Dieting Delicious, Cheat Day: Cauliflower Crust Pizza, A Low Carb Alternative
Who knew it was possible to make pizza healthy. Cauliflower has proven to be a very versatile food that can be used as a substitute for carb loaded foods like rice, potatoes, and bread products. Now, don't be naive and expect the texture and the taste to be that of bread. What you can expect is a thin crust pizza that does not have to be eaten with a fork. It has a hint of sweetness and takes on the flavoring of the spices used while making the cauliflower dough. It is unexpectedly filling, which makes it impossible to overindulge.
Do not ignore these tips
I stumbled across many cauliflower crust pizza recipes. What I am sharing is a combination of what I have found works the best for me.
- I have tried cooking the pizza crust in both a toaster oven and regular oven and would recommend the regular oven as it seems to cook faster.
- A pizza stone is also extremely helpful in making the crust crispy.
- Parchment paper is an absolute must! No exceptions!
- A cheesecloth is also a must. Squeeze as hard and as much of the water from the ground and steamed cauliflower as you can. When you think you have squeezed enough. Squeeze more. The more water that is removed, the more crispy your pizza crust
- Don't be afraid to really make the crust thin when you are spreading it on the parchment paper. The thinner it is the more crispy it will be. Trial and error! You will find the perfect thickness with practice!
- Roughly 1/4-1/2 a cup pizza sauce, (I use Trader Joe's Pizza Sauce)
- 1/2 cup (for pizza topping) Desired Cheese Blend ( I use a raw cheese Parmesan and Asiago raw cheese)
- 1/3 cup and 2 tablespoons (for the crust) Desired Cheese Blend (I use a raw cheese Parmesan and Asiago raw cheese)
- 1 organic pasture raised chicken egg
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- pepper to taste
- 1 fresh head of cauliflower
- any desired pizza toppings (I used turkey pepperoni, onion and green pepper)
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees with the baking stone in the oven.
- Begin preparing the pizza dough. Slice the cauliflower head in half. This will make it easy to discard the unusable portions. Cut the cauliflower into large portions and blend in food processor until minced.
- Use a steamer to steam the cauliflower until cooked. This can also be done in a pan or in the microwave (4-5 minutes)
- Remove the cauliflower and place in a bowl in the fridge to cool. This will take roughly 10-15 minutes. Slice your pizza ingredient toppings during this time and set aside.
- Once the cauliflower has cooled, place it in a cheesecloth and squeeze out ALL the water. The cauliflower will drastically reduce in size.
- Place the cauliflower back into the bowl. Add the eggs, cheese for the crust, basil, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Stir until well combined. It is sometimes easier to mix it by hand. The mixture is now a dough and ready to be formed into the crust.
- place the dough mixture onto the parchment paper and spread into desired shape. Be sure to press down firmly with your hands from the interior of the dough to the outside edges so the thickness is consistent throughout. Make sure the crust is very thin so it becomes crispy. Smooth the rough edges so that overly thin portions of dough do not burn unnecessarily.
- Place in the oven on top of the pizza tray (parchment paper included). Bake for roughly 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Flip the pizza over by placing a new piece of parchment paper on top of the the crust (making a sandwich of parchment paper with the pizza crust in the middle). Flip it over, and remove the old parchment paper from the top. Bake for 5 more minutes or until brown. The crust is now crispy.
- Remove from the oven and add pizza sauce, desired toppings and cheese. Place back into the oven until toppings have cooked through and cheese is melted. Roughly 7-10 minutes.
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