THE PERFECT GRAIN FREE PIZZA BASE
For all those gorgeous kids out there who miss having a tasty “pizza” because of special diets look no further.
This is genuinely one of the most delicious grain/nut/seed/dairy/soya/ recipes we have ever tried – the base is made from only two key ingredients: cauliflower and eggs – I know you might need a little persuading to try your hand at this but believe me when I say that when you try this once you will be hooked. It is sensational and there is virtually no cauliflower taste.
In order to give other recipes a fair chance we spent this week trying to see if we could improve on this recipe by adding other grain free flours. We made four other pizza dough using our recipe but added 1 cup of a variety of grain free“flours” to each one – we tried ground almonds, linseeds, sunflower seeds and coconut flour.
As has now become tradition, my children and their friends (thank you my amazing volunteers), got stuck in tasting and testing and judging and at the end of a very messy and noisy session with almost every plate and cutlery in the entire kitchen used, the cauliflower pizza scored top marks above all the others – praise indeed from a dozen ravenous and brutally honest teenagers!
- 2 cauliflower heads
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp dried or fresh thyme
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
Preheat your oven to 200 Celsius.
To make the cauliflower rice, pulse batches of raw cauliflower florets in a food processor, until you achieve a rice-like texture
Steam the riced cauliflower for 5 minutes and then drain into a fine-mesh sieve
NOW THIS IS THE KEY: Once you’ve strained the cauliflower rice, transfer it to a clean cheesecloth or tea towel – cheesecloth works best. Wrap up the steamed rice and twist and SQUEEEEEEZE all the excess water out! Take your time with this step – it will make all the difference and you will rewarded with pizza heaven. Imagine if you were making a normal pizza dough you would need to spend a good 10 minutes kneading the dough – this is about the amount of time you will need to spend getting the liquid out of the cauliflower – Even when you think there couldn’t possibly be any more liquid left in the cauliflower SQUEEZE SOME MORE!
In a large bowl, mix up your strained cauliflower rice, and add in the beaten egg, and your herbs (if using). This may feel a little bit wet and it won’t be like any other pizza dough you may have ever worked with, but have faith – it will hold together!
– Press the dough out onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or onto a pizza stone. If you’re not using a pizza stone then it’s really important to remember the parchment paper, or the pizza might stick. Keep the dough about one third inch thick.
Bake for 20-25 minutes at 200C. The crust should be firm, and golden brown when finished. Check it after 20 minutes and touch the middle of the pizza – it should feel firm
Take it out of the oven when ready and add your favourite toppings. For our recipe we used the Meridian organic sundried tomato paste which you can find here, to cover the pizza base – of course you can make your own pizza sauce but to be honest the pizza base is the hero of this recipe and a lot of love goes into making that so a little bit of cheating on the sauce is definitely allowed! We then added sliced red peppers, cooked shredded chicken and some freshly chopped thyme. To help the topping bind we whisked an egg with a tablespoon of coconut cream (this is the thick bit in the can of coconut milk which rises to the top) and just drizzled it over the toppings before putting it in the oven for about 5 minutes
THE SCIENCE BIT
Cauliflower is a veritable SUPER FOOD – it is loaded with sulforaphane, which has been shown to improve mood and communication skills. It is packed with antioxidants including; vitamin C, beta-carotene, kaempferol, quercetin (anti histamine), rutin, and much more. It is also a highly anti-inflammatory food containing indole-3-carbinol or I3C which seems to work at the genetic level. Cauliflower is a wonderful source of choline, known for its brain boosting powers and contains nutrients that support both phase 1 and phase 2 liver detoxification pathways. A True Food Superhero.