How to Make Cauliflower Rice – The Best Keto Rice Substitute
Rice is quick, easy and certainly in a lot of recipes. When you follow the keto diet though, rice is a big no-no. With over 20 carbs in just half a cup, it would be difficult to eat any amount of rice and still stay in ketosis. That's where cauliflower rice comes in as great keto rice substitute.
An entire cup of cauliflower rice has just THREE net carbs. So much better than real rice on the carb count! And, it's just about the easiest keto substitute for rice you can make.
You can use cauliflower rice in a variety of dishes. You can substitute it anywhere you would normally use rice or potatoes. Cauliflower rice makes traditional rice dishes keto friendly.
Great uses of riced cauliflower are in stir fry, sushi, mashed as a potato substitute, shredded as a potato substitute like in our Keto Latke “Potato” Pancake, with cheese as a keto macaroni substitute, in chicken soup, as a taco topping, as a rice substitute in casseroles, as a simple side dish, or as a keto substitute for orzo like in this Copycat Keto Whole Foods Greek Orzo Salad recipe.
Some would argue cauliflower is one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. Cruciferous vegetables have glucosinolates, which are known to have benefit to cardiovascular, immune, digestive and inflammatory processes.
It also has antioxidants like vitamin C (blood pressure, heart disease, inflammation), beta-carotene (immune and eye health), quercetin (anti-inflammatory), rutin (cholesterol), and kaempferol (cardiovascular and cancer).
So by now, you might be wondering how to rice cauliflower. There are actually a few easy ways to do it at home. I guarantee you already at least have one of the tools needed to rice cauliflower in your kitchen!
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How to Make Cauliflower Rice
There are a few ways to make cauliflower rice at home. Making iced cauliflower requires simple kitchen tools.
By far the easiest method to make cauliflower rice is to use a food processor. It takes longer to clean up the food processor and put it away than it does to make the rice!
I resisted getting a food processor for years, but now that I have one I'm so happy to have it. I asked for the 14 Cup Cuisinart model as a wedding present and I love it.
You'll find many uses for it once you have it. If you think you'll only use it for cauliflower rice and want something less expensive, this Cuisinart mini is rated over four stars on Amazon with over 3,600 reviews and goes for around $39.00.
It would easily pay for itself in several uses given how much it costs to buy premade cauliflower rice at the store. Plus you could use it to chop up the parsley and almonds for a simple Mediterranean stir fry after you rice the cauliflower.
To make cauliflower rice in the food processor, start by chopping your cauliflower into large hunks. Working in smaller batches provides the best consistency. You can either put the cauliflower hunks into the bowl and pulse to rice, or you can use the shred attachment for your food processor. Each produces a slightly different texture. You can decide which method works best depending on the recipe you plan to make.
After some further experimentation while making the video, I discovered that the most consistent results came from breaking the cauliflower into small florets before pulsing in the food processor. You can see that method towards the end of the video below.
Riced cauliflower using a cheese grater works just fine and creates a good consistency, but it does take some elbow grease.
This method is best when you need just a cup or two of cauliflower rice. If you include the cleanup time, it might be equivalent to making it in a food processor, but it definitely takes more effort.
Begin the same way as above, by cutting your cauliflower into large chunks. Then use the medium side of your cheese grater to make the rice. You may want to experiment with which side of the cheese grater produces the texture you like. Keep grating until your arm gets tired or until you have enough cauliflower rice for your recipe.
HowRice Cauliflower With a Knife
Although part of the reason I resisted a food processor for so long is because I find chopping therapeutic, this is my least favorite method for making cauliflower rice. I still chop everything else on a cutting board with my beloved 10″ Wusthof Chef's Knife. I adore that knife and have definitely gotten my money's worth out of it for over 2o years.
However. Chopping cauliflower rice takes a while. Longer than the grater I think, but less effort. If you can look at chopping the keto rice substitute as a moving meditation it's not as bad as you might initially think. Plus you have the added bonus of really controlling the consistency of the rice.
Buying Riced Cauliflower
Purchasing the riced cauliflower is definitely the easiest option, but also the most expensive. I've also found that pre-diced cauliflower varies in quality. Even when the expiration date is far in the future, the cauliflower often has a somewhat slimy consistency and much more of a smell than when it's in head form.
The most consistent form I've found is the frozen variety, but it takes time to thaw if you're using it in something where you want it raw. It also cooks differently since there tends to be more moisture from it being frozen.
So now that you have it, how do you use it? A lot of people hesitate to make anything without an exact recipe, but here are a few ideas for quick and simple cauliflower rice dishes.
- Start with your favorite keto fat. Whether it's bacon grease, olive oil, butter, coconut oil or something else, heat it over medium in a skillet.
- Think about your flavor profile…do you want Mediterranean, Italian, American, Asian, etc. Add ingredients that match that. For example, Mediterranean cauliflower rice could include the parsley and almonds mentioned above, use olive oil as your fat, and maybe add some chopped olives and sundried tomatoes as well.
- Pick a protein. Personally, for the Mediterranean example listed above, I would pick chicken or salmon. But do whatever sounds good to you!
- Eat and enjoy. Made up recipes usually turn out pretty well if you keep the flavor profile in mind. As long as you don't severely burn it you should be fine. Don't be afraid to experiment.
Have you riced your own cauliflower? What's your favorite method? Sick of cauliflower on your keto diet? Make sure you try some Simple Bacon Brussels Sprouts. Kale Walnut Salad also makes a great side!