So you still need clarification on the vegan and non-vegan pizza crust debate? Let it end here through cauliflower crust pizza which is truly a low-calorie and all-vegan healthier pizza base for absolute vegans. Typically, you can make an estimation from this; a single slice of cauliflower pizza crust can range from 60-80 calories, depending on how it’s prepared and the size of the slice.
On the other hand, a typical slice of regular pizza crust from a 14″ large pizza can range from 180-300 calories.
Honestly, handling cauliflower crust is a bit tricky at some stages of the process. So, to know exactly how to make a cauliflower pizza crust with different kinds of toppings, let’s make it together.
Cauliflower Crust Pizza Recipe – Perfect Lower Calorie Pizza Base Recipe:
So, it is really joyous for vegans to have an authentic gluten-free pizza crust without any but and if. However, cauliflower being cauliflower, the smell and taste don’t go off completely. So, yes, your sensitive taste buds may have mild notes of cauliflower in overall taste.
So, this is how you can make a cauliflower pizza crust with easily available ingredients;
- 1 medium head of cauliflower (about 600 grams)
- 1/4 cup or 30 grams of grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 cup or 115 grams of shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup or 30 grams of almond flour
- 1 large egg (about 50 grams)
Nutritional Information (per 1/8 of the pizza crust, without toppings):
- Calories: Approximately 80-100 kcal
- Carbs: 6g
- Protein: 7g
- Fats: 5g
Approximate Time to Get Ready:
- Preparation Time: About 20-30 minutes. This includes processing the cauliflower into rice-like pieces, cooking it, and then squeezing out the moisture, mixing with other crust ingredients, and forming the crust.
- Cook Time: Around 15-20 minutes for baking the crust, then an additional 5-10 minutes after adding toppings
Which Cauliflower Version to Choose?
Before we start making a cauliflower pizza base recipe, sourcing the cauliflower is a crucial point to consider. Well, you have three options. The fresh Cauliflower, frozen florets, and pre-riced.
My consideration is Fresh cauliflower for several reasons through my experience. That doesn’t mean the other two sourcing options aren’t useful; frozen florets or pre-riced cauliflower can still work if you’re in a pinch.
However, you should use fresh cauliflower considering the control over texture, lesser moisture, better freshness and flavor, and comparatively better nutrient retention. Seeing these arguments, the most technical reason behind this is the frozen florets cause the cauliflower flavor to deteriorate and more moisture to build up. So, this adds more effort to draw moisture out of the cauliflower as moisture is our primary enemy here, and deteriorating flavor may kill the purpose. So, only fresh cauliflower becomes the best option to use as fuel for a healthier pizza base.
How Do You Prepare it:
Preheating Your Oven is Necessary: Before you start with the recipe, the first task is to preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C). Preheating the oven ensures that your pizza will start cooking as soon as you put it in, and at a consistent temperature. This is the same process as we do with the regular pizza dough.
Breaking the Cauliflower into Florets: Break the cauliflower into florets and pulse in a food processor until fine. Why? We need to create “flour” from the cauliflower, which will then be used to form our dough. This is typically known as “Rice,” which will serve as the base for our crust.
Steaming the Cauliflower: The ground cauliflower then goes through the steaming process. You can use a steamer or a microwave. Consider this step the superhero of our recipe – without it, we would be in a foodie version of a blockbuster disaster movie. Because, steaming softens it, making it easier to combine with the other ingredients later.
Draw the Moisture Out: First, we steam Cauliflower to build moisture, and then drawing moisture out of it may raise many eyebrows. The first step was to soften it, and the second step was to avoid unnecessary moisture to make our base crispy and tender.
Let the cauliflower cool, and then wring out as much moisture as you can. This is a super important step, as too much moisture won’t allow your crust to hold together – it’ll be more like a cauliflower mash than a crust. You can put cauliflower into a nut milk bag. Squeeze as much as you can to draw maximum liquid out of it.
Mixing the Ingredients: Where’s the dough kneading process? Good news for lazy pizza lovers, your cauliflower pizza base doesn’t require kneading and proofing steps. Add your cheese, seasoning, salt, almond flour, and egg to the cauliflower. Mixing these ingredients with the cauliflower will form the ‘dough’ for your crust.
Form the Crust: Form your dough into a crust on your lined baking sheet. I would recommend a medium crust here – not too thin, not too thick. Medium density will ensure balanced thickness due to the unavailability of fermentation agents like yeast and hold the crust together without affecting the crispiness.
Bake the Crust Two Times: Initially, you have to bake for 10-15 minutes to make it firm. Adding toppings without this will destroy your efforts and cauliflower pizza base. So, for 1st baking run, we are looking for that nice, golden brown color that means your crust is cooked and getting crispy.
Once done, you are absolutely ready to add your sauce and toppings when the crust cools down and becomes firm. Put it under the heat for another 10 minutes for a second baking run. This second bake lets your toppings get nice and cooked without overdoing the crust.
- Wring out as much moisture from the cauliflower as you can – I can’t stress this enough!
- When forming your crust, try to make it an even thickness. This will help it cook uniformly.
- Be sure to let your crust cool a little before cutting into it. This helps it hold together when serving.
Key Takes From this Recipe:
- Driving out moisture is a matter of life and death
- Pre-baking the crust is HIGHLY essential
- Looks technical but it’s the easiest recipe out there
- A Vegan Cauliflower pizza base is a healthier substitute for high-calorie pizza dough
Who’s it Best For Veg and gluten-free lovers (obviously), users seeking a lighter pizza option, low-carb and Keto dieters, Lazy pizza lovers avoiding kneading and resting periods
Who Should Avoid It: Those who don’t enjoy cauliflower’s taste, people with thyroid issues, people looking for a traditional pizza crust.
People Also Ask –FAQ
Is cauliflower pizza actually healthy?
Cauliflower pizza is actually healthy as it doesn’t contain the amount of sodium and fats that a traditional pizza base has. On the other hand, it has more protein content. However, it all depends on the toppings you put on the crust.
Is cauliflower high in carbs?
Out of all Keto and Healthier recipes, Cauliflower is also a low-carb diet. So eventually, your pizza crust will also be a lower-carb recipe than a traditional crust.
Is cauliflower pizza gassy?
It depends on what toppings you’re going with. It’s about finding the right balance. While a cauliflower crust can be a nifty trick to cut down on calories and carbs from your typical pizza crust, piling on heaps of meat and cheese might just undo your healthy substitute. Always remember, that everyone’s body responds differently, and going overboard with cauliflower might lead to some unwelcome tummy troubles, like bloating and excessive gas.
The Bottom Line:
So for anyone who loves a healthier pizza base for their Sunday morning or brunch, Cauliflower crust pizza is the perfect staple to consume. This low calorie pizza base recipe is easy to cook and most versatile to serve with tons of toppings to test. But definitely, if you have a sensitive nose and can’t consume the cauliflower smell, skip this recipe.