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15 Crazy Delicious Cauliflower Hacks to Help You Lose Weight  

8/22 9:46:28

If we could hand out superlatives to our favorite veggies, cauliflower would win “most creative” by a landslide. With the help of a food processor and some smart seasonings, it’s the ultimate shape-shifter. While we're at it, we'd also give this pale veggie the "most popular" prize. Since 2014, Pinterest searches for cauliflower have risen by almost 40 percent.

It's not all hype, either: This white cruciferous veggie is a major source of filling fiber, vitamin C, and folic acid, says Sharon Palmer, R.D., author of Plant-Powered for Life. Oh yeah, and it’s only got about 30 calories per cup, too, which makes it great for your weight-loss goals.

Related: 50 Ways Greek Yogurt Can Help You Lose Weight

“Cauliflower is amazing because it works with almost every diet out there—vegan, gluten-free, low-carb, Paleo—and it’s flavor neutral, so it absorbs the taste of whatever you pair it with,” says Kara Lydon, R.D.

Stock up on the fresh stuff (or grab a steamer bag from the frozen aisle) and whip up one of these healthy swaps currently trending on Pinterest.

cauliflower weight lossPhotograph by Shutterstock/ Alyssa Zolna

1. Buffalo Cauliflower
Score the tang and crunch of chicken wings sans the calorie bomb of fried, fatty skin. Roast cauliflower in a superlight, crispy breading (or straight up), add hot sauce and a few blue cheese crumbles, and boom—finger-licking goodness.


A photo posted by Taking A Bite Out Of Boston (@takingabiteoutofboston) on

2. Cauliflower Breadsticks
Cancel Dominos! You can make low-carb breadsticks, instead, by pulsing cauliflower in a food processor until it has a rice-like consistency. Mix it with cheese, fresh herbs, and an egg, and spread it out onto a baking sheet 'til you see golden-crusted goodness—then add some cheese and garlic on top.

3. Cauliflower Rice
Easiest side dish ever alert: Pulse cauliflower in a food processor (or use a grater) and sauté the ‘rice’ for five minutes with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil. The fluffy, light texture is perfect for replacing couscous, or a sneaky simple carb like pasta that won't keep you satisfied, says Lydon.


A photo posted by Lykke (@kaelepunker) on

4. Cauliflower Pizza Crust
Pizza’s even more heavenly when the crust has fewer carbs and cals, and more fiber. “This is so easy: Steam chopped cauliflower, and then add your binding components like an egg or cheese and bake it before adding toppings,” says Julie Harrington, R.D., author of RDeliciousKitchen.com. (Want more recipes to get you on your weight-loss journey? Check out the Women's Health Body Clock Diet.)

5. Cauliflower Tater Tots
Microwave finely chopped cauliflower, then add panko, parsley, parmesan and egg before scooping the mixture into muffin tins. “The extra fiber from the cauliflower means this snack will stay with you longer,” says Harrington.


A photo posted by Maria Villena Cassel (@foodntraveladdict) on

6. Cauliflower Mash
White potatoes, which taste ah-mazing but can cause your blood sugar to shoot up and down, are regularly linked to weight gain—but stick with cauliflower in disguise and you might not even miss them. Boil cauliflower with garlic until it’s tender, then toss it in a food processor with butter, salt and pepper, and blend until smooth for a Thanksgiving-worthy side dish.

7. Cauliflower Steaks
Slice a head of cauliflower through the center so you get large, flat pieces, then season and roast on a baking sheet for crispy edges and a juicy center, says Palmer.

Related: 50 Healthy Almond Butter Hacks That Are a Party in Your Mouth 

8. Cauliflower Hummus
Combine roasted cauliflower in a food processor with olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, garlic, salt, pepper and cumin, then blend until smooth and get the carrots ready for dipping.  


A photo posted by Kristy • Perth (@unsugar_me) on

9. Cauliflower Tostadas
Create perfect little Mexican tortillas to hold black bean salsa or pulled chicken—just pulse cauliflower in the food processor, mix with eggs, salt and pepper, and bake until golden brown, says Lydon, the brains behind this recipe.

10. Cauliflower Fried Rice
Add a bag of frozen mixed veggies to grated cauliflower in a wok, throw in some scrambled eggs and soy sauce, and voila—low-carb Chinese awesomeness with extra fiber.


A photo posted by Mira, RYT-200 (@yogaandyummies) on

11. Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
Carrots, coconut milk, and squash can be added to sautéed cauliflower for a no-cheese ‘cheese’ sauce that'll squash your hankering for the gooey favorite.

12. Cauliflower Potato Salad
Boil cauliflower until it’s tender, add some hard-boiled eggs, mustard, and mayo, then go to town on this perfect summer side dish that won't spike your blood sugar and leave you craving more.

13. Cauliflower Fritters
Mash steamed cauliflower, combine it with cheese and eggs to form ‘patties’ and cook on the stovetop for a quick, healthy dinner. Don’t forget a yummy Greek yogurt dipping sauce.


A photo posted by Layla Atik | Food Blogger (@gimmedelicious) on

14. Cauliflower Chowder
Boil cauliflower in a veggie broth, toss in onion and garlic, then blend until smooth for a cozy comfort meal.   

15. Cauliflower Muffins
Adding a small amount of coconut flour and baking powder (plus other flavor enhancers like jalapeno, cheese, and onion flakes) makes cauliflower the perfect brunch compliment to eggs in you're a.m. meal.

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