crispy sweet + spicy cauliflower bites (gluten free, paleo, vegan).
this recipe is hands down, without a doubt, one of the recipes I am most proud of to date! as soon as i tried these crispy, sticky cauliflower bites i couldn’t wait to share them. they taste exactly like restaurant style fried cauliflower, but they are healthy, baked instead of fried, and made with nutritious ingredients. the flavor and texture is out of this world good! not to toot my own horn, but seriously i can’t wait for you guys to try this recipe!
i typically do like to keep my recipes super simple, and while this one is still really easy, it does have a couple crucial steps that are totally worth it. again, it still isn’t a hard recipe by any means. the process essentially involved baking the cauliflower first in a healthy “breading” to crisp them up, before adding the secret sauce. however, the first bake time is the perfect amount of time to get the sauce made and clean up a little. i was ready to go for the 2nd step the minute the oven was beeping- love when that happens!
the crisp, crunchy texture is so satisfying in these little bites. the sweet and spicy sauce has a great kick, and the most addicting flavor.
plus, they’re completely vegan and gluten free.
i love these in lettuce wraps or over a bed of rice- i add some extra veggies or crisp microgreens and green onions, and chicken if i have it on hand!
tapioca flour and garbanzo flour are what create the breading for these bites. while you may not always have these ingredients on hand, i promise its worth making a trip to the store for! you will want to make these again and again. i chose these two flours to keep this recipe grain free, nut free, as well as more affordable. nut flours can be pretty pricey- but these two types of flours are much more reasonably prices. i find these flours at whole foods, but you can search amazon if you don’t see them at your local grocery.
add these bites to your next dinner plans- i promise you will be just as obsessed! enjoy xx
for the crispy cauliflower
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
1 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour (can sub arrowroot starch)
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp sea salt
1 cup room temp water
for the sweet + spicy sauce
1/2 cup coconut aminos
2 tbsp honey (coconut sugar, date syrup, or agave for vegan)
2 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp rice vinegar
2 tbsp sesame seeds
1/4 tsp sea salt
few cracks of black pepper
preheat oven to 450°F and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
in a large bowl, stir all of the dry ingredients for the crispy cauliflower together (garbanzo bean flour, tapioca flour, and spices). Then stir in the water and whisk until smooth. If batter is not mixing well, add up to another 1/4 cup of water.
Let batter sit for 1-2 minutes to slightly thicken, then add the cauliflower florets to the bowl to coat. using a fork, remove the florets from the batter and place them on the parchment paper. drizzle the batter on some of the pieces that look like they could use more batter.
when oven is preheated, bake the battered cauliflower for 20 minutes. while baking, you will start making the sauce.
rinse out the bowl the batter was made in, then add all sweet and spicy sauce ingredients to the same bowl and stir to combine.
add sauce to a heated pan over medium heat. allow sauce to cook for 5-7 minutes until thickened, stirring occasionally. remove from heat and set aside 3-4 tbsp of the sauce to keep for after baking.
when cauliflower is done baking, return it to the large bowl and pour the sweet + spicy sauce (besides the 3-4 tbsp set aside) over the cauliflower. use a spatula to make sure you get every last drop of the sauce! stir to coat, then return to parchment paper and bake for 12-15 minutes.
let cauliflower sit for at least 5 minutes. use the extra sauce you set aside to drizzle over the cauliflower when serving.