Yes, it turns out pizza can be healthy. Cauliflower pizza crust is a healthy alternative to regular pizza dough that actually tastes delicious too. Cauliflower is a great source of fibre, vitamins C and K, and other nutrients. It’s also rich in antioxidants. But cauliflower pizza crust is low in carbs, gluten-free, and can easily be made vegan too.
How to make cauliflower pizza crust
This cauliflower pizza crust recipe comes from Detoxinista. It’s vegetarian, but can be made entirely vegan too. Although the ingredients are slightly different, the steps are exactly the same.
When topping your pizza, go light on the sauce, cheese and any other wet toppings. The last thing you want is the crust to fall apart because it’s absorbed too much liquid. (Scroll down for cauliflower pizza topping ideas, as well as tips on using frozen cauliflower and freezing your crusts).
Fill a large pot with an inch of water and place over a medium heat. Place the cauliflower in a steamer basket and put it in the pot. Cover the pot and bring the water to boil. Remove the cauliflower once it’s tender enough to pierce with a fork or skewer.
Rice the cauliflower in a blender. If your blender is quite small, you may have to do this in batches to avoid crowding it.
Let the cauliflower rice cool slightly before wrapping it in a clean dishtowel or cheesecloth. Squeeze as much of the excess moisture out as you can.
Thoroughly mix the cauliflower rice with all the other ingredients in a large bowl. Don’t worry if it doesn’t feel like pizza dough as you know it. It’s not supposed to.
Line a baking tray with baking paper and press the dough out onto it. Spread it into a round shape with a spatula. Aim for a thickness of about half an inch (1 cm) thick. (You can also bulk out the edges to give it more of a crust. It should still cook evenly enough.)
Place in the preheated oven and bake for 30–35 minutes until dry and golden. Flip it and bake for a further 10–15 minutes.
Now add your favourite toppings and bake for an additional 5–10 minutes (also at 400°F/205°C).
Slice, serve and enjoy.
Using frozen cauliflower for pizza crust
You can skip steaming fresh cauliflower (step 2) by using the frozen kind instead. Some supermarkets even stock pre-riced frozen cauliflower.
Make sure to properly thaw the frozen cauliflower. It’s easiest to leave it overnight, but if you’re making cauliflower pizza crust on more of a whim, simply place the freezer bag in a large bowl or pot full of warm water and leave it for a couple of hours (or less if pre-riced).
Frozen cauliflower has a slightly different consistency and you might find it helpful to squeeze out all the liquid (step 4) both before and after you rice it.
Cauliflower pizza toppings
As already mentioned, you don’t want your cauliflower pizza base to absorb too much moisture. Try to avoid wet ingredients, sticking to just a thin layer of sauce and a smidgen of cheese. You can, of course, then compensate with the other ingredients.
Cauliflower pizza bases lend themselves to piling on the vegetables, especially summer ones like courgette, aubergine and peppers. Simply grill them first and dab away the excess oil before laying on the pizza.
Asparagus and red onion is another winning combination. Just cut the asparagus lengthways and the onions thin. You could even drizzle on a little hollandaise once it’s cooked and the cauliflower crust is a bit more stable.
If you do want some meat on there, try a combination of spicy sausage and red peppers or the classic prosciutto, parmesan and rocket. For the latter, it’s best to put the toppings on once it’s out of the oven.
Or if you want to keep it simple, cauliflower pizza crust goes excellently with just tomato sauce and plenty of fresh herbs. Perfect for a light summer’s lunch and it’s vegan too.
How to freeze cauliflower pizza crust
The best way to freeze cauliflower pizza crust is to pre-bake your bases and, once cooled, freeze them in an airtight container, separated by sheets of baking paper. That way they’re ready to go. When you want a pizza, just throw on your toppings while the base is still frozen, and cook for an extra couple of minutes.
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