While I love making rice for my family, every now and again we want something that’s just as filling but a little bit healthier and lighter. Whenever my family and I are in this mood, I make delicious cauliflower rice! Cauliflower is a great substitute for rice because it’s lower in calories, high in fiber, and packed with nutrients and antioxidants. What’s more, cauliflower has a mild taste that pairs up with other flavors beautifully so I can easily add herbs, spices, and other ingredients to jazz up a dish of cauliflower rice.
Bonus time: for those looking for keto rice, cauliflower rice is perfect because it contains very little carbs. A cup of cauliflower rice, which is very filling based on my personal experience, only contains around 3 grams of carbs!
Does cauliflower rice taste like rice?
In a word, no. Cauliflower rice does not taste like rice and if you expect it to have the same bland flavor profile as rice, you will be disappointed.
Cauliflower rice has a nutty, slightly bitter, flavor. That being said, however, the taste of cauliflower rice goes well with a host of different appetizers and main dishes; you just have to adjust your expectations when it comes to eating this rice substitute.
How long does cauliflower rice last?
After cooking, you can store leftover cauliflower rice in the fridge in an airtight container for 2-3 days. However, you can expect a strong, slightly sulfurous smell when you open the container. This does not necessarily mean that the cauliflower rice has gone bad; it’s just the natural sulfur compound in the cauliflower.
Can you freeze riced cauliflower?
If you’re planning to freeze cauliflower rice, do it BEFORE you cook it! Rice the raw cauliflower and place into airtight Ziploc bags. Make sure to remove as much air as possible to prevent oxidation and freezer burn.
Frozen riced cauliflower will stay fresh for 2 months.
Does cauliflower rice reheat well?
Based on experience, cauliflower rice does not reheat well. It becomes somewhat mushy and soft, and it does not have that firm, toothsome texture that you will find in freshly made cauliflower rice.
How do I know if cauliflower rice is bad?
As I’ve already mentioned, cauliflower rice will have a strong smell after just a day or two in the fridge but that does not necessarily mean that it is spoiled. Thus, using smell as an indicator of spoilage can be difficult. Even if the cauliflower rice smells sour or “off”, you might question whether it is actually spoiled.
You can use other indicators such as the color or texture of the cauliflower rice. Spoiled cauliflower rice can be mushy or soft. It could also be slimy, or have mold or black spots growing on the surface.
If the cauliflower rice has been in your fridge for some time and you’re having trouble deciding whether it’s still safe to eat or not, go with your gut. When in doubt, throw it out!
Our CookingChew Cooking Tips:
1. Make your life easier when ricing your cauliflower
When breaking up your cauliflower florets, you want to break them down just enough so that you get nice, substantial “grains”. If you have a food processor at home, you can break the florets up and pulse them to make evenly-sized grains. If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a cheese grater. Simply use the side with the biggest holes and carefully grate the florets.
2. Rice it raw
Put away that boiling pot of water or steamer; you shouldn’t cook cauliflower before ricing it because it causes the cauliflower to become too soft and mushy to work with.
3. A kiss of heat
One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when cooking cauliflower rice is cooking it for too long. Even a minute of overcooking will cause the cauliflower rice to become soggy.
4. Cauliflower rice does not “soak” up flavors
There’s another way that cauliflower rice differs from normal rice: it does not soak up sauces or dressings. In fact, if you put too much, you’ll end up with a pool of sauce or dressing that will drown and overpower your cauliflower rice.
You need just enough spices, dressing, or sauces to coat the “grains”. Add a little bit a time and taste as you go.
5. Remove as much water as possible
Before cooking the cauliflower rice, you want to remove as much excess moisture as possible so that they are firm after cooking. If you don’t remove the water, the heat would release the moisture and cause the cauliflower rice to steam, making it soft and soggy.
Quick and Easy Cauliflower Rice
This delicious and easy recipe for cauliflower rice is a perfect substitute for rice if you’re in the mood for something light and fresh. The grains are firm and have a pleasant texture if you cook them correctly, and when they’re paired with proteins, they can be just as filling and satisfying as normal rice
- 1 medium head cauliflower
- 1 T. extra virgin olive oil.
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Break apart your cauliflower into small florets. Rinse these flowers in cold running water.
- Pulse florets in food processor or grate by hand in rectangular box grater to create rice-sized pieces.
- Place riced cauliflower on paper towels and press lightly with another layer of paper towels to remove excess water. Repeat until you have removed as much excess moisture as possible.
- Heat 1 T. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- When oil is heated, add cauliflower rice and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Reduce heat to low, cover, and allow to cook further for approximately 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and serve immediately.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 64Total Fat: 4gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 3gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 22mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 3g
Don’t Throw Away the Stems!
Cauliflower stems are tough and stringy, but that does not mean that you should throw them away! You can use them in a variety of ways, such as making stocks, soups, purees, or even cauliflower chips!
Can I Use It Like Rice?
Yes and no. You can use cauliflower rice in the same manner as regular rice depending on the recipe. You can use it as a substitute for a tangy cilantro rice or as a base for a delicious rice bowl.
Add some Color!
The mild flavor of cauliflower rice works well with spices, herbs, and vegetables. I love stir-frying the cauliflower with a “rainbow” of different vegetables such as carrots, bell peppers (green, red, and yellow), onions, and garlic. I also like adding some fresh leeks and parsley on top before serving!
Fresh, healthy, and delicious, cauliflower rice is a great rice substitute that you can make quickly and easily.