If you are looking for a cauliflower rice recipe with simple ingredients and a big flavor, this is it. Plus, it happens to be vegan, paleo, and keto! It’s a great side for anyone monitoring how carbs and dairy react with their body. This creamy dish is surprisingly filling, and pairs well with just about any protein.
Health Benefits of Cauliflower
You may have heard that brightly colored foods contain more vitamins and minerals, but don’t be fooled: cauliflower ranks with the best of ’em for nutrition. With a high fiber content and low carb count, this low-glycemic food is a great addition to any diet. Whether you are on a plant-based food plan or an omnivorous one, a full serving of cauliflower will likely make your body happy. Aside from fiber, a serving of cauliflower contains:
- Vitamin C. One cup of cauliflower contains 77% of your vitamin C intake for the day.
- Vitamin K. In fact, some blood-thinning medications advise not to eat too much cauliflower too quickly, as its high vitamin K content may affect the medicine!
- Vitamin B6 and folate
- Phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium
- Antioxidants. One of these, indole-3-carbinole, has been shown to reduce the likelihood of breast and reproductive cancers in men and women.
In short, eating these compounds has medical associations with improved memory, digestion, blood circulation, and bone strength. Sounds pretty good, right?
Is Coconut Milk Good For You?
If you’ve ever looked at the back of a can of coconut milk, you’ve probably noticed that it is a high calorie food. Even the “lite” coconut milk has about the same caloric value as an equivalent amount of whole milk. Conversely, 1 cup of coconut cream (a common ingredient in many curry dishes and soups) contains a whopping 552 calories, as well as 57 grams of fat.
You may be thinking, “That’s a lot of fat!”
If you are, you’re correct–roughly 93% of coconut milk’s calories come from fat. But the fat present in coconut milk is primarily composed of saturated fats known as medium-chain triglycerides (or MCTs). Generally, these fats are known to decrease appetite and increase energy, and may even improve your cholesterol levels!
Coconut milk and coconut cream also contain several vital nutrients, including copper, potassium, selenium, iron, folate, manganese, and magnesium.
To boot, coconut-based product contains lauric acid, which fights viruses and bacteria. This is why some people partake in coconut oil pulling to boost their oral hygiene.
Coconut oil has also been shown to reduce swelling and inflammation in several studies.
So yes: full fat coconut milk is rich in saturated fats. Luxuriate in it! With all the associated health benefits, adding coconut cream to your cauliflower rice will take your vegetable game to the next level.
Best Way to Cook Cauliflower
According to research presented by CNN, the best way to prepare vegetables is to steam them. This provides the highest level of nutrient retention in the vegetable, as opposed to boiling, which causes cauliflower to lose up to 50% of its antioxidants.
In short, the less water you use in your vegetable preparation, the more likely your veggies are to retain their nutrients.
Creamy Coconut Cauliflower Rice
First, chop the shallot, peel and chop the ginger, and zest and juice the lime.
Blitz the cauliflower in a food processor until it resembles rice.
Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet and sautee shallot and ginger for several minutes. Add riced cauliflower and sautee several more minutes. Add lime juice, zest, red pepper flakes, salt, and coconut milk. Cook until the coconut milk has reduced and the mixture is homogenous. Add cilantro as a garnish. Keeps up to 3 days in the fridge.
Creamy Coconut Cauliflower Rice (Vegan, Keto)
- food processor
- 2 Tbs coconut oil
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 inch piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 head cauliflower, "riced" in food processor
- 1 can full-fat coconut milk
- 1 large lime, zested and juiced
- 1 tsp fish sauce, optional
- salt, to taste
- cilantro, for garnish
- Cut and core the cauliflower into individual florets. Run the florets through the shredding blade of a food processor until the cauliflower resembles rice. Work in batches to avoid overloading the food processor.
- Heat the coconut oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the minced shallot, ginger, garlic, and red pepper flakes and sautee until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
- Add the cauliflower and saute until the cauliflower releases steam, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
- Add coconut milk and cook, stirring frequently, until the coconut milk has reduced and the mixture is homogenous.
- Remove from heat and stir in lime zest and juice. Season with salt.
- Garnish with cilantro and serve immediately. Keeps up to 3 days in the fridge.