Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Acorn Squash Low Carb Pizza Crust

Did I mention that my husband and kids (me included) love pizza! I am a carb junkie. My addiction includes breads and desserts, so I try to curb my carb cravings and at least try to reduce the amount of flour I consume.


In the last six months we have been ordering produce through Bountiful Baskets, a coop distribution of 50% fruit/50% vegetable baskets, organic produce baskets, artisan bread and sandwich bread every other week. The last week's basket was definitely bountiful and included three small acorn squashes. Instead of using sweet potatoes for a pizza crust (as we have tried in a previous post), the thought occurred to me...why not try squash and see what happens! I am hoping this experiment is a success as the crust is baking in the oven right now.

I must give credit for the inspiration of this recipe to Tina at Carrots N' Cake. I did make some modifications to her original recipe, so see the comments below. You can find my original sweet potato pizza crust recipe by clicking here.

Ingredients:
  • 2 cups acorn squash roasted (1 whole small acorn squash, skin and seeds removed)
  • 1/2 cup canned coconut milk (pureed in blender with acorn squash)
  • 1 3/4 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp minced fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Your choice of toppings
Directions:
The first step is to preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.  Next, I prepared the acorn squash for mashing by cutting it in half, placing it on a cookie sheet (cut sides up), drizzling with olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper, and roasting in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until cooked through (about 30 minutes).  After the squash is cooled, I peeled it, scooped the seeds out, cut it into small chunks, and threw in the blender with a half cup coconut milk to puree. To be honest, I did this step one week ago and threw the acorn squash puree in the freezer.



Next, I combined all the ingredients listed above.  The original recipe called for almond flour.  It's not a staple in my pantry, so I replaced with whole wheat pastry flour instead. Those who suffer from gluten allergies could substitute with another kind of flour, such as almond or coconut flour.

The original recipe also called for garlic powder, although normally a pantry staple in my home, I was all out and did not feel like running to the store, so we used the fresh garlic we had on hand instead and grated with a micro-planer.


The original recipe also called for a pizza pan. Thanks to my wonderful MIL, I received one at Christmas. I covered it with olive oil and preheated it in the oven. I spread the dough onto the baking pan until about a 1/2 inch thick and baked for 25-30 minutes until center was firm and edges were lightly browned. Just an advanced warning, the dough will be sticky and goey and may be difficult to spread. I used a spatula to help spread the dough.


Next, we removed the crust from the oven, added toppings, and baked for another 5-7 minutes until the cheese was completely melted. My children's favorite topping of all time, "Epiphany" sausage! It is made by a local church as their annual fundraiser and is held every year on the 2nd Sunday in March. The entire parish works together to butcher 30 hogs and process their own sausage with seasonings and casings making the leanest most flavorful sausage I have ever tasted! This small town of 50 people will fill with 1000 to 1500 people in one day looking for a great meal that only happens one time a year!


UPDATE! The crust is awesome and so much better than the sweet potato pizza crust I posted earlier! My children will agree! THEY EVEN REQUESTED WE MAKE IT AGAIN SOON!