February 27, 2020 at 02:00PM by CWC
It’s hard to remember a time before frozen cauliflower pizza crusts were as ubiquitous in the frozen food aisle as their doughy counterparts. Yet walk into virtually any grocery store and you’ll see not only one cauli-crust option, but likely many. Healthy eaters have voiced their request for a curst made of the veggie and brands have delivered. In fact, there are actually so many options to choose from now that it can be tricky figuring out which one to buy.
“Many consumers today looking for alternative crusts, think cauliflower! But not all cauliflower pizza crusts get my stamp of approval,” registered dietitian Melissa Rifkin, RD says. “Some tend to have a great deal of carbohydrates and sodium and lack protein.” Her point: Even a crust that’s primarily made of the cruciferous vegetable can have not-so great ingredients in it.
Here, Rifkin ranks five of the most popular, best frozen cauliflower pizza crusts in terms of how healthy they are. (Taste was not part of the ranking.) Keep reading for her thoughts and to see which one she deems healthiest of all.
The 5 best frozen cauliflower pizza crusts, ranked by an RD:
1. REAL GOOD FOODS Cauliflower Crust, $6 for 2
Rifkin says Real Good Foods’ product is, nutrition-wise, the best frozen cauliflower pizza crust. Besides cauliflower, it’s made with almond flour, eggs, coconut flour, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese, xanthan gum, and salt. “Of all the brands, this one is the highest of fiber,” Rifkin says as to why it’s her fave. “Since it’s made with almond flour, it’s a good pick for diabetics and people on the ketogenic diet, too.” She does say that at 500 milligrams per serving, the sodium is a bit high (you want to cap it at 2,300 milligrams a day), so to just be conscious of your day’s worth of sodium intake when enjoying this cauli-crust.
Trader Joe’s cauliflower gnocchi is already a cult favorite. If you’re into this other cauliflower product from TJ’s, rest assured that Rifkin is into it too; it comes in at number two on her list. Rifkin likes that this crust—made with cauliflower, corn flour, corn starch, potato starch, olive oil, and salt—has less sodium than most other crusts, with 220 milligrams a serving. She also likes that it’s low in carbohydrates and calories, as those are two reasons many eaters opt for cauli-crust over wheat crust. Still, it’s not perfect. “It’s low in fiber and protein,” Rifkin says, pointing out it only has one gram of each per serving. It will be up to your pizza toppings to fill in the gaps.
3. OUTER AISLE PLANT POWER CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUSTs, $30 for 8
Made with cauliflower, eggs, parmesan cheese, nutritional yeast, garlic, basil, and oregano, this crust comes smack dab in the middle of Rifkin’s ranking because she says it has both nutritional positives and negatives. “This one has good protein content, with 10 grams a serving,” she says as to the crust’s major benefit. But one strike against it is the low fiber content, which clocks in at just one gram per serving. It’s also higher in sodium than Rifkin likes, with 310 milligrams per serving. She also points out that this one is the highest in carbs (with four grams per serving), which may not fit in with some people’s eating plans.
Similar to Outer Aisle, Rifkin has both some nutritional pros and cons to Green Giant’s cauliflower crust, which is made with cauliflower, rice flour, corn starch, corn flour, cornmeal, canola oil, salt, and black pepper. She likes that the ingredients list is simple and also that the fiber content (two grams a serving) is higher than some of the others on this list, which only have one gram. But she says its low protein content (two grams per serving) knocks is down her list of the healthiest cauli-crusts.
5. CAULIPOWER PLAIN CAULIFLOWER PIZZA CRUSTS, $50 for four
Caulipower was one of the very first brands to come one with a frozen cauliflower pizza crust, which is made with cauliflower, brown rice flour, cassava flour, tapioca flour, coconut oil, yeast, flaxseed meal, baking powder, egg, salt, xanthan gum, and honey. “This one is the highest in carbs and is low in both protein and fiber,” Rifkin says, as to why it nears the bottom of her ranking. But as a positive, the ingredients list is simple; there’s nothing sketchy in it.
While it never hurts to compare the nutritional value between products, the good news is, all of the cauliflower crusts here have value, so you can feel good about whichever one you put in your grocery basket. It bears repeating that the ranking here is only based on nutrition, not taste—which definitely matters, too. And of course, as any pizza lover will tell you, it’s all about the toppings!