Cauliflower in Low Starch Diet

by Elise Wile

A large head of cauliflower on a wooden tabletop.

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Low-starch diets typically eliminate bread, pasta and other grain-based foods, as well as starchy vegetables such as potatoes and corn. Cauliflower is very low in starch and can play a significant part of a diet low in starch and other carbs. It works well with almost any meal and will not add many calories to your daily total.

Basic Nutritional Profile

Cauliflower is a healthy addition to most diets, as it is a fat-free food that is low in calories. A 1 cup serving of cauliflower provides 25 calories, consisting of 5 g of carbs and 2 g of fat. Cauliflower is a fat-free food. Of the carbs provided by cauliflower, half of them can be attributed to fiber, making cauliflower a good choice for a diet that excludes most starches. Cauliflower is rich in vitamins C and K, as well as folate and potassium.

Cooking With Cauliflower

Cauliflower is easy to prepare and can be cooked in a number of ways, making it convenient to include in your low-starch diet. You can roast, bake, steam, fry and boil it -- and can even put it on the grill if you are so inclined. You will want to avoid boiling it in a large amount of water, as the vitamin C will leach out of the cauliflower into the water. To prepare cauliflower quickly and easily, place the florets into a microwaveable glass bowl and add an inch of water. Cover with plastic wrap and heat for 5 to 7 minutes.

Cauliflower as Substitute Starch

Many dieters who are on diets low in starch become frustrated when they're unable to eat potatoes or rice as an accompaniment to a meal. In this situation, the versatile cauliflower steps in to save the day. After you cook cauliflower, you can mash it thoroughly to create a surprisingly realistic version of mashed "potatoes" or chop it finely in a food processor to create "rice." Cauliflower's mild flavor can trick your taste buds into thinking you are eating these high-starch foods.

Other Low-Starch Vegetables

You will find that plenty of other vegetables can be included in a low-starch diet along with cauliflower. Brussels sprouts, kale, cabbage and broccoli, which are also cruciferous vegetables, are also low in starch. Other good additions are green beans, summer squash, greens and colorful peppers. Cook extra low-starch vegetables every evening when you prepare your dinners, and you will have some to snack on the following day, making it easier to stick to your diet.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Elise Wile has been a writer since 2003. Holding a master's degree in curriculum and Instruction, she has written training materials for three school districts. Her expertise includes mentoring, serving at-risk students and corporate training.