The path to wellness is not an easy one and with all the delicious fatty foods lurking all around us, staying healthy proves to be even more difficult and tasking.
Trying to stay healthy keeps us on the path of eating several kinds of vegetables that do not exactly taste as good as we would want them to.
I would always speak of the goodness of food inventors as they have been able to incorporate great tastes into healthy foods making the desire to stay healthy all easier.
We all love our fatty foods particularly pizza, but it is so hard to indulge in a slice of pizza without getting worried about the excess calories we are flooding our systems with.
The cauliflower pizza, however, brings taste and health to a whole new level. The dish is gluten-free, carbohydrate-free and is packed with delicious vegetables that are sure to get your taste buds dancing with each slice.
The cauliflower pizza is not a vegetarian meal due to the cheese and eggs incorporated in the dish, but the good news is that you could always adjust it to fit your dietary requirements.
The recipes required for the crust are quite a few and are easily accessible. Usage depends on the size of the crust you plan to make.
This is the main ingredient, if you purchase this in its unprocessed form, always be sure to peel the leaves off and wash thoroughly.
Shredded mozzarella cheese or goat cheese
Use whatever kind of cheese you prefer, whatever suits your taste buds. Cheese helps add flavor to the crust, it also improves its texture.
Eggs are invaluable in making the crust of the cauliflower pizza as they hold the pizza crust together firmly, kind of like glue.
Kosher salt, Italian Seasoning, Garlic (optional), Dried Oregano
These are all seasonings you could use to improve the taste of the crust. You could choose to use all of them or you could just keep it simple with a little bit of salt. Either way, the taste would still be amazing.
Only a few pieces of equipment are required to make this delicacy
i. Microwave safe bowl: This would be used to mix all the ingredients of this recipe
ii. Oven: It’s always recommended to preheat the oven before use for best results
iv. Parchment lined baking sheet: This provides the perfect medium to shape the cauliflower dough before it is put into the oven.
It is always advised that you do not try to replace this with aluminum foil as the dough would stick to it, this would make things very messy.
This video explains how to prepare a cauliflower pizza crust that won’t fall apart.
The preparation of the cauliflower pizza crust is not difficult at all. On your first try, chances are you would get it right (remember to stick to the procedures)
Preheat oven to 400oF
The second step in the preparation of the pizza crust is to process the cauliflower (that is if you did not purchase the already processed cauliflower).
The endpoint of the processing would give you thin slices of cauliflower-shaped like rice grains. To do this, there are two basic processes.
If you are familiar with the process of grating cheese, this should be a piece of cake for you. The manual method involves the use of a grater to cut the cauliflower into thin slices. Depending on the type of the grater you are using, be careful of your knuckles and carry it out gently.
The automatic process is way simpler and is a lot less messy. You just need to chop the cauliflower into small florets after which you would transfer them into the food processor. The end result would be thinly sliced cauliflower pieces.
After processing the cauliflower rice, you would then need to cook them. This can be done in a number of ways.
Microwave Riced Cauliflower
This is the easiest method of cooking cauliflower rice and it gets done in the shortest time possible.
i. Pour the cauliflower rice in a bowl.
ii. Add a sufficient amount of water.
iii. Cover with paper towels or kitchen cloth.
iv. Microwave for three minutes.
v. Season to taste and serve.
Stir-Frying Riced Cauliflower
This is also another method of cooking cauliflower rice but it takes longer than the microwave method.
i. Preheat a frying pan on medium heat for three minutes.
ii. Add olive oil to the pan.
iii. Pour in the cauliflower rice.
iv. This should take about five minutes and for the duration of time it is being heated, you would need to stir it continually.
Roasted Riced Cauliflower
This is the cooking process required for the cauliflower pizza crust, it is also excellent for making other cauliflower rice recipes.
i. Pour a little amount of olive oil on the riced cauliflower and mix. This step requires a bit of tossing but if you are not too confident of your food tossing skills, stir gently.
ii. Spread the cauliflower rice on a baking sheet.
iii. Roast in the oven for ten minutes at 400 degrees F till the rice becomes tender
iv. Halfway through, mix the rice carefully to get an evenly roasted finish
v. Take it out and allow to cool
After roasting the cauliflower rice, you would need to drain the water contained in it. It’s a pretty simple process. Place the riced cauliflower in a cheesecloth or kitchen towel, close it up and squeeze as hard as you possibly can.
Draining the water might seem trivial but it is an essential step as it helps to improve the overall texture of the crust and prevents it from being soggy. Other methods of draining the water from the riced cauliflower include
Transfer the cauliflower to a bowl without any cover, ensure that you do not add water into the bowl. Place the bowl in the microwave and leave for a few minutes.
Leaving the bowl without a cover would ensure that as the riced cauliflower gets heated up, the water evaporates.
For this method, you could use a skillet
i. Place the riced cauliflower in the skillet
ii. Set it on low heat
iii. As the cauliflower gets heated up, stir for a couple of minutes at intervals till you turn off the heat
iv. This should take about fifteen minutes.
Get a clean mixing bowl and pour in the drained cauliflower rice, add eggs, dried oregano, salt, garlic powder, and cheese.
As is the golden rule in the kitchen, take proper measurements of each and taste the mixture after a while to ensure that you do not make the mixture bland or too spicy.
Mix thoroughly, this process is very essential because it determines the overall taste of the crust. You must ensure that all the ingredients are distributed evenly.
Get a new sheet of parchment paper, place the contents of the mixing bowl onto the paper carefully. Form whatever shape you would like the pizza crust to take and make the dough to be evenly thick on all sides.
As you do this, ensure that you try to raise the edges so that they stick out in a crust-like form.
Once you are through with shaping the crust, place in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes or till whenever it becomes firm and you see the characteristic golden-brown coloration.
Toppings on pizzas are like sprinkles on ice cream, they make the taste a whole lot better. The most appealing thing about toppings is that you can go as crazy as you want to with them.
You do not always have to follow a particular set of rules or guidelines on the types of toppings to use. You could make it complex or you could keep it simple, your choice!
Here are a few you might want to try:
Nothing adds a dash of red like a round plump tomato. They are perfect for creating a new taste for the cauliflower pizza.
Adding these tomatoes with sprinkles of cheese would make for the most mouthwatering cauliflower pizza.
Everything tastes better with chicken and your cauliflower pizza would be no different with an addition of grilled chicken alongside sliced zucchini and red pepper flakes.
Sausage And Peppers
You might have thought that tomato sauce and cheese were the perfect combos for the cauliflower pizza but add sliced pepper and sausages and let your taste buds tingle with true excitement.
Asparagus And Onions
Chopped asparagus and onions add a dash of color to the pizza, they go well with melted cheese and are simply a delight.
Mushrooms and Bell Peppers
Sliced baby Bella mushrooms, onions, broccoli florets, and red bell peppers go well with any pizza sauce and are just what you would need to bring out the unique flavor of the cauliflower pizza.
Chicken and Spinaches
A drizzle of olive oil is basically all you need to start off this topping followed with pieces of chicken breasts and baby spinach.
Three Cheese Roasted Grapes
Roasted grapes and three different kinds of melted cheese blend excellently with the cauliflower pizza crust making it even more delicious.
This topping combines freshly cut pear with thyme and caramelized onions.
With toppings like these, who needs regular basic pizza?
After adding the toppings, you would have to place the pizza back into the oven. Be careful to not put too many toppings on the crust. Heat for 5 -10 minutes in the oven.
If you would like to make the cauliflower pizza a little bit more vegetarian-friendly. You could try out some of these tricks
i. Replace eggs with a teaspoon of flaxseed, mix with water and leave for up to ten minutes to allow it thicken before you add it to the main dough.
ii. Cheese could be replaced with bean flour
iii. Goat cheese and parmesan can be replaced with chickpea flour.
iv. A tablespoon of nutritional yeast would give you the flavor of cheese without actually adding any cheese.
It is important to note that the processes for making the normal cauliflower pizza and the vegan cauliflower pizza are basically the same with a few exceptions.
The cauliflower pizza isn’t like the traditional pizza, it’s a healthier version and so when it comes to toppings, less is more.
Always opt for toppings low in calories, cheese should be used in small portions, sliced vegetables, and fresh herbs are more convenient and are recommended as toppings for the cauliflower pizza.
Other flavors of the cauliflower pizza include
Thai Peanut Cauliflower
i. 1 head of cauliflower
ii. ¾ cup Mozzarella cheese
iii. 1 teaspoon minced ginger
iv. ½ teaspoon of sea salt
v. Pepper (sliced)
vi. ½ teaspoon minced garlic
vii. 1 egg white
viii. Green onions
ix. Sesame seeds
x. Peanut butter (natural)
xi. 1 teaspoon peanut oil
xii. 2 teaspoon lime juice
xiii. 1 teaspoon honey
xiv. Rice vinegar
i. Preheat oven to about 400 degrees F
ii. Process the cauliflower into rice using either the manual or automatic method
iii. Place the riced cauliflower into a bowl and microwave for five minutes. After this, you would need to turn the riced cauliflower and then heat up again for another five minutes.
iv. Allow cooling
v. Place in a cheesecloth or kitchen towel, wrap up and drain the water squeezing as hard as you can
vi. Put the drained riced cauliflower back into the bowl, add cheese, garlic, pepper, and salt. After stirring, add the egg white and stir again.
vii. Place the dough on parchment paper and carefully massage to form the desired shape
viii. Place in the oven for about thirty minutes
ix. Following this, cheese is sprinkled on the crust and it is then put back in the oven for five minutes to allow the cheese properly melt
x. Using a bowl, mix all the ingredients required for the sauce
xi. Smear the sauce on the crust followed by the addition of pepper, cilantro and green onions and cheese
xii. Place on the grill to allow the cheese melt ( Grilling makes the crust more firm and prevents it from getting soggy)
xiii. Allow cooling
xiv. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.
Herbed cauliflower pizza crust.
i. 1 head cauliflower
ii. 1/2 cup of water
iii. 5 tablespoons full flax seed
iv. 2/3 cup of almond meal
v. 1/2 teaspoon of salt
vi. 1 tablespoon pepper.
i. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F
ii. Grind the flaxseed and mix with water. Allow to settle for about 20 minutes, you could keep this in the refrigerator.
iii. Cook the riced cauliflower till it is as tender as desired. Using a cheesecloth or kitchen towel, drain the water from the riced cauliflower. Moisture would make the crust soggy
iv. Pour the drained riced cauliflower into a bowl. If you prefer a thinner texture, you could use a potato masher or you could blend it till you get the desired texture.
v. To the bowl of riced cauliflower, add the flax mixture, pepper, almond meal, and salt. Mix thoroughly and taste to ensure that all the ingredients mixed properly.
vi. Roll out the dough on a parchment paper and place it in an oven for about 20 minutes or till it turns golden brown and firm
vii. Add favorite toppings and heat in the oven for an additional 10 minutes.
viii. Allow to cool and serve.
Vegan Cauliflower Pizza
i. 1 large head of cauliflower
ii. 1/2 flax seeds
iii. 1 cup of water
iv. 1/4 tablespoon of salt
v. 2 tablespoons of vegetarian parmesan cheese
vi. 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
vii. 1 tablespoon dried oregano
viii. 1 tablespoon dried basil
ix. Minced garlic
x. 1 tablespoon corn starch.
- Preheat oven to 375oF
- Mix the flaxseed and water thoroughly. Place in a refrigerator for about 20 minutes
- Wash the cauliflower and make the cauliflower rice by either using the automatic or manual method.
- Steam the riced cauliflower for about five minutes with water
- After five minutes, allow cooling
- Using a kitchen cloth, wrap up and squeeze out water from the riced cauliflower
- To a bowl, add the drained riced cauliflower, minced garlic, flax mixture, sea salt and oregano, parmesan cheese and dried basil.
- Mix thoroughly. After mixing, taste to determine if the flavor is up to par
- Get the baking pan lined with a parchment paper, a dash of cornflour should be sprayed first to prevent the dough from sticking to the parchment paper.
- Spread dough on the parchment paper, create the desired shape and ensure that there is an even thickness all around. Stick the edges out to form a crust.
- Bake in preheated oven for about 30-45 minutes. Turn the crust. This is easily done by placing another parchment paper unto the other side, gently turn it over and place it back into the oven. Don’t forget to wear your oven gloves for this process.
- After flipping, place back into the oven then allow it to bake for another 12 minutes
- Remove from the oven and allow it to cool
- Place desired toppings and place in the oven once again for about 10 minutes, do not place too many toppings or the pizza might get soggy.
Why Cauliflower Pizza?
- It is absolutely delicious and has a refined taste
- The cauliflower pizza crust recipe can easily be tweaked or adjusted to suit your dietary needs. You could easily make it more vegan-friendly and gluten-free by replacing some of the ingredients. Rest assured, the cauliflower crust would still retain its great taste.
- Compared to the traditional pizza, the cauliflower pizza crust is low in carbohydrates which makes it a lot healthier. When you eat the cauliflower pizza, you do not feel as bloated as you would with the regular pizza.
- The cauliflower pizza crust is keto-friendly and it is the perfect dish equipped with the right amount of nutrients to fuel your body. It is just what you need to kick start your day
- For people with digestive tract problems, cauliflower pizza is especially useful in reducing inflammation. The cauliflower is high in fiber and antioxidants and helps keep your digestive system in order.
- The cauliflower vegetable is an excellent liver detoxifier
- The cauliflower pizza crust is rich in vitamins K and C which helps boost the immune system and it keeps the bone healthy and strong.
- If you have been having trouble convincing your kids to eat more vegetables, the cauliflower pizza is the perfect way to get your kids to eat all the vegetables they need. You can barely taste the cauliflower after baking.
Apart from its health benefits, there are still a lot of reasons why you should make the cauliflower pizza crust
- The ingredients are readily accessible, the cauliflower pizza, unlike other regular pizza, uses very few ingredients, ingredients that we can easily find. You would probably have most of them right there in your home.
- It requires a short preparation time and you could even shorten the process. The most tasking step is the processing of the cauliflower and you can skip the whole process by purchasing already processed cauliflower rice. The taste is basically the same and you do not need to cut it or wash it anymore, its already processed.
The Cauliflower Pizza Crust
If you can resist the temptation of eating the whole pizza all at once, you would need to store it properly. The cauliflower pizza can last for a week in the fridge and about two whole months in the freezer. You could store this in two ways- with or without the toppings
i. Place in a reusable freezer plastic bag
ii. Seal carefully
iii. Place them flat in the freezer, with the toppings facing upward in the fridge or freezer
i. Place in a reusable freezer plastic bag or a rectangular plastic plate
ii. Seal and cover carefully
iii. Place the cauliflower crust flat in the fridge or freezer
When you decide to dig in once again, if it was stored in the fridge, you simply have to heat it up in the microwave or the oven for a few minutes.
If it was stored in the freezer, you would have to thaw it out for a bit before heating up the microwave.
You can store the cauliflower in a well-regulated refrigerator for up to a week and it would still be very fresh.
How To Store Cauliflower
i. Peel the leaves
ii. Wash the cauliflower thoroughly
iii. Cut into small florets
iv. Place in a small plastic bag
v. Keep it in the refrigerator.
The Cauliflower Rice
You can make the cauliflower rice several days ahead of time, you just need to know how to store it properly to ensure that it is still fresh when you need it for the pizza crust. You can store this in its cooked or raw form.
Storing the cauliflower in its cooked form would allow it last for approximately two days:-
i. Place the rice in a reusable plastic bag or plastic plate
ii. Store in the refrigerator
In its raw form, the riced cauliflower can last for up to four days in the fridge and for as long as six months in the freezer
i. Place in freezer plastic bags or plastic plates
ii. Seal or cover carefully
iii. Place them flat in the freezer.
For both the cooked and raw form, if you would like to keep them as separate as possible without them clumping on each other:-
i. Place the cauliflower rice on a baking pan lined with a piece of parchment paper and spread them as much as you possibly can
ii. Place flat in the freezer
iii. Once frozen, you would then need to transfer to a reusable freezer plastic bag.
Question Often Asked
What kind of toppings are to be used for the cauliflower pizza?
When it comes to toppings, you can go all out or you could keep it simple. It all depends on your preference. However, you should always keep in mind that the aim of the cauliflower pizza is to create a mix of healthy food and great taste.
You are advised to put toppings that are gluten-free and low in carbohydrates. The tomato basil, pear, vegan pepperoni are examples of toppings that you could use for the cauliflower pizza crust.
Is the cauliflower pizza healthier than regular pizza?
Yes, it is. A slice of regular pizza contains about 320 calories and 30g of carbohydrates while the cauliflower pizza contains 155 calories and 18 grams of carbohydrates. The cauliflower is also packed with healthy vegetables that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Is cheese a must in making the cauliflower pizza crust?
For strict vegetarians who do not eat cheese, the cauliflower pizza crust recipe can be tweaked by replacing the cheese with nutritional yeast. Nutritional yeast brings out the flavor of cheese and so it would taste like there is actual cheese in the crust.
How do you prevent the cauliflower crust from being soggy?
The crust gets soggy as a result of moisture retained in the riced cauliflower. To prevent this, you would need to drain the water from the riced cauliflower.
How do you make the cauliflower pizza firmer and crispier?
The key to a firm cauliflower pizza crust is in the dough while trying to shape the dough you must ensure that there is an even thickness all around. Do not flatten the dough too much, always try to make it a bit thick.
If the dough is flattened excessively, the resulting crust would be weak and lacking in texture. To make for a crispier cauliflower pizza, always ensure that you pre-bake the crust before adding the toppings after which you would have to bake again in the oven.
Do you need to use all the seasoning?
No, you do not. Some ingredients are optional (the garlic, for example, is optional, you do not have to use it if you don’t want to)
Why does my cauliflower pizza taste bland?
There are a couple of reasons why your cauliflower pizza crust would taste bland but the two main reasons are:-
i. You probably did not use enough ingredients which is why it’s advised that as you mix the dough, you would need to taste to ascertain if the flavor is just right for you.
ii. The second reason lies in the mixing as well. Mixing the dough should not just be done quickly, you would need to take some time and adequate effort to ensure that you mix the dough well. Using your hands is always the best option for this part as it allows you to penetrate the dough thoroughly with the ingredients.
When using frozen riced cauliflower in making the pizza crust, would the taste be the same with a fresh batch?
Yes, just as long as the cauliflower rice was frozen properly, the taste would be equally great.
Can pre-riced cauliflower be used in making the cauliflower pizza crust?
Yes, it can be used. The pre-riced cauliflower would not need to be cooked anymore but you would still need to drain its water.
Why do we need to place the bare crust in the oven to heat before adding toppings?
The crust and the toppings require two different durations to heat and so if we heat them together in the oven, the crust might not get done and even if it gets firm enough, the toppings might be overcooked. Also, the process makes the pizza all the more crispy.
The cauliflower pizza crust is a truly natural delight with very short procedures to follow. If you have been having trouble keeping up with your healthy food regimen, try out the cauliflower pizza. It can be eaten as any meal of the day.
A slice of the cauliflower pizza crust is just what you need to lift your spirits. What are you waiting for? Head down to the kitchen and get cooking!