I know what you’re thinking. I know this because I thought the same thing the first time I tried to substitute cauliflower with a bread product.
This can’t be right, can it?
If it’s done properly, you truly will not be disappointed. Unless of course, you’re expecting cauliflower to magically turn into bread while baking. Then you’re on your own.
A couple of years ago, during one of my healthy-food kicks, I was inspired to try cauliflower pizza crust. Was it the same? Of course not. Was it enjoyable? Yes. Have I made it again? No, but I should because I’ve learned a couple of things since I’ve made it.
We’ve all seen those videos by TipHero that are quick and somehow always turn out perfectly. I originally saw this in a video, but it wasn’t TipHero, and my interest was piqued. Yours is too, if you’re reading this!
The problem with the breadsticks is that any calories you’re saving by not using flour, you’re gaining (and probably then some) with the amount of cheese being used. However, if you’re eating a gluten-free diet, it’s good for that.
Your shopping list is short, and you probably have a few of the ingredients already. You’re looking for a large head of cauliflower, some fresh garlic, eggs, oregano, mozzarella, parsley, red pepper flakes and S&P.
Prepping the cauliflower
The most time-consuming task is prepping the cauliflower. After washing it, you’ll need to “rice” it in a food processor. Once riced, you’ll need to check the mixture for any large chunks that may have been missed.
Then it’s time to drain it. You wouldn’t think that cauliflower holds as much moisture as it does, but it will surprise you. For this reason, I recommend prepping it a couple of hours prior, if not the night before. To do this, I would contain the riced cauliflower in a fine colander, over a bowl. If you don’t have a fine colander, line a regular colander with a couple of sheets of paper towels, and let it sit over another bowl for a while.
Once drained, dump the riced cauliflower onto a couple of layers of paper towels and roll it around like dough, trying to soak up any extra moisture. Then add it to the rest of the ingredients. Bake it on a sheet of parchment paper, too, to dry it out a bit more.
When baking, don’t be afraid to let it sit in the oven longer than the allotted time, just be sure to keep a close eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Golden is good, black is definitely not!
After baking, I strongly advise letting the “bread” sticks cool in a single layer before stacking them on a platter. My husband and I found they stuck together (but it didn’t deter us from inhaling them!). Also, once they are cooled a little, they are easier to hold and dip.
The cheese is what holds the mixture together, and you could probably get away with using less cheese. I think I’ll reduce it to two cups instead of three, next time.
ONE LAST TIP: Change out your garbage container after prepping your cauliflower! I didn’t and WOAH, what a stench the next morning!
I’d love to hear your thoughts on this! Have you tried it? Would you make it again?