What is the ‘nutritional secret’ of the cauliflower?
The unhealthiest element of pizzas – the processed grain crust – can be bypassed if you replace it with a powerhouse veggie such as cauliflower. One serving of the cauliflower contains 77% of the RDV value of C vitamin. It is also a good basis of protein, vitamin K, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, magnesium, phosphorus, fiber, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid, potassium, and manganese.
The cauliflower also contains a sulfur compound called sulforaphane, that has been shown to kill cancer stem cells, by this means slowing cancer growth. A study published in Carcinogenesis found that sulforaphane may reduce the incidence rate of chemically induced mammary tumors in our dumb friends- animals. It also inhibits the growth of cultured human breast cancer cells, leading to cancer cell death.
Sulforaphane in the cauliflower veggie has also been found to significantly improve kidney function and blood pressure. Researchers believe that sulforaphane’s action is related to an improved DNA methylation, which is crucial for normal cellular function and proper gene expression. Moreover, the cauliflower contains a ‘wealth’ of anti-inflammatory nutrients, including indole-3-carbinol or I3C, an anti-inflammatory compound that may operate at the genetic level to help prevent the inflammatory responses at its foundational level.
The cauliflower supports your body’s ability to detoxify itself in multiple ways. This is due to its antioxidants that support Phase 1 detoxification along with sulfur-containing nutrients important for Phase 2 cleansing activities. The glucosinolates in the cauliflower also activate detoxification enzymes.
However, it’s OK to stuff up your pizza with cheese made from grass-fed animals
There is a wide-spread stance that it’s the cheese that makes pizza unhealthy. In fact, if you use a high-quality dairy product- cheese obtained from grass-fed cows, you will make a pizza that is very good for you indeed. The ‘unhealthy award’ for pizza meal certainly goes to the grains in the crust and processed meat toppings, along with preservatives and added soybean oil.
Natural cheese facts
It takes a few basic ingredients — milk, starter culture, salt, and an enzyme called rennet to make the simple fermented dairy product known as cheese. Added salt to the cheese is a crucial ingredient for its flavor, ripening, and preservation.
You can tell a natural cheese by its label, which will state the name of the cheese variety, such as blue cheese, cheddar cheese, cow cheese, sheep cheese or “brie.” A real cheese product requires refrigeration and contains a wealth of good nutrition, including high-quality protein and amino acids, high-quality saturated fats and omega-3 fats, vitamins and minerals, including calcium, zinc, phosphorus, vitamins A, D, B2 (riboflavin), and B12, vitamin K2, CLA (conjugated linoleic acid)- which is a potent cancer-fighter and metabolism booster.
It’s ideal to consume cheese products made from milk from animals fed on grass pastures, rather than grain-fed or soy-fed animals confined to feedlot stalls. Even cheesemakers will tell you that raw cheese has a richer and deeper flavor than cheese made from pasteurized milk because applied heat destroys the enzymes and good bacteria that add flavor to the cheese. Cheesemakers clarify that raw cheese has flavors that derive from the pastureland that nourished the milk-giving animals, much like wine is said to draw its unique flavors from individually cultivated vineyards. Grass-fed dairy products not only taste better, but they are also nutritionally superior to their feedlot stall counterparts. For instance, grass-fed cheese contains about 5 times the CLA of grain-fed cheese.
With a healthy cauliflower crust, raw grass-fed cheese and fresh organic veggies, this pizza is not only comfort food, but it’s superfood as well!
One final tip before you start making your pizza:
Avoid topping your pizza with canned tomato sauce, as cans often contain linings with the toxic chemical bisphenol-A. Ideally, prepare your sauce fresh or, if you’re in a time squeeze, use a high-quality, organic jarred version (watch out for brands with added sugar).
Cauliflower Crust Pizza Recipe
- 2 ½ cups organic cauliflower, grated (about 1/2 a large head)
- 2 teaspoons melted butter or coconut oil
- 1 large organic pastured egg, lightly beaten
- 1 ¼ cups shredded mozzarella cheese, preferably raw
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
- Kosher or Himalayan salt and freshly ground black pepper
- ¼ cup tomato sauce (avoid canned, use natural jarred or fresh)
- 1 cup organic grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- fresh basil leaves
- Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper, and preheat oven to 425ºF (220 degrees C).
- Grate the cauliflower using a box grater until you have two cups of cauliflower crumbles. Steam until soft and let cool.
- Mix in the egg, one cup mozzarella, parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper. Once combined, pat into a 10-inch round prepared pizza pan. Coat lightly with melted butter or coconut oil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until golden.
- Top the pizza with the sauce, grape tomatoes, ¼ cup mozzarella, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Bake in the oven until melted and bubbly, another 10 minutes. Top it with basil leaves before serving.
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