Food Thoughts: Carbs, Cauliflower and Creativity

Carbs confuse people.  Some fear them, some turn to them and others are just trying to find balance. Me – I am in the balance category. Today I am sharing my thoughts on carbs and my favorite way to enjoy them.

Ever since I can remember, carbs have been a negative food group. I blame the media, social media and the abundance of fad diets that I have seen in the years. I  often hear things like “you will be skinny if you cut carbs” and “carbs make you fat”. Lately, with all the buzz on keto, it gets even more confusing for people! Myself included. There is no way I can limit my carb intake per day to 2 baby carrots. Just not gonna happen!  I am of the opinion that we need quality carbohydrates from good sources to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Let’s get into it.

Not all carbohydrates are created equal. A donut is not going to do the same thing in our body as a sweet potato or cauliflower. There are simple carbohydrates (like, said donut) that break down super fast into blood sugar and give us a burst of energy. That energy turns to a crash shortly after. These are the refined carbohydrates that so many Americans rely on for daily fuel. Then there are “complex carbohydrates” that take more time to break down and digest in our body because of the fiber content (yay fiber). Fiber also helps balance our blood sugar. Think vegetables, fruits and quality whole grains. These are the good types of carbs that support a healthy diet, in my opinion. These are the ones we should turn to most of the time and others in moderation.

Don’t get me wrong, I love pizza, pasta and bread just as much as anyone else, but I try not to make it a staple in my diet. Rather, I enjoy these a few times throughout the month, but not every single day. My focus is on getting as many quality, nutrient dense fruits, and vegetables in my diet as possible. This is my main form of carbohydrates. So often we do not associate carbs with fruits and vegetables, but rather only with the “bad” stuff like cake, donuts, and pizza.

Today, I am going to talk about cauliflower (one of my faves!). It is such a versatile vegetable and there is a lot of opportunity for creativity. And yes, cauliflower has carbs – the good kind that I referenced above.  It is definitely the kale of 2018 and popping up everywhere. I mean ever heard of cauliflower gnocchi? I am obsessed. I have seen creative dishes such as cauliflower tacos, cauliflower steaks, and cauliflower pizza pop up at every trendy restaurant. Believe me, I am all for it! It is one of my favorite foods! The reason cauliflower is so versatile is that it takes the flavor of whatever it is paired with. I love getting Cece Veggie Noodle Co riced cauliflower.  This can be a great base for stir-frys and pasta dishes. Also, I freeze it if I am not using it the day of purchase! It lasts a while. You can also throw it into smoothies for some extra veggies and thickness without all the added sugar of multiple frozen bananas.

Here is my recipe for my savory cauliflower pancakes! When it comes to vegetables, I am all about getting creative. Who would have thought you can make a pancake from veggies!

What you will need:

  • 3 C cauliflower rice (I use Cece’s Veggie Noodle Co)
  • 3 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 TBSP avocado oil
  • ½ C Chickpea Flour (you can get at whole foods or thrive market)
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Shallot (finely chopped)
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder, Garlic Powder, Italian Seasoning and Sea Salt
  • A Food Processor or Blender

What to do:

  • Add cauliflower rice, shallot, and EVOO into a food processor. Mix until well combined.
  • Add in egg and spices and continue to mix.
  • Once a batter is formed, transfer into a separate bowl.
  • In a medium saucepan, heat up avocado oil to cook the pancakes.
  • Using a big spoon or ladle, pour batter into circles on the hot pan.
  • Let cook until the edges turn brown (just like you would a pancake) and flip over. Keep cooking until both sides turn golden brown.

Enjoy with salad, fresh vegetables or even use as the base for a cauliflower pizza. This recipe is super versatile! In this photo, I enjoyed with greens, tomato, avocado, microgreens and my fave vegan caesar dressing.

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Thank you to Cece’s Veggie Noodle Co. for sponsoring this post and recipe. As always, I am honored to work with brands who help people champion a healthy lifestyle and EAT WELL!

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