By Jessica Berliner, MScN

Clinical Integrative Nutritionist

 

Did you know that October is Breast Cancer Awareness month? Did you know that October is ALSO national pizza month? You are probably wondering what these two might have in common, and besides both being in October, not much. Until now. Below is a recipe that is not only a healthy, delicious pizza but will ALSO help to kick breast cancer’s butt! But how? Well, the crust is made from delicious cauliflower!

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable which is part of the brassica family. This family of vegetables are rich in many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that make it quite a nutritional powerhouse. But, scientists have also identified other bioactive compounds in these vegetables that are specifically responsible for their cancer-preventive effects. These compounds, which are called glucosinolates, are transformed to indole-3-carbinol (I3C) and diindolylmethane (DIM) in the body.1,2  Certain ways that estrogen is metabolized in the body promote the growth of cancer. These compounds, DIM and I3C, help you metabolize estrogen more effectively into a less risky form of estrogen therefore decreasing the cancer risk and also helping to slow the growth or progression of an existing cancer. Other vegetables in this family are broccoli, brussels sprouts, kale, collards, arugula, bok choy, cabbage, and more. Cruciferous vegetables offer many health benefits and helping to aid in the fight against cancer is just one important reason to add more of them into your diet.  
 

Ingredients:

1 medium sized head of cauliflower (approximately 3 cups when processed)

½ tsp coarse salt

¼ tsp fresh ground black pepper

1 tsp dried basil

½ tsp dried oregano

1 tsp garlic powder

2 tbsp almond meal

½ cup cheese* (combination of mozzarella and parmesan works great)

2 tbsp nutritional yeast (optional)

1 egg (Can use chia or flax egg to make it vegan)

Nonstick cooking oil/spray

 

* If dairy free, can use cheese made from alternative milks like almond milk. I have also omited the cheese altogether and it was delicious but the crust did not hold together well and was more of a fork and knife pizza.  

 

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place a pizza stone in the oven (or baking sheet if you don't have a pizza stone).



Wash and dry your cauliflower! If you got a huge cauliflower, you will have enough for extra pizza crust, cauliflower rice, or whatever you might want to make from it. Cut out the core and cut into manageable sized florets. Then, steam your cauliflower until soft and pliable. Let it cool for a couple of minutes and then pulse in your food processor for about 30 seconds, until you get a rice like texture. You should end up with about 3 cups of cauliflower rice. 

Wrap up your cauliflower rice in a clean dishtowel and wring the water out of it. You want to squeeze out as much water as possible. This will help your pizza stay together and not be a crumbly mess.

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Mix the cauliflower, spices, almond meal, nutritional yeast, and cheese. Now add your egg and mix again. You will want to use your hands to get a feel for the consistency, plus they just work best. If it is not dry enough, add extra almond meal. Sometimes it could take up to double the amount of almond meal!

 

Once mixed together, use your hands to form the dough into a crust on a sheet of oiled parchment paper. Try to keep it tight so that it doesn’t crumble. The crust should be about a half inch thick.

 

Using a cutting board slide the parchment paper onto your hot pizza stone or baking sheet in the oven. Bake for about 12-15 minutes, or until it starts to turn golden brown and the edges crisp up. How it looks is more important than time, so pay attention. Remove from the oven. This is when you can add your toppings and put it back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. On my pizza, I used zucchini, shallots and cremini mushrooms. I opted for no cheese on top, but the beauty of this recipe is to make it however you want! The baking times will depend on your oven, the types of toppings you use, and how well you drained your cauliflower.

 
 
 

 

 

Jessica Berliner is a clinical nutritionist in Portland, Oregon. She currently holds a Master of Science in Integrative Nutrition from NCNM and a Bachelor’s of Science in Nutrition from NYU. You can find out more about Jessica by visiting her website: http://www.jessicaberliner.com

 

References:

1. Kiefer, D. (2006, October). How Cruciferous Vegetables Prevent Cancer - Life Extension. Retrieved October 14, 2016, from http://www.lifeextension.com/Magazine/2006/10/report_cruciferous/Page-01

2. Nachshon-Kedmi M, Yannai S, Haj A, Fares FA. Indole-3-carbinol and 3,3’-diindoylemethane induce apoptosis in human prostate cancer cells. Food Chem Toxicol. 2003 Jun;41(6):745-52.