Pizza cooked using a cauliflower base suddenly seems to be everywhere! What’s the point of it, is it good for us and most importantly, is it as tasty as a regular pizza?
Apparently it was first dreamed up in 2009 for those following a no-carb diet such as the Atkins. Cauliflower does have some carbohydrate in it – but not nearly as much as dough does. And of course since cauliflower doesn’t contain wheat, it doesn’t contain gluten. Gluten-free food is one of the fastest growing trends around, and this wheat-free pizza base is perfect for coeliacs or anyone else who doesn’t want to eat flour. It’s also ideal for those following a low-calorie, paleo or 5:2 diet.
Here are two recipe options, both of which are pretty simple. The first one uses nuts to add a bit of texture to the base, and the second one uses cheese to add more taste and substance. Cheese is high in calories – so if you are concerned about your weight then the first method is probably a better choice. For both recipes you ideally need a food processor, but if you don’t have one then you could grate the cauliflower. You want a fairly fine texture similar to rice.
For the first method, you will need 1 cauliflower, 100g almonds and 2 eggs. You can also add herbs, such as oregano to pep up the taste. Cut the cauliflower into chunks and then blitz it in a food processor (you will probably need to do it a half at a time) until it is really finely chopped. Transfer it to a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with cling film and microwave on High for 5-6 mins until softened. Then tip the whole lot onto a clean tea towel and leave it to cool a little. Once it’s cool enough to handle, scrunch it up in the tea towel and squeeze as much liquid as you can out of the cauliflower (see picture) – you want it as dry as possible.
Then put it into another bowl and stir in the ground almonds, egg, herbs and plenty of seasoning. Line a baking tray with baking parchment and grease with oil. Spoon the cauliflower mix onto the tray, then use your hands and a spoon to spread it out into a circle. It’s a good idea to make it a little thicker at the edges to create a crust. Bake for 15-18 mins in an oven at Gas 5/160°C until it’s crispy at the edges and golden brown. Now it’s ready to add some toppings, and bake again!
The second method also uses 1 cauliflower, blitzed as before. This time you tip it into a large, dry frying pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring now and then until all the moisture to evaporate. When the cauliflower is dry, tip it into a large bowl and mix in 1 egg – and this time you add 50g of grated cheddar and 50g of parmesan cheese plus some cayenne pepper and seasoning. Then shape and bake as before.
Once your pizza base has cooled a bit, you can add some toppings! A good start is to soften some onions in a small saucepan with olive oil then add canned tomatoes, tomato purée, herbs and garlic. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 8-10 mins until quite thick as you don’t want any watery tomato soaking into your cauliflower base! Spread your base with this rich but very healthy sauce and you can also add:
- Ham, mushrooms and mozzarella
- Slices of spicy pepperoni and red pepper
- Goat’s cheese and wilted spinach
- Crispy bacon, tinned artichokes and ricotta
Cook in a hot oven for 10 mins, and once your pizza is done you can sprinkle it with some rocket or parsley for added flavour! Depending on the topping you choose, your pizza won’t just be gluten-free it will also be low in calories. A cauliflower pizza has around 260 calories per person as opposed to about 600-1000+ calories for a regular pizza! Cauliflower pizzas are also perfect on low carb and keto diets as they are very low in carbohydrates.
Speaking of carbs, for many of us, bread is the ultimate comfort food…
Few culinary pleasures are quite as enjoyable as a flaky croissant with melted butter… fluffy biscuits and sausage in the morning… or fresh garlic bread dipped in a warm tomato sauce.
But there are a lot questions as to where bread fits in a healthy diet.
On one hand we’ve been told that it is the very “staff of life.” On the other, we’ve been told that it is a major contributor to disease and obesity.
So, what is the truth?
Click here to discover the TRUTH about bread. (and even why gluten-free bread can sometimes be worse)