As I sit here, eating this amazingly delicious and HEALTHY pizza, I start wondering why I didn’t start making cauliflower crust pizza earlier. This cauliflower crust is fairly easy to make and comes out nice and chewy, with a crispy edge. I’m even able to pick up the slices with my hands and eat it like one does with usual flour crust pizza. I think the most appealing aspect though of making pizza crust from cauliflower is that if you end up eating the whole pizza in one go by yourself, there’s really no need to feel bad about it! 😉
However, since cauliflower is loaded with fibre, you’ll probably find out that slices of pizza made with this crust will fill you up a lot faster than pizza made with nutritionally dead, refined flour crust.
Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable, and a member of the Brassica family, along with other highly micronutrient dense vegetables such as kale, broccoli, and Brussel sprouts. Cruciferous vegetables are touted for their anticancer and immune-boosting powers to lower diseases and sex-hormone-dependent cancers. Cauliflower contains plenty of sulforaphane, which is a potent antioxidant and stimulator of natural detoxifying enzymes in the body.
Of course, a good amount of the beneficial nutrients and immune-boosting powers are destroyed in the cooking process. To get the maximum benefits of cauliflower (and other cruciferous veggies), you’ll need to eat them raw or lightly cooked. Nevertheless, some days the siren call of a freshly baked pizza cannot be ignored, and it’s way better for our bodies to eat pizza made with cauliflower than pizza made with flour and other funky ingredients (looking at you freezer aisle pizza).
The first time I took a go at making cauliflower crust pizza, my crust lacked flavour. It tasted along the lines of…soggy cardboard? In addition, I definitely didn’t bake it long enough so it ended up falling apart. 🙁 Lucky for us pizza lovers though, the addition of dried spices and a longer baking time took this cauliflower pizza crust from sad and soggy cardboard to crispy and chewy deliciousness.
When working with the dough, don’t be alarmed at how squishy and mushy it is. With enough cooking time, it will firm up. If however your cauliflower didn’t yield enough riced/processed cauliflower, you can add in a bit of non-wheat flour.
Once you get a hang of this basic cauliflower pizza crust, the possibilities and flavour combinations to make healthy pizza is endless!
You could top your cauliflower pizza crust with some sliced vegetables, good quality natural cheese (I used Edam), and some basil for a fresh, summer inspired meal.
Or if you’re feeling more gourmet, why not try this cauliflower pizza crust topped with fresh figs, goat cheese, caramelized onions, arugula (roquette), and balsamic reduction?
This fig, goat cheese, caramelized onion, and arugula one has definitely been my favourite pizza topping combination so far. The ingredients combine so perfectly with each other making each bite such an incredible experience. Keep an eye out for it because I’ll definitely be sharing the recipe.
In the mean time though, definitely have a go at making your own cauliflower pizza crust. Your body will thank you for feeding it something nutritious, and your tastebuds will thank you because…well…it’s pizza!
Cauliflower Pizza Crust
- 1 medium-large head of cauliflower cut into florets
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp pink Himalayan salt
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- cup up to 1/3 non-wheat flour quinoa, oat, buckwheat, nut, chickpea
- pizza toppings of choice
Preheat oven to 400° F. Place a pizza stone or baking sheet onto the middle rack.
Thoroughly wash the head of cauliflower and cut it into florets. Process the cauliflower florets in a food processor fitted with the S-blade until a rice-like consistency is achieved (my cauliflower yielded about 3 1/2 cups of cauliflower rice). Do not over process (you don't want the cauliflower to become pureed)
Steam the cauliflower rice for 4-5 minutes until soft. Ideally steam in over the stovetop. Microwaving the cauliflower just adds unnecessary radiation.
Transfer the steamed cauliflower rice onto a kitchen towel and let it cool for about 8 minutes, or until you can touch it without burning your hands. Wrap the cauliflower rice and squeeze out as much water as possible.
Dump the squeezed out cauliflower rice into a mixing bowl. Add in mozzarella, eggs, and spices. Mix thoroughly with your hands. The dough will be slightly mushy. If you find that your cauliflower dough is extremely wet and mushy, add in up to 1/3 cup of non-wheat flour, adding it a couple tablespoons at a time.
Transfer cauliflower dough onto a piece of parchment paper (NOT wax paper) and with your hands, shape dough into a circle or square that's approximately 1/4 - inch thick. If you plan on heavily loading your crust with toppings, or you just prefer a thicker crust, shape dough into a 1/2 - inch thick square or circle.
Remove pizza stone or baking sheet from the oven and carefully lay the parchment paper with the cauliflower pizza crust on top of it.
Return to the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until firm and golden brown. While the crust is cooking, prepare toppings of choice.
When crust is finished baking, remove it from the oven and top crust with toppings of choice. Bake for an additional 5 - 15 minutes (depending on the toppings and desired doneness).
Let the pizza set for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.
Recipe NotesIf you don't have a food processor, you can rice your cauliflower using a box grater or blender. If you're using a blender, just make sure not to over blend or you might end up with cauliflower purée!
Bowden, Jonny, and Jonny Bowden. “Vegetables.” The 150 Healthiest Foods on Earth: The Surprising, Unbiased Truth about What You Should Eat and Why. Gloucester, MA: Fair Winds, 2007. 32-33. Print.
Fuhrman, Joel. “Super Foods for Super Immunity.” Super Immunity: The Essential Nutrition Guide for Boosting Your Body’s Defenses to Live Longer, Stronger, and Disease Free. New York: HarperOne, 2011. 62. Print.
Vanderhaeghe, Lorna R. “Nutrition.” Healthy Immunity: Scientifically Proven Natural Treatments for Conditions from A-Z: Allergies, Autoimmunity, Cancer, Heart Disease, Menopause, Thyroid and More. Toronto: Macmillan Canada, 2001. 76-77. Print.