Can Cauliflower Really Replace Carbs?

Bread and rice lovers are skeptical. Diet-conscious folks swear by it. But can riced cauliflower really replace carbs?

Bread and rice lovers are skeptical. Diet-conscious folks swear by it. But can riced cauliflower really replace carbs?

I need to lose a bit of weight, and my boatload of carbs is probably the culprit.

I heard all about cauliflower rice, and I figured I’d give it a go. What did I think? Well, first, no matter what you may have heard, it in no way resembles rice in terms of taste. It’s like trying to substitute a sirloin with tofu. Both are good in their own way, but they’re completely different.

Cauliflower rice is good. It has a slight nutty flavor and the texture was spot on. But I could still tell that I was eating cauliflower and not rice. So if you think you’ll trick someone who’s skeptical of the cauliflower crumble craze, I would advise that it probably won’t work. But, if you go in knowing that it’s cauliflower, you’ll like it (and feel super proud that you ate another vegetable).

I then decided to try making a cauliflower pizza crust, or as I like to call it … The Ultimate Challenge. The thing with this faux-pizza crust? You really need to wring out the cooked cauliflower, get it dry, before making it. Once you do that, you’re golden. After I dried it as much as possible, I used it just as I would a bread crust. I also alerted my family ahead of time, so they were more accepting. Everyone loved the pizza. Yay!

It’s easy to see why folks sub cauliflower for carbs. A cup of cauliflower crumbles only has 25 calories and 5 grams of carbohydrates. A cup of brown rice has 218 calories and 46 grams of carbohydrates. It’s a no brainer if you’re counting calories and carbs.

Since first trying them, I’ve made cauliflower rice and pizza into staples in my cooking rotation. But nothing really compares to the comfortable heartiness of rice or bread. If you crave carbs, cauliflower rice is not going to do it all the time. But definitely, i’ll do the trick here and there.

Amy Bowen

Amy had no clue how to cook until she became the food reporter for a daily newspaper in Minnesota. At 25, she even struggled with boxed mac and cheese. These days, Amy is a much better cook, thanks to interviewing cooks and chefs for more than 10 years. She even makes four cheese macaroni and cheese with bacon, no boxed mac in sight. Amy is also on the editorial team at The Cookful.