5 Ways To Lose Weight And Eat Well With Cauliflower

Whether it's riced, mashed, or turned into a pizza crust, cauliflower is, without-a-doubt, one of the trendiest vegetables in the produce aisle. Its subtle yet distinct taste, robust nutritional profile, and ease of preparation has escalated the cruciferous vegetable to almost cult status — a reputation it largely deserves.

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White cauliflower contains a cornucopia of vitamins and minerals such as folate and vitamins B6, C, and K, as well as isothiocyanate, a phytochemical compound which has been linked to the destruction of certain cancer cells. However, to fully take advantage of cauliflower's health properties, avoid boiling it — which neutralizes a large proportion of the phytochemicals — and try steaming, simmering, or roasting it instead.

A head of cauliflower can stand in as a side dish for a group of four, but it can also play a starring role. At less than 150 calories per head, using cauliflower in place of potatoes, chicken wings, or chickpeas can dramatically reduce the calorie counts of your favorite foods.

Here are five cauliflower recipes that will help you get that summer beach body.

Buffalo Cauliflower Bites

Saucy, sweet, and spicy chicken wings are so satisfying that we often risk stained hands (and shirts) to eat them. But chicken wings are often fried before they're coated in Buffalo sauce. Using roasted cauliflower tossed in a homemade Buffalo sauce cuts down the calorie count, preserves the classic taste, and best of all, can be eaten with a fork!

Click here for the Buffalo Cauliflower Bites recipe.

Cauliflower No-Bean Hummus

Hummus comes in many shapes and forms, but this recipe is especially innovative. Steamed cauliflower takes the place of chickpeas, and is paired with a cup of cashews to add some depth and texture to the dip. Eat this one with some celery or carrot sticks, or use it as an accompanying condiment for a roasted vegetable wrap.

Click here for the Cauliflower No-Bean Hummus recipe.

Mashed Cauliflower

Simple carbohydrates can be your mouth's best friend, but your belly's worst enemy. Potatoes, although nutritious, are dense and calorie-laden. Swapping in cauliflower makes for a lighter and more nutritious side dish, with one serving clocking in at less than 200 calories.

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Roasted Curry Cauliflower Soup

When roasted, cauliflower develops a sweet nuttiness that complements bold spices like curry powder. Cauliflower's texture also makes it an ideal candidate for purées and soups. This roasted cauliflower soup is light enough for a spring lunch, but warm enough for a late-March evening.

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Roasted Cauliflower With Whipped Goat Cheese

A perfectly roasted head of cauliflower is an elegant dinner table centerpiece. Tenderize the cauliflower before roasting by simmering it in an aromatic broth of wine, lemon juice, butter, sugar, bay leaf, and red pepper flake for around 20 minutes (or until it can be easily pierced with a knife). Afterwards the head is roasted until browned. An accompanying dipping bowl of whipped goat cheese with minced garlic, sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil adds the right hint of acidity and creaminess to the cauliflower.

Click here for the Roasted Cauliflower With Whipped Goat Cheese recipe.