Can You Have Pizza on a Low-Carb Diet? Yes!

Low-carb diets are becoming more popular as they are shown to have more health benefits, but sometimes you just want a slice of pizza.

When one starts eating low-carb, it is only natural to start making a list of all the things that you cannot eat. But, after a few weeks, and a lot of experimentation, you start to realize that there are actually a lot of great recipes out there for just about everything, even pizza crust.

When I first read about a “cauliflower pizza crust,” I thought it was a bit out there. Cauliflower is great, and it is certainly versatile, but pizza crust?

Nothing to do but try it—and, boy, am I glad I did!

Yes, believe it or not, you can make a pizza crust with cauliflower. And, when I say “pizza crust,” I mean a crust that allows you to pick up a slice of pizza and eat it with your hands. Additionally, it is delicious!

All of the recipes I found for cauliflower crusts used fresh cauliflower. However, with fresh cauliflower being pricey in my local grocery store, and with it being impractical to just hold a fresh bunch of cauliflower for weeks until I feel like having pizza for supper, I decided to give frozen a try. I was concerned that frozen may pose too much of a liquid issue, but I encountered no such problem when I made my pizza.

The best recipe I encountered was on ClosetCooking.com, for a BBQ Chicken pizza recipe. Working from it, I used the following ingredients:

  • 1 pound frozen cauliflower
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella, shredded
  • 2 teaspoons oregano

First, I allowed my frozen cauliflower to thaw and drain in a colander. Next, I shredded it in the food processor. From that point, I placed the cauliflower in a kitchen towel and began to squeeze, squeeze, squeeze. After getting out as much water as I could, I put the shredded cauliflower in my microwave pot and cooked on HIGH for four minutes.

After cooking, let the cauliflower cool for a moment, then mix with the mozzarella and oregano. Beat the egg and stir into the cauliflower mixture. This is your crust.

Now, the biggest issue I found people have with the cauliflower pizza crust is that it is really bad to stick when it cooks, to the point of being impossible to get out of the pan. The suggestions that seemed to work best for most people were (1) placing the crust on a pan lined with parchment and lightly coated with oil or (2) using a silicone baking mat on your pan; I opted for the latter, and it worked beautifully.

Now, simply take your cauliflower crust and spread it out in whatever shape you prefer. Then, place in a 450-degree oven for 20 minutes, or until golden brown. After baking, top with whatever pizza toppings you like; I went for pizza sauce, turkey pepperoni, onions and mozzarella. Then, put back in the oven and bake again for about 10-15 minutes, basically until it looks like a beautifully bubbly pizza.

After taking it out of the oven, I had another pizza to bake, so I let my cauliflower pizza rest for about 20 minutes before trying to cut it or pick a slice up off the baking mat. But, when I finally did, it was perfect. It cut easily, it was easy to pick up and, frankly, had I not made it myself, I would have just thought it was a regular thin crust pizza. It was not crispy like some pizza crusts, but that did not bother me at all, since I tend to like a softer crust, anyway.

Now, remember, this crust is cauliflower, not bread, so it will not be as filling as a regular pizza crust. I ate ¾ of the pizza myself, and could easily have eaten the last ¼, had I not wanted to save some for the “breakfast pizza test” the next morning (which, by the way, it passed with flying colors). So, I really see this recipe as an individual pizza, or a snack for two. But, with that being the case, it would be really easy to make everyone their own pizza with this recipe. Reading the steps, it may SEEM labor-intensive but, really, it’s not—just compare to making a real pizza crust, and you’ll see it actually takes less time, with no kneading or rising involved.

Biggest question: Does it taste like cauliflower? My opinion, no it did not; it just tasted like a great pizza. If you are eating low-carb and really craving a pizza night, give this one a try—I think you’ll be glad you did.

Low-carb living is leading to new diet plans popping up all over; to read more about the new Scarsdale Low Carb Diet, click here.

Image: From the Kitchen of Mechele R. Dillard

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