Step aside kale, because cauliflower is taking over the veggie bin. This seemingly plain vegetable from the cabbage family is packed with antioxidants, vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, and fiber—no wonder researchers laud its cardiovascular and cancer-fighting benefits. It’s the ideal alternative to high-carb starchy foods that tend to spike blood sugar levels, which can lead to hypoglycemia (even if you don’t have diabetes), impact your immune response, and damage blood vessels. Cauliflower is also high in choline, a mineral that helps you think and balances mood. Plus, when prepared a certain way, it is a low-carb substitute for mashed potatoes. “Half a cup of cauliflower mash has 2.5 grams of carbs, versus half a cup of mashed potatoes at 20 grams of carbs,” says Dee Harris, a certified functional medicine practitioner and owner of D-Signed Nutrition in Bonita Springs. This Thanksgiving, swap the spuds for a healthier side dish—like this one Harris sampled at Canyon Ranch Wellness Resorts—and see if anyone notices the difference.
1 lb. chopped cauliflower
1 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
In a medium saucepan, combine 1 quart of water and cauliflower. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until cauliflower is tender. Turn off heat and drain cauliflower. Add cauliflower back into a warm saucepan and let sit for 1 to 2 minutes. Place cauliflower into mixing bowl and add remaining ingredients. Beat with an electric mixer until fluffy.