Saturday, October 20, 2018
Health

Give Foolproof Cauliflower Pizza Crust a try

Cauliflower is a wonder veggie. No longer relegated to boiling and covering with a bright orange cheese sauce (sorry, Mom), cauliflower is stepping out in the place of starch like rice in stir-fries or instead of wheat flour in pizza dough.

Cauliflower is mild, so it takes on whatever flavors you throw at it, and it's as healthy as our moms told us, providing a hefty dose of vitamins, including C, K, B6 and folate, as well as smaller doses of other vitamins and minerals, plus filling protein and fiber —all in about 25 calories per cup.

So, it's a worthy vegetable, and now that it is available in "riced" form in mainstream grocery stores, it's time to take a look if you haven't already. Let's start with pizza crust. Steamed, riced cauliflower is mixed with a binder (usually egg and cheese) and then shaped into a pizza crust shape, baked and topped with traditional pizza toppings.

Since my daughter is gluten-intolerant, I've been making pizza crust for years with cauliflower, resulting in a few key pieces of advice from the trenches. The biggest challenge with cauliflower crust is keeping it together, since there is no stretchy gluten working for you.

But, no problem, if you follow my tips: First, once you cook the cauliflower, squeeze out as much moisture as possible. Excess water will keep the crust from staying together. In fact, I like to go a tiny step further and add just a little bit of absorbent flour — just a tablespoon or two of coconut or oat flour make a big difference.

Next tip: Bake the crust and flip it over before adding any toppings.

Final tip: Make smaller pizza crusts instead of one big huge one. They are easier to manage and keep intact. Top your pizza crust with whatever toppings you like.

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