Cut calories with cauliflower

Published: Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013 11:35 a.m. CDT

If your resolution involves enjoying a happier, healthier new year, consider the benefits of adding fiber-filled fruits and vegetables, like cauliflower, to your meals and snacks. Cauliflower is a nutritional powerhouse that contains 8 grams of fiber in every 100 calories. Getting creative with cauliflower is easy with the variety of colors and serving suggestions for this versatile vegetable.

Including fiber-rich foods is important for healthy weight maintenance. Fiber helps keep us feeling full and satisfied longer, curbing our appetite and preventing mindless munching. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that Americans consume 25-35 grams of fiber daily as part of a healthy diet. Fresh fruits and vegetables are low-calorie sources of dietary fiber. To promote healthy weight, follow the healthy plate method and fill half your plate with non-starchy vegetables, like cauliflower.

Low in calories but rich in nutrients, cauliflower is an excellent source of vitamin C, vitamin K and folate, and is a good source of potassium, B vitamins, magnesium and fiber. This winter vegetable comes in a variety of colors, making it easy to create colorful and healthful meals and snacks.

Explore the power of cauliflower with these easy serving suggestions:

• Raw florets with non-fat Greek yogurt dip for a healthful  snack

• Puree cooked cauliflower, add your favorite herbs and spices and serve as soup

• Sauté in a low-sodium broth

• Steam and mash as an alternative to mashed potatoes

• Include in side dishes, salads, stews and main dishes

Balsamic and Parmesan

Roasted Cauliflower

Serves 4 (about 1 cup each)

8 cups (1-inch thick) slices cauliflower florets (about 1 large head; see Tip)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground pepper to taste

2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1⁄2 cup finely shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 450°F.

2. Toss cauliflower, oil, marjoram, salt and pepper in a large bowl. Spread on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until starting to soften and brown on the bottom, about 15 to 20 minutes.

3. Toss the cauliflower with vinegar and sprinkle with cheese. Return to the oven and roast until the cheese is melted and any moisture has evaporated, about 5 to 10 minutes more.

Per serving: 149 calories; 10 g fat (3 g sat, 6 g mono); 7 mg cholesterol; 10 g carbohydrate; 0 g added sugars; 7 g protein; 4 g fiber; 364 mg sodium; 490 mg potassium. Nutrition bonus: Vitamin C (120 percent daily value), Folate (22 percent dv), Calcium (15 percent dv). Carbohydrate Servings: 1⁄2

Source: Adapted from Eating Well, Inc.

This information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.

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