We sure do love our carbs here at The Beet; they’ll always be our favorite part of every meal! As summer kicks in, and we crave fresher and lighter foods, ditching the extra carbs is simpler than you might think.

Cue in on our favorite low-carb veggie, Cauliflower, who has seen the limelight as a favorite for a million reasons. Huge in the keto world and favored by vegetarians and vegans alike, cauliflower absorbs whatever spices you season it with easily, which may be why it can mimic different animal proteins so shockingly well.

Cauliflower's Meteoric Rise to Popularity

You've probably already mastered the cauliflower pizza crust craze of recent years, which still stands as a reigning veggie for kitchen creatives. Pinterest and blogs are still full of fun takes on classic recipes with the addition of the humble cauliflower. A true powerhouse, cauliflower is full of B-vitamins, cancer-fighting antioxidants and phytonutrients. The cruciferous vegetable also contains fiber to aid in weight loss and digestion, and even choline, essential for learning and memory. The best part is that since it doesn’t have such a strong taste of its own, it takes on every other flavor of that dish, so nothing will be missed, and it might not even be detected.

From reinventing pizza to stir-fried rice, there is nothing that a little cauliflower can’t improve. Some of our new favorites include little ways to get the same satisfying feeling as carbs but without the extra additives. Within seconds, it can thicken creamy pasta sauces or become the “meat” in your favorite lunch wrap. So, grab that cauliflower while out shopping, and turn the humble veggie into not-so-obviously healthy food.

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Cauliflower for Breakfast

For a creamy, dreamy start to your day, add frozen cauliflower florets to your morning smoothie. Not only does it add bulk and creaminess, but also it has zero taste, so add in your usual toppings and you’ll be satisfied well into lunchtime. Add to strawberry, almond milk and hemp seed smoothie for a luscious strawberry shortcake smoothie. Or turn it into a dessert “milkshake” with some cocoa, peanut butter and coconut milk, yum…

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Cauliflower for Lunch

For a quick lunch, wrap up some baked or flavored florets (we love Buffalo Wings style with hot sauce) into a lettuce or grain wrap. It’s a nice cleaner change to wheat-based meat alternatives. Not only is it satisfying, it packs nicely as a to-go lunch for work, the beach, or you know, a drive around the block.

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Cauliflower for Snacks

If you’re craving fresh crunch, cauliflower makes for a super clean, delicious raw salad. For a simple and equally impressive dish, mandolin or slice the cauliflower super thin and toss with green olives, mint, and a lemony dressing. Or for a refreshing side dish to falafel, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor and toss with chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, parsley, and lemon juice for a grain-free Tabbouleh salad.

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Cauliflower for Dinner

For a quick dinner, pasta is always a winner. Like we said, we love our carbs! While adding vegetables are not a new idea, sometimes a change in how you make something makes all of the difference. This time it’s to make a creamy alfredo-style sauce that takes no extra time as the cauliflower gets cooked in the same pot as the pasta. Just purée with sautéed onions, garlic, nutritional yeast and pasta water. From there the opportunities of add-ins are endless.

Easy enough to add to all your usual recipes, cauliflower is a simple add in to boost up health benefits and ditch the extra carbs. Which other vegetable can be considered a jack-of-all-trades, starring in breakfast, lunch and dinner?