Cauliflower crust may be the darling of the alt-pizza world, but even healthy food bloggers will admit that it isn't the easiest to make. (The struggle of soggy cauli-crust is real.) An easier gluten-free place to start is using quinoa—which has the added benefit of adding protein to the base of your pie.
Quinoa makes a great ingredient for making pizza dough because, in addition to being a good source of protein, it's also high in fiber, iron, and calcium. If you follow a plant-based diet, iron especially can be a nutrient that can be hard to get enough of because one of the biggest sources of iron is meat.
While many store-bought gluten-free pizza crusts use gums and starches, Oatmeal With A Fork blogger Lauren Goslin has perfected a quinoa pizza crust recipe that doesn't have *any* of that. Another perk to her recipe is that it doesn't require any alternative flours. (Ever come across a recipe that requires almond flour, arrowroot flour, and coconut flour, only to feel suddenly overwhelmed?)
In fact, her take only requires five ingredients, and there's a very high chance that they're all already in your pantry. Besides quinoa, all you need is baking powder, cooking oil, sea salt, and water. "I got the idea for this quinoa pizza crust recipe when I was looking online for a gluten-free crust for my daughter," Goslin says. "After a few various tweaks to a recipe I had originally found, I came up with my own version."
Goslin says it took a bit of trial-and-error for her to get the recipe exactly right. "The first time I tried a quinoa crust, it stuck horribly!" she says. "I could tell the taste was there, so I kept working on it and finally got it to where my family enjoyed it." As you follow her recipe—which is below—she offers up a few insider cooking tips to keep in mind. First, she recommends completely soaking the quinoa first. This softens it a bit, making it easier to work with. "It's a little maddening to have to wait, but the soaking helps yield a smoother crust," Goslin says. (In other words: plan ahead for pizza night.) Also, don't forget to oil your pan. "This is important because otherwise the crust will stick to it," she says.
Other than those tips, she says following the recipe should be straight-forward. "This is a great option for those with special diets and allergies," Goslin says. "My daughter was at a point where she couldn't hardly have anything, and it was so nice to be able to give her pizza." She also says that while it doesn't taste like a big bowl of grains, obviously quinoa still is the primary ingredient, so if you're totally turned off by the grain, it may not be the best recipe for you. "If you don't care for quinoa, you may not like this crust," she says. But if you are into it, chances are you'll love it.
Quinoa pizza crust recipe
1. Rinse the quinoa very well.
2. Place the rinsed quinoa in a bowl and cover it with water, about one inch above where the quinoa sits.
3. Let the quinoa soak overnight (at least eight hours).
4. Preheat the oven to 425° degrees.
5. Drain and rinse the quinoa very well again.
6. Place the drained and rinsed quinoa into a food processor along with the water, salt, and baking powder.
7. Process the mix for about two minutes until it is smooth in consistency.
8. Line an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with parchment paper. (It's easiest to just place the cake pan on top of the parchment paper, draw an outline of it, cut it out, and place it into the cake pan.)
9. Pour the oil into the pan on top of the parchment paper.
10. Pour the batter into the cake pan atop the oil, smoothing it out evenly.
11. Bake the crust for 15 minutes.
12. Carefully flip the crust over, and bake it for another five minutes.
13. Top the pizza as desired.
14. Bake the pizza for another five to 10 minutes until your toppings have cooked through.
15. Cool, cut, and serve!
In terms of pizza toppings, Goslin says she likes to have her quinoa pizza crust with a homemade tomato sauce, raw white cheddar cheese, and a few veggies. (Her typical go-tos are green bell pepper, spinach, and red onion.) But as with any pizza, you can completely customize your toppings (and here are a few jumping-off points to spark your culinary imagination). Pile on what you love and enjoy!
Did you try this recipe out? Share how it turned out in Well+Good's Cook With Us Facebook group.
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