The most popular page on my site, by far, is the photo tutorial for cauliflower pizza. Pizza seems to be the number one thing that people miss when they embark on any diet, but particularly when people decide to eat low-carb, gluten-free, and/or grain-free. Fortunately, there are many, many options out there for those missing their favorite treat. The cauliflower pizza has been my standby, but I started to wonder: which is the best option out there? So I got a crazy idea: I decided to make pizzas using every popular low-carb grain-free substitute and photograph, rank, and review them all.
I made pizza out of:
"Realest" (most closely resembling a traditional pizza): Hybrid
Best thin crust: Cauliflower
Best thick crust: Cream cheese
Best dairy-free crust: Almond flour (though I think cheese would improve this!)
Lowest calorie: Eggplant (this too would be improved with more cheese!)
Lowest carb: Meatza
Best veggie-based crust: Cauliflower
Best make-ahead option: Cream cheese
NOT recommended at all: Coconut flour, flax meal. Though if you need something that is nut-free AND dairy free, I suppose the flax crust could work in a pinch.
My favorite: Hybrid pizza with half of the cheese replaced with well-drained cauliflower
What I learned about low-carb pizza:
- I never get sick of eating pizza ;)
- Adding cheese, especially lots of cheese, ALWAYS improves the crust. Parmesan adds moisture, flavor, and helps act as a binder. Shredded mozzarella adds the chewiness and stretchiness which would otherwise be provided by a high-gluten wheat flour dough.
- Parchment paper is an absolute must. Nothing else will suffice.
- The top of the crust gets more brown than the bottom, so flip the crust over so that it has a crunchy, sturdy base. There's no point in covering the crunchy part with sauce and cheese but having the soggier part on the bottom!
- If you add any vegetables they must be thoroughly, THOROUGHLY drained. This is kind of a pain, but well worth it.
Some other alternatives: