Cauli craze continues: now with added Oprah
CAULIFLOWER continues its run as the cool kid of the veggie patch and carb alternative du jour. And now it has some serious star power backing with Oprah Winfrey launching a range of cauli-crust pizzas in her Mealtime Stories line in the US, in partnership with Kraft Heinz.
Oprah’s frozen pizzas come in four flavour varieties with one-third of the crust made up of cauliflower – still boasting that “classic, cheesy pizza flavour”, Oprah promises in her press release.
But it’s not just pizza: classic comfort food favourites pasta, rice and mashed potato have all been given the cauliflower treatment with the versatile veg transforming into a lower-calorie, low-carb, gluten-free version that delivers on taste and ups the nutritional value.
“Cauliflower provides a range of nutrients such as fibre, vitamin C, some of the B group vitamins and some minerals,” says Aloysa Hourigan, accredited practising dietitian and nutritionist and spokesperson for Nutrition Australia.
“It’s low in carbohydrate, compared to traditional starchy vegetables, and lower in kilojoules. So using cauliflower in place of traditional sources of carbohydrate at meals can help to lower the kilojoule content.”
Cauliflower products have already made it onto the shelves of Woolworths and Coles, popular pizza chain Crust now features a cauli base on its menu and this week’s news of Oprah’s O, That’s Good! product line adding cauli to its ingredients seems to secure its place as a go-to super food.
So should Aussie growers start prepping for a surge in demand?
So far, figures show there’s not a huge margin between cauliflower’s cost of production and retail price, suggesting it hasn’t yet reached a level of significant profitability. And that same cost concern could apply to consumers, says Aloysa, who adds that cauliflower’s popularity may be restricted to those who favour a typical Western diet.
“There are many cultures which use rice or pasta as a staple food, and [cauliflower] is unlikely to be acceptable as an alternative. It is also more expensive, and for people on low food budgets, it is less likely to be a viable long-term alternative.”
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