Saturday, January 18, 2014

Cauliflower Crust Pizza


If you've been following along on my Facebook page you'll know that I've been trying to eat healthier lately.  I am usually a fairly healthy eater, but I do have a weakness for carbs (must be my half Italian genes!).  I've been doing really well so far (12.5 pounds lost, wahoo!) but yesterday I had an incredibly strong craving for pizza.  I know that pizza generally isn't the healthiest choice, and while pita pizza's are one of my favourite healthy pizza's,  I wanted something that closer resembled an actual crust.  In came cauliflower crust pizza, which has been intriguing me for awhile! 


I made cauliflower mashed potatoes a few weeks ago and I was pleasantly surprised at how well I enjoyed them!  Sure they didn't taste exactly like mashed potatoes, but it was a pretty close alternative.   Once I made the mashed cauliflower, I could actually visualize how it could be turned into a crust, thus this recipe for a cauliflower pizza crust was born!


I couldn't believe how much like regular crust it actually tasted!  I thought it would be like the mashed cauliflower, similar to mashed potatoes, but not an exact match.  This was pretty darn close to actual crust - in fact, had I of not made it myself, I would have had a hard time believing what it was made out of!  My pizza obsessed husband gave this pizza a two thumbs up - his only compliant?  That I didn't make him a pizza all to himself! 

Ingredients
- 1 medium head of cauliflower
- 1 egg
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup mozzarella
- 1 tbsp flour, or flour substitute (I used almond flour, but anything will work - this ingredient isn't necessary, I just found that it helps bind the "dough"so it's not crumbly. 
- 1/4 tsp each basil, oregano, and pepper
- sea salt to taste

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. 

Wash cauliflower and chop into small pieces - place cauliflower on a baking sheet with about a cup of water and cook for 15-20 minutes (turning once in the middle so they don't brown) until the cauliflower is tender.  You could also just steam them too, I just like the flavour that roasting brings out in veggies. 

Once cauliflower has finished cooking, turn your oven up to 450 degrees to pre-heat for the crust. 
Place caulliflower in a food processor, or blender and pulse until cauliflower is smooth (it will look kind of like mashed potatoes).  If you are using a blender you can add 1/2 cup of water or so to help it blend (you will be straining this in the next step anyway). 

Place the cauliflower in a fine mesh strainer, cheesecloth, nut milk bag, or even a clean dishtowel and wring out as much of the water as you possibly can until you are left with a ball of cauliflower pulp. As you can see, I got about 2 cups of water out of my cauliflower! 


Combine cauliflower pulp with egg, parmesan, mozza, and spices.  Mix well and form dough into a ball. 

Lightly oil a piece of parchment paper and work the "dough" into a crust shape.  Make sure that your crust is an even thickness throughout. 

Bake crust in preheated 450 degree oven for about 10 minutes, until it starts to lightly brown. 


Add pizza sauce, desired toppings, and mozza and bake for 10 minutes until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Photobucket

10 comments:

  1. What a great recipe. I just made it and used Kroger Private Selection Tomato Brushcetta Sauce as a substitute for the pizza sauce since it only has 1 gram of sugar and a little cayenne kick. Totally delicious and since I didn't get two cups of water out of the crust, I just baked the crust 2-3 minutes longer to extract more water. Thanks for sharing this one!

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    Replies
    1. Glad to hear you enjoyed it! Brushcetta would be an excellent substitution!

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  2. I saw you post this on MFP and I was just wondering, when you say 41 calories per slice...was that just for the crust? Or was that with the toppings you added as well? Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. Just for the crust - toppings are such variables, but with the sauce, broccoli, onions, and mozza cheese, it came to around 80 calories per slice.

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    2. 80 calories per slice is pizza heaven in my book. Well done!

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  3. Hi! I would like to make this for my family for dinner sometime soon. I am just curious how many servings you get from your recipe. Thanks!

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    Replies
    1. I cut this pizza into 8 slices, and my husband and I split it. For a family of 4-5 I would recommend making 2 pizzas.

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    2. Hi Jacqueline! I just wanted to give you an update. I made the cauliflower pizza crust and I just want to say OH MY GOODNESS IT WAS AWESOME!!!!!! I will admit it was a pretty lengthy process and by the time I was done I was starving but it was really good. My husband and I split it and he loved it too. He is always brutally honest with these new healthy spin off recipes and he genuinely enjoyed it. We topped ours with pizza sauce, mozzarella, low sodium ham, and pineapple. I will be making this again for sure. I just wish there was an easier way to abstract the water from the blended cauliflower. If you come across an easier way let me know!

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    3. I'm so glad to hear that you enjoyed it so much! :) Thanks for sharing!

      For the straining portion I used a nut milk bag which makes it really easy - I'm talking 2 minutes tops! You can get these at your local health food store, or you can also purchase re-useable produce bags, which are essentially the same thing (I got mine from Greenmunch.ca!). :)

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  4. hey! Just wondering if the parm and mozza cheese is necessary for the crust. Does it help bind the dough better or can it be an option?

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