Kids need carbs, but studies show that the foods American families consume most often come from refined carbohydrates instead of more nutrient-dense sources like whole grains and vegetables. What’s a parent to do to meet their children’s nutritional needs? To start, try swapping cauliflower in place of your favorite starches to keep sharing healthy family meals together.
Loaded with vitamin C and fiber, and weighing in at just five grams of carbohydrates per cup, cauliflower can serve as a lower-calorie substitute for other starches. Incorporating cauliflower can be super easy, like with this Mashed Cauliflower Recipe that puts the veggie in a form your family already knows and loves — with an added kick from kid-friendly ranch dressing. You can even slash calories at breakfast, too, with the cauliflower version of cheesy hash browns.
Here are five simple ways to work cauliflower into the mix and continue eating healthy as a family:
If there’s one surefire way to get kids interested in a particular food, it’s serving it in nugget form. Follow our Crispy Cauliflower Nuggets recipe, which uses parmesan cheese and seasoned panko mix, to make them extra crispy and irresistible. You can also pair cauliflower with other crispy, breaded vegetables for a fun, healthy side during your family meal.
Want to really embrace the habit of healthy eating as a family? Try making a pizza crust from cauliflower — kids will love it. What’s more, batters and doughs can get a delicious makeover from cauliflower, too. A handful of florets go a long way in this Margherita pizza recipe, but you can also try cauliflower flour, a powdery mixture made of the vegetable and other gluten-free flours like tapioca and rice flour. For breakfast, treat your little ones to a stack of cauliflower flour pancakes drizzled with real maple syrup.
Make broccoli’s cousin the star of a meatless meal when you serve cauliflower “steak.” Slice a head of cauliflower from top to stem, then brush the thick, hearty slices with olive oil and garlic before grilling over medium heat. Each steak can be its own entree with sides or can fill a sandwich with extra veggie accouterments.
It’s hard not to fall in love cauliflower when it’s brushed with a layer of garlic and parmesan and roasted to tender, crispy perfection. Finish it off with some fresh chives and picky eaters are no match for the cheesy goodness of this dish. Trust us: even the biggest cauliflower skeptic will dig into this one.
For the times you’re tempted to order takeout, turn to this cauliflower makeover of a Chinese food favorite. General Tso’s Cauliflower combines a sticky-sweet orange sauce with crispy cauliflower florets coated in breading, topped with green onion and nutty toasted-sesame dressing. Layer it all over rice for a complete healthy family meal you’ll be happy you made at home instead.