Creative Faux Carbohydrate Uses for Cauliflower
Cauliflower has become famous as a faux carbohydrate because of the Atkins and Paleo diets. People are looking for a non-starch alternative to white flour, potatoes, and rice, in some kind of form, to replace the habit of having a carb on their plate at every meal. It is part of psychologically satisfying hunger with something that has a similar mouth feel. Replacing the starch on the plate has the additional advantage of slipping another serving or two of vegetables into the diet, which isn't that easy to do.
Cauliflower is generally placed in a food processor for most of the techniques that are used to make these recipes. This breaks down their texture into something more homogenous. When cauliflower is used to replace flour in a recipe, it is due to the way fat and the ground-up vegetable interacts. Eggs plus almond flour plus cauliflower make a bagel substitute with a tiny fraction of the calories. Topped with bagel toppings, this can make savory bagel replacement that can hold anything that would go on a bagel for breakfast.
Pizza crusts can be mimicked as well. The trick to pizza crust is pressing out as much of the juice in the cauliflower as possible before adding the other ingredients. With less liquid, it bakes up crispier. Similarly, it can be formed into the pizza-crust style breadsticks and covered with cheese and baked for a quick, carbohydrate-free appetizer. It can be formed into bread “slices” and made into a grilled cheese.
Cauliflower rice is simply cauliflower that has been food processed until about rice-sized, and then cooked as if it were cooked rice. It makes wonderful fried rice, and soaks up the flavor of soy or fish sauce just fine. It is a wonderful potato replacement in soups, mashed and au-gratin. It can also be formed into tater-tots and used in a similar way.
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