Cauliflower: A Healthy Alternative to Comfort Food Back »

This article was written collaboratively by Suzanne Stluka and Kelsey Pudenz.


As summer has come to an end, it is time to say “goodbye” to sunshine and warm afternoons and “hello” to falling leaves and sweatshirt weather. It is also time to bid farewell to the refreshing and light foods that our appetites desired with the dog days of summer. As the temperatures start to drop, there is a natural tendency to crave a warm, hearty, and home-cooked meal, otherwise known as comfort food. Spaghetti, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and mashed potatoes are all classic favorites of Americans seeking that nostalgic, mouthwatering dinner. Unfortunately, comfort foods are often loaded with calories, carbohydrates, sodium, and unhealthy fats. There has been a newfound discovery that uncovers a secret way to fulfill our starchy cravings without the guilt. What is this secret ingredient, you ask? Cauliflower!

Cauliflower is a member of the cruciferous vegetables family, a group of vegetables that is key in a healthy diet. Cauliflower contains an abundance of vitamins and minerals; especially rich in vitamin C. In fact, cauliflower contains 77% of the recommended daily value of vitamin C. Cauliflower also contains antioxidants that support in detoxifying the body. Some other major health benefits of the cruciferous vegetable is that it boosts heart and brain health, keeps inflammation in check, contributes to digestive health, and most importantly fights cancer.

One recipe that you can enjoy this superfood in is cauliflower pizza crust (recipe adapted from The Lucky Penny Blog).


Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Ingredients:

  • 1 small to medium sized head of cauliflower - should yield 2 to 3 cups once processed
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • optional a few shakes of crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Place a pizza stone in the oven, or baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. On a cutting board, place a large piece of parchment paper and spray it with nonstick cooking oil. Rinse and dry cauliflower. Cut off the florets, you don't need much stem. Pulse in food processor for 30 seconds, until you get “rice-like” cauliflower. Place the cauliflower in a microwave safe bowl and cover. Microwave for 4 minutes. Dump cooked cauliflower onto a clean towel and allow to cool. Once cauliflower is cool enough to handle, wrap it up in the dishtowel and wring out the excess water, getting as much water out as possible (this will ensure you get a chewy pizza like crust instead of a crumbly mess).

Place cauliflower into a bowl. Add 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup mozzarella cheese, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, 1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning, 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, and a dash of red pepper(if desired). Now add the eggs mix together using your hands to form the dough into a crust on your oiled parchment paper. Pat it down thoroughly; you want it nice and tightly formed together. Don't make it too thick or thin either. Using a cutting board slide the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden brown.

Remove from oven. Add your own toppings – be as healthy as possible and load up on even more vegetables!

Slide parchment with topped pizza back in the hot oven and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese is melted, bubbly, and slightly golden. Allow it to cool for a minute or two. Then using a pizza cutter and a spatula serve up your delicious grain-free cauliflower crust pizza!


Additional Recipes

Craving even more delicious cauliflower recipes, then head to these websites:


References:

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