Although it’s the start of bulking season, we sunk our teeth into the “healthy” cauliflower pizza crust trend that has been infiltrating the ‘za universe (right next to pizza in a bag).
The Manual was curious whether cauliflower pizza crust, generally lower in calories, sugar, sodium, and fat than traditional pizza, would really taste better than cardboard and make us feel healthier.
Made at home, the process involves combining steamed cauliflower florets with oregano, salt, garlic powder, eggs, and parmesan (if you’re feeling frisky) into a food processor to form a faux crust. This veggie alternative to dough has become a favorite among Paleo converts, vegans (minus the eggs), and the gluten-free alike. However, hand-making cauliflower pizza crust sounds like a pain.
We’ve never tried cauliflower pizza crust for two reasons: 1) we’ll probably never own a food processor since they’re expensive and 2) cauliflower pizza crust sounds too healthy to taste good. I mean, swapping warm, precious dough for a vegetable — how could that be delicious?
Once we heard about the frozen cauliflower pizza brand, Caulipower, which requires no kitchen labor apart from preheating the oven, we decided it was worth a try. Designed by a mom who was desperate to recreate delicious comfort foods in gluten-free ways for her boys with Celiac disease, Caulipower now turns a 90-minute process of making a crust into a 15-minute fresh-baked personal pie. (It’s also a great alternative for those with diabetes!)
We tried all six of Caulipower’s frozen pizzas and the company’s plain crust. Here are our honest reviews:
A few red, yellow, and green peppers, but hardly noticeable. It’s worth throwing extra broccoli, mushrooms, and onions from your fridge on top to really call this a veggie pizza. Then again, the cauliflower crust is full of antioxidants like vitamin C and manganese — it even has phytonutrients, vitamin K, and Omega-3. It’s almost unbelievable the crust is not a gluten dough as it doesn’t feel mealie as some homemade cauliflower “doughs” can.
Conclusion: We didn’t feel like a piece of s**t after eating nearly the entire pie, but there were not enough veggie toppings, so it’s a fail for us on the vegetable front.
Same problem as with the veggie pizza — not enough pepperoni. However, for a guy trying to lose some paunch and still enjoy the smoked and savory taste of uncured Italian meats, it does the job damn well. The all-natural pepperoni is free of nitrates and preservative junk, and the punchy blend of mozzarella and white cheddar cheese adds flavor with just enough flop that doesn’t feel heavy in the gut. Again, the crust is unbelievable and would easily pass as a thin-tossed dough pizza.
Conclusion: Would recommend for a Friday movie night or secretly healthy cheat meal.
Keeping in mind this is a frozen pizza that cooks in 15 minutes, the flavors of the extra virgin olive oil, garlic, mozzarella, and diced tomatoes get an A-plus from us. Sure, it’s not the most delicious pizza we’ve ever had, but it’s solidly good. You’ll be shocked by how easy it is to devour these slices, which you can do guilt-free since an entire pie is only 660 calories and 30 grams of fat. The American Dietetic Association estimates the average calories in one slice of traditional Margherita pizza is between 200-300.
Conclusion: Keeping with the thin-crust tradition of the Margherita, this and the pepperoni were our favorites in terms of flavor and proximity to real pizza. Setting wise, invite a date to your apartment and bake up a Caulipower Margherita. Serve on a fancy cutting board. You’ll both be satiated without feeling bogged down. Save the calories for an elaborate cocktail or scoop of ice cream.
We were daunted heading into Three Cheese since the cauliflower crust does not get as hard as traditional pizza dough. However, the mix of mozzarella, white cheddar, and parmesan didn’t weigh down the pizza or create a hard layer of inedible cheese after the pizza cooled.
Conclusion: Hey, parents. The next time your kid wants pizza for the third time in the same week, give them this and don’t say it’s made of vegetables. Hey, adult-child-living-away-from-your-parents. Do the same thing for yourself.
We were already sold on Cailipower before making our own pies with the crust. Then we realized how fun (and quick) it is to make your own pizza when you have the crust taken care of. Unwrap the crust, put a spoon of marinara sauce in the center, sprinkle cheese shreds, add your veggies, cooked meats, pineapple, olives, etc., and put in the oven.
Conclusion: You and your SO have two personalized pizzas and quality time together in the kitchen without getting frustrated over the mess of dishes. You feel full but not stuffed getting ready for bed.
Try finding a paleo pizza crust at the grocery store. It’s freaking impossible. Going Paleo shouldn’t mean saying sayonara to pizza. This crust makes it easy to quickly build your own pie and keep avoiding grains and dairy. The taste is as close as you’ll get to a bread crust with the same puffed texture of pizza dough.
Conclusion: Eating pizza on a Paleo diet is a life-saver.
Final opinion: We never thought we’d say this, but frozen cauliflower pizza crust tastes great and will replace the majority of our lazy frozen meals on days we don’t want to cook.
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