I am an Army wife and a mother of 7. I also grew up with 8 brothers and 4 sisters. There are few things in life that intimidate me. Cauliflower crust was one of them. I have always envied my friends’ pictures of their cauliflower crusts knowing that it was probably something I could do, but I was always afraid to try for some reason. I’ve been cooking since I was 5 years old, so it’s not like I’m a novice in the kitchen. I have just always been intimidated by the thought of making my own cauliflower crust.
Yesterday, in an effort to serve healthier foods to my family, I decided it was time to put my big girl pants on and give this thing a whirl. But first, I had to do my research. This was my Facebook post on my page:
As you can tell, my confidence level was nil. I did get a ton of great tips from my friends, which is most likely the reason this adventure was a smashing success. Sidenote: Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t learn from epic failures. Honestly, that is how I have learned most of what I know about life and I am still alive as are my children, so there is something to be said for making huge goofs and not giving up. Remind me to tell you the baked potato story sometime. I think I even have pictures of that one. You’ll laugh. Moving on…
So after I gathered my resources, I looked for the perfect recipe. The one I used came from iFoodreal.com and it was fabulous. I made a recipe and a half and it made 4 small personal pizzas. I don’t want to steal their recipe and post it on my blog because that’s just rude, so I’ll link to it here so you can get to it quickly. They’ll appreciate that. Cauliflower Pizza Crust Recipe
The first thing I had to do was cut the cauliflower up and then run it through my Ninja to rice it. That was actually really fun. I had to run mine in small batches because I had a lot to do. This was the outcome of 3 small heads of cauliflower:
I preheated an oven to 375 degrees and lined 2 cookie sheets with parchment paper and spread the riced cauliflower onto the sheets. Then I baked it for 15 minutes. While that was baking, I lined 2 bowls with cheesecloth so I could squeeze the liquid out of the cauliflower once it came out of the oven. That all looked a little something like this:
Once the cauliflower was done in the oven, I let it cool for about 5 minutes, then scooped it into the cheesecloth bowls and started to squeeze the heck out of it. I found that if I twisted the cheesecloth that helped a lot with getting the excess liquid out. I also did various yoga moves combined with a little Circ du Soleil and some jazzercise just to get it all out but it was successful AND I got my workout in for the day. Bonus!
This was what the cauliflower looked like after all of my efforts in the squeeze department. If I ever doubted my ability to strangle someone, I am reassured I would be just fine after this experiment. That is a lot of work! And, just to give you a little backstory here, I had just mowed the entire lawn with a push mower before attempting this, so my hands were super sore! I do not recommend that…like ever!
My friend told me that it should look grainy like Parmesan cheese if you got all of the liquid out. That was a really good tip! That was my goal here and it worked! Next, I mixed the egg, Parmesan cheese, and herbs along with the salt and pepper in a stainless steel bowl…then I added the cauliflower and mixed it up well.
Next, I lined my baking sheets with clean parchment paper, sprayed them with cooking spray, and divided up my cauliflower mixture into 4 equal piles. I patted each pile out into a thin crust. It worked like a charm and all of the cauliflower held nicely together with the cheese and the egg. Perfecto!
Oh, as you can tell in the picture, I also raised the temperature on the oven to 450 degrees! Almost forgot about that part…thanks, Mr. Picture! Now it came time to bake these bad boys for 20 minutes. I was so scared I would burn them, so I watched them like a hawk…totally unnecessary as they did not burn at all. Save yourself the trouble and just let them bake in peace. We wanted onions and peppers on ours but I knew they wouldn’t bake with the toppings on long enough to cook the veggies all the way through, so I pre-cooked the veggies. I also cooked bacon and crumbled it.
I love cooking with cast iron! Who else cooks with cast iron? Let me know in the comments…we can be fast friends! Anywho, the crusts baked for 20 minutes and then I carefully flipped them over and baked them for just a few minutes more:
Pretty good, right? Then I added the toppings. We chose bacon, pepperoni, onions, peppers, and cheese. We chose not to use sauce. Since this was my first time doing this I didn’t want the sauce to make the crust soggy. I thought ours was just a bit dry, so it probably wouldn’t have hurt to use just a little sauce…I will definitely be doing that next time, but these were really good too. I baked the pizzas just until the cheese was melted and this was the final result:
These tasted so amazingly good…super cheesy and nutritious and I could eat guilt-free because I knew it was healthy. A few side notes: THIS WAS A LOT OF FREAKING WORK! Start to finish this entire process took me about 3 hours. I kid you not. I did dance around the kitchen a little (I was listening to The Greatest Showman soundtrack so…) and I checked Facebook a few times, but other than that I swear to you I was focused. That being said, I would definitely go through the process again but NEVER for my entire family! No way Jose! Not happening. There were only 3 of us home when I made this…I am NOT doing this for 9 people. If you have a smaller family or you’re having a stay at home date night and you and your spouse like to cook together, this would be perfect.
All in all, I would say this was a success. Not only did we have a healthy, delicious dinner but I also conquered one of my fears in the process. I’d say it was a pretty successful day. Let me know what you think of this post. I’d really love it if you could share your cauliflower pizza crust tips in the comments so we can all learn together and make healthier meals for our families. This was so much fun! I hope you enjoyed my post. Until next time…happy eats!
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