely chopped cauliflower, mix it with a binding substance (like an egg) and them shape it into a crust. It actually isn’t bad if you like thin crust pizza and you can’t feel guilty for eating the entire thing!

Rice: This is probably the most popular item in the stores. It’s in the fresh produce area and in the frozen section as well. This is a great thing to have in your freezer to have on hand since you can use it for everything! You can, of course, use it for regular rice- a lot of the packages come in a microwavable bag that you can steam it in. Or, you can get creative and make Spanish rice! When I make something I always just throw ingredients in it without measuring. I just do “to taste” with whatever I’m making! So the list below is not measured out but you can figure out what you like!

~Cauliflower rice

~Tomato paste/sauce (some people use tomato paste and add water, some people use plain tomato sauce, or you can get really fancy and make it yourself!)

~Spices: garlic, onion, taco seasoning, cilantro, lime juice (all of these are to taste)

~Throw them all in a pan and cook them together until the cauliflower is cooked! (It will be as soft as cooked rice)

I’m still waiting for them to come out with things like cauliflower donuts, but one can only hope for so much. I hope this little overview gave you some ideas to start incorporating ghost broccoli into your daily life! 

3 thoughts on “Cauliflower: Ghost Broccoli or Nutritional Land Mine?

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