Are Cauliflower Products Unhealthy? (3:41)
Over the past few years, cauliflower has become the latest low-carb craze. The mild flavor has allowed this cruciferous veggie to become the perfect healthy swap for items like pizza, tacos, and buffalo wings. This upward trend has caused a whole wave of cauliflower products to hit the shelves. However, some of these pre-packaged products are not as healthy as they seem. Nutritionist JJ Smith and Executive Food Editor for America's Test Kitchen Julia Collin Davison share tips on what to be aware of when shopping for pre-made cauliflower products.
When buying frozen pizza, people have started to turn towards cauliflower crust because its advertised to be low-carb and low-calorie. But, many of the cauliflower crusts sold at the supermarket might actually have a higher calorie and fat content. Traditional pizza crust can have 125 to 150 calories per serving, but studies into cauliflower pizza products show a calorie range of 80 to 170 per serving -- and two to three times more fat! The reason behind this is that store-bought cauliflower crust contains extra ingredients such as flour, sunflower oil, xanthan gum, and way too much cheese which makes it more caloric, higher in fat, and more processed. But you don't have to give up a healthier alternative to pizza. If you're looking to purchase cauliflower crust, check the ingredient label first to make sure the product is actually healthy. Or, you can try making a cauliflower crust at home with minimal ingredients.
Tater Tots and French Fries
Cauliflower tater tots or French fries can be a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables. If you buy these cauliflower alternative products, chances are they are lower in carbs and calories than their potato counterparts. However, some brands have been found to have potatoes in them as a main ingredient and the nutritional values have been almost identical to regular tater tots and French fries. Double check labels before you buy this healthier indulgence to make sure that there are no unnecessary carbs hiding in the product.
Frozen cauliflower gnocchi has taken over the Internet as one of the most popular food trends. Cauliflower gnocchi typically has only 140 calories, whereas traditional gnocchi has around 250 calories without the sauce and cheese. However, it was found that many brands of this frozen pasta alternative actually have double the fat content. While cauliflower is the main ingredient, the additional fat comes from supplemental ingredients like cassava flour, potato starch, sea salt, and extra virgin olive oil. Luckily, these fats are not extremely detrimental to your health so cauliflower gnocchi is safe and one of the better carb-alternative options to buy.
Out of all the pre-made cauliflower products on the shelves, cauliflower rice is the best option. This product is simply cauliflower with nothing else! Riced cauliflower can be used in many ways -- like in risotto -- to swap out a traditional starch for a healthier veggie.