Monday, October 8, 2012

31 Days of October: Day 8... And the Winner is... Low Carb Pizza Crust

Pizza!  It is one of the foods I miss the most when I am following my low carb plan closely.  I adapted a recipe to simulate pizza that we like fairly well but it just didn't feel like eating pizza.  More like a pizza inspired casserole, really.  Since I find it easier to stick to the plan when I can make things at home that more closely resemble the food I usually crave, I set out to find a better replacement for "real" pizza.

I'll tell you how this all relates to October waaaaay down at the end.

The secret to a good low carb pizza is the crust, in my opinion.  Most pre-made sauces are high in sugar so you have to watch out for that, but I'm focusing on the crust for now.  I decided to make 3 different kinds, 2 that I based on the recipes found on this site and one that makes a major substitution in one of those. I let all the crusts cool before topping them so that I could be sure they were holding together.  Also, I used very little cheese for topping since the crusts have so much cheese in them. The pictures are of the crusts only. 

The first crust I made was Cauliflower Crust.  This should freeze well, and as long as you are making the riced cauliflower, you might as well make a large batch since the most complicated part of the recipe is preparing the cauliflower.  Run some raw cauliflower through the shredding blade of a food processor then steam with a bit of salt and water in the microwave. 5 to 7 minutes should just about do it for 2 to 4 cups worth.  Drain and cool before mixing in.

Cauliflower Pizza Crust

1 cup cooked riced cauliflower
1 egg
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven with pizza stone to 425 degrees.  Mix all ingredients together then pat out into a circle on parchment paper.  Slide the whole thing onto the stone and bake till lightly browned, about 10 minutes.  Let cool on a wire rack before topping.  After topping, bake at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes til hot.
Makes 4, 1-slice servings.
Carbs per serving: about 2 g


Next I put together a crust made with coconut flour.  I followed the ingredient list and followed the mixing directions but then changed the baking directions because of the pizza stone and the temperature variation of my oven. 

 Coconut Flour Pizza Crust or Bread Sticks

⅓ cup coconut flour
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons ground flax
4 large eggs
1-2 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon Italian Seasoning Blend
1 teaspoon parsley
¾ cup mozzarella cheese

Place all ingredients except mozzarella cheese into a food processor. Process until there are no more lumps. Fold in mozzarella cheese. Spread onto parchment paper and pat out to desired thickness.  Bake on pizza stone at 350 degrees for til lightly browned, about 18 minutes. Let cool on wire rack before topping.  After topping bake at 425 degrees for about 5 minutes until hot.
Makes 6 servings
Net carbs per serving: 3g


Last I made a variation of the first one except I used spaghetti squash instead of riced cauliflower.  I used what was left over from the night before (already shredded out of the shell) and chopped it up to about the size of long-grain rice.  After that, follow the recipe as above, omitting the cauliflower.  I would guestimate the net carb count to be about 4 or 5 per slice.
Here they are all together so you can compare color (l. to r. cauliflower, spaghetti squash, coconut flour)

I attempted a picture to compare thickness.  Not such a great photo but you can kinda see that the two on the left are super thin and the one on the right is a bit thicker.
Best for Ease of Preparation... I'm the only one who was able to vote in this category since I was the only one involved in the preparation!  The hands down winner here is the Spaghetti Squash Crust.  If I had needed to prepare the squash specifically for this recipe then the winner would've been the Coconut Flour Crust but since it was left over it was simple, simple, simple.
Easiest to Pick Up... No question!  The Coconut Flour Crust.  It had a more crispy biscuity texture that resembled a famous frozen pizza variety.
Best Tasting... Spaghetti Squash Crust.  All 4 of us agreed! This is unusual indeed!
Lowest Carb Count... According to my calculations, Cauliflower Crust wins this category.
Best All Around... Here I was outnumbered 3 to 1.  They all liked the Spaghetti Squash the best.  They all chose it because of flavor.  I would choose the Coconut Flour Crust. I think they would have, too, if I had patted out the crust thinner.

So what does this have to do with October?  October begins my favorite time of year to experiment with cooking!  In Summer I like to get out of the kitchen as fast as I can so I tend to use tried and true recipes.  By October I'm ready for something new that I can practice throughout the colder months so that by the following Summer I have the recipe down pretty well.

I don't always eat low carb but always cook low carb, except for holidays.  It is what works best for my health.  Accomodating the very varied tastebuds of 4 adults isn't always easy so I search for recipes that I think might please us all.  I think I will keep up the search for a pizza crust.  We just aren't there yet!  I'll share that with you when I find/create it.

This may seem like a failed experiment but I enjoyed the process, so in that case, it was a success.  "This is the day that the Lord has made.  Let us rejoice and be glad in it!" Psalm 118:24.  Everyday living... my antidote to thinking that I have an ordinary life.




  1. Boy, you are so ambitious with preparing food. That's great! I have gotten lazy and just "make do" with whatever is easy.

  2. I'm not abitious every day, that's for sure, but since I do all the cooking I want to provide things that we can all be satisfied with. My son said he wanted me to go back to my previous recipe so I will until I find another one to try since his wife doesn't like that one. So I might as well have some fun with it! It was interesting to compare/contrast the results :-)

  3. Good job!! I'll have to try the coconut flour crust one. Most places and the ones you buy frozen are made with rice flour..YUCK!!

  4. I think my family would've like the coconut flour one better had I patted it out thinner. Let me know what you and your hubby think!