In past years, there weren’t a lot of creative ways to prepare cauliflower. It was a side vegetable often steamed or boiled until opaque and then drenched in buttery hollandaise sauce. But thanks to diets such as Whole30 and keto home cooks are experimenting with cauliflower and discovering just how versatile of a vegetable it can be. Cauliflower can be grated into a fine rice, ground into flour, baked into bread, transformed into “buffalo bites” that strangely have a similar texture to chicken bites, and, as we can see in this recipe, transformed into a nutty flavored popper.
Pecans are heart-healthy nuts packed with protein and dense in a variety of nutrients. Combine them with cauliflower and you have a snack or side dish that is not only teeming with health benefits, but is flavorful. You can easily eat an entire bowl of these tasty, bite-sized florets and not feel guilty. And best of all, don’t even have to be on a diet to reap the delicious benefits of these cauliflower pecan poppers.
- 3/4 cup raw pecan halves or pieces
- 1/4 cup brown rice flour
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets (about 6 cups)
- 1 Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- 2 In a food processor, pulse pecans into a flour-like consistency (careful not to run into butter).
- 3 In a large bowl, mix together pecan "flour," brown rice flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, paprika, garlic powder, and black pepper. Add water and mix into a batter consistency.
- 4 Add cauliflower floret to bowl and toss to coat until all of batter is used.
- 5 Place on parchment-lined baking sheet and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
- 6 Bake for 15 minutes, remove from oven and flip florets, and bake an additional 10 minutes, until golden.
- 7 Serve as-is or with a side of hot sauce, marinara, or ranch.