Cauliflower Pizza Muffins

  October 9, 2018  |    Blog

Did someone say delicious bite-sized cheese pizza muffins, that are actually healthy, waistline-friendly and easy to prep for a busy weeknight dinner? We sure did—and we’re signing you up for a delicious mouthful of these little guys! As you may know if you’ve read our blogs, we often mention how we grew up in a healthy household where our parents were basically hippies (minus the drugs) with our mom cooking everything from scratch, especially her granola, and our dad doing something athletic outdoors, so you may be surprised to know that EVERY Thursday night was pizza night! Woohooo!! Of course, our mom made it herself– kneaded her homemade whole wheat dough after waiting for the yeast to rise, whipped her yummy sauce together starting with a splash of olive oil, adding canned tomatoes and fresh spices and then letting us add our own veggie toppings. No Domino’s Pizza here, folks!  Yes, our pizza was a tougher crust (and as our brother would say in hopes of a softer crust, “Can you use half white flour?” 😉 ), fiber-filled creation, but even as picky kids, we didn’t mind it—because it was PIZZA!

Can’t get enough pizza? Check out these healthy numbers that also feature tomato sauce and lycopene, as well as more benefits of tomato sauce:

Portobello Pizza

Easy Veggie Pita Pizza

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Polenta Pizza

Pizzaria at home

Quinoa Pizza Bites

 

And now one of our top requests from our clients (and from you) is to be able to enjoy pizza without feeling like its’ hurting efforts to be healthy, or to lose a few pounds, when that’s your goal.  When dining out, we show our clients how to indulge and to meet their goals–and dining in, we’ve got some tricks up our sleeves– some that we learned from our mom, and some new ones including our newest creation, these Cauliflower Pizza Bites!  These unbelievable little nips are an ooey-gooey, super satisfying, weight loss recipe that makes your taste buds happy and fills you up, leaving you feeling light, with just 120 calories yet with 12 satisfying grams of protein in 6 pizza bites. You can enjoy these and know they’re actually good for you!

 

Check out these healthy bonuses:

If you’re like us, you know that a good pizza is all about the sauce. And while we’re talking the flavor, it’s also star-studded with health benefits. You may be surprised that our health-minded mom used canned tomatoes as the base of her red sauce since, it’s “processed”. The truth is, not only are canned tomatoes always in season, but they actually concentrate important nutrients and make them more available to the body!—and they’re one reason that pizza—and especially the tomato sauce has health benefits! (How do you like that? TWO registered dietitian nutritionists telling you that pizza has health accolades?!)

More reasons to feel good about pizza and the tomato sauce:

• Lycopene is a powerful antioxidant in tomatoes that gives tomatoes their bright red color and keeps you healthy in many ways (see below) by protecting the cells in the body from oxidative damage that leads to disease.

• Lycopene is found in higher quantities in canned tomatoes as opposed to fresh, due to the heating process, which increases the antioxidant power in the tomatoes!:

• Tomato sauce= 4X lycopene of fresh tomatoes!

Lycopene:

• Helps to prevent many cancers, including prostate, breast, lung, ovaries, and bladder.

• Helps prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering LDL (“bad” cholesterol levels) and lowering blood pressure.

• Acts as a natural sunscreen and helps to protect the skin against UV-induced sunburns!

• Provides a restorative effect for people with asthma by improving lung function.

Tomatoes & tomato sauce are a fantastic way to get phytonutrients including antioxidants like beta carotene, fiber (buh-bye constipation), vitamin C (au revoir flus and colds) and potassium (hello healthy heart!). And guess what? If you are looking to lower your blood pressure, potassium is a nutrient that most people fall short in—and tomato sauce (or canned tomatoes) may be your ticket.

1 medium tomato = almost 300 mg of potassium
One half-cup of tomato sauce has 454 milligrams

Round out all of this healthy deliciousness with ooey-gooey protein and calcium from the cheese and we’re talking an easy breezy, delicious, waistline friendly weeknight dinner that hits the spot! Hello… Cauliflower Pizza Bites!

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3850026

 

Cauliflower Pizza Muffins
These are the perfect little melt-in-your mouth cheese-y bites to eat without expanding your waistline!

Makes 4 servings (4 bites per serving)

Ingredients:

Cauliflower Crust:
• 1 head of cauliflower, riced/grated (about 3 cups) – buy riced (frozen or fresh to save time!)
• 2 eggs
• 3 Tbsp. almond flour (or coconut flour—or whole wheat flour if you’re not Paleo)
• 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
• 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Pizza Topping:
• 1 cup tomato sauce, low sodium, divided in half- reserve half for topping (low sodium is recommend if you’re trying lower your sodium intake)
• 3/4 cup light mozzarella cheese* (we used one with 60 calories per ounce, 9 g protein & 200 mg sodium, so look for one similar)
• ½ cup mushroom (or veggie of choice)

 

*You can substitute light cheese for fat free cheese to reduce the calories even more (see below) but it won’t be as ooey-gooey.

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
    2. In a medium size bowl, add cauliflower, eggs, almond flour, Italian seasoning, and black pepper and mix thoroughly.
    3. Spritz a muffin tin with oil in a spray jar to prevent the cauliflower crust from sticking to the pan. Place 2 tablespoons of the cauliflower mixture into each muffin hole to make the crust.
    4. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until completely cooked and the edges are a crisp brown. Remove the muffin tin from oven.
    5. Without removing the crust from the muffin tin, spread 1 teaspoon of tomato sauce over each crust and top with 1 tablespoon of cheese and veggies.
    6. Place back in the oven until cheese is melted. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan or in the microwave, warm remaining tomato sauce for dipping. Once warm, place in a small bowl.
    7. Remove the pizzas from the oven when cheese had melted. Let cool for several minutes then gently loosen the pizza from the tin.
    8. Serve warm and enjoy!

Nutrition Facts per serving (4 bites, without tomato dipping sauce):

121 calories; 7 g fat; 2 g saturated fat; 226 mg sodium; 124 mg potassium; 5 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 12 g protein

 

Nutrition Facts per serving using fat free cheese (4 bites, without tomato dipping sauce):

110 calories; 5 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 286 mg sodium; 124 mg potassium; 6 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 12 g protein

Cauliflower Pizza Muffins
 
Nutrition Facts per serving (4 bites, without tomato dipping sauce) : 110 calories; 5 g fat; 1 g saturated fat; 286 mg sodium; 124 mg potassium; 6 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 2 g sugar; 12 g protein
Author:
Ingredients
  • Cauliflower Crust:
  • • 1 head of cauliflower, riced/grated (about 3 cups) – buy riced (frozen or fresh to save time!)
  • • 2 eggs
  • • 3 Tbsp. almond flour (or coconut flour—or whole wheat flour if you’re not Paleo)
  • • 2 tsp. Italian seasoning
  • • ¼ tsp. black pepper
  • Pizza Topping:
  • • 1 cup tomato sauce, low sodium (if you are trying to lower your sodium intake) (divide in half and reserve half for topping)
  • • ¾ cup light mozzarella cheese* (we used one with 60 calories per ounce, 9 g protein & 200 mg sodium, so look for one similar)
  • • ½ cup mushroom (or veggie of choice)
  • *You can substitute light cheese for fat free cheese to reduce the calories even more (see below) but it won’t be as ooey-gooey.
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In a medium size bowl, add cauliflower, egg s, almond flour, Italian seasoning, and black pepper and mix thoroughly.
  3. Spritz a muffin tin with oil in a spray jar to prevent the cauliflower crust from sticking to the pan. Place 2 tablespoons of the cauliflower mixture into each muffin hole to make the crust.
  4. Bake for about 25 to 30 minutes until completely cooked and the edges are a crisp brown. Remove the muffin tin from oven.
  5. Without removing the crust from the muffin tin, spread 1 teaspoon of tomato sauce over each crust and top with 1 tablespoon of cheese and veggies.
  6. Place back in the oven until cheese is melted. Meanwhile, in a small sauce pan or in the microwave, warm remaining tomato sauce for dipping. Once warm, place in a small bowl.
  7. Remove the pizzas from the oven when cheese had melted. Let cool for several minutes then gently loosen the pizza from the tin.
  8. Serve warm and enjoy!

This blog was sponsored by the Tomato Wellness Council, but, as always, all opinions are our own.

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