5 Ways to Make Your Pizza Healthier
Now I know that the prospect of making a healthier pizza is a scary one. Many
people just assume that nothing healthy tastes good. WRONG! There are plenty of
tasty healthy options. When it comes to pizza you just have to do it right, making
sure that you use the freshest ingredients and premium quality kitchenware.
If your solution for making pizza healthier is just not to eat it very often, get
yourself out of that habit right now! By following these 5 simple guidelines,
you'll be on your way to making tastier, healthier pizza in no time. Get ready,
here we go!
- Whole Wheat Crust: Everyone agrees that to ensure your pizza ingredients
are as healthy as can be, make everything from scratch-this includes your pizza
dough! When making whole wheat pizza dough, make sure that you are using whole
wheat flour and whole wheat yeast. While whole wheat yeast isn't completely
necessary, you might as well if you're going the healthier route. If you don't want
to do your crust from scratch, that's fine. There is plenty of premade whole wheat
pizza dough out there if you know where to look. Check out some Italian specialty
markets for the freshest dough, otherwise stores like Trader Joes also have some
delicious and inexpensive options.
- The Sauce: When it comes to pizza sauce, most premade sauces are loaded
down with sugars and additives. Making your pizza sauce from scratch is the best
way to ensure that itís healthy. Start by using quality stainless steel kitchenware- either a saucepan or baking dish,
whatever you have lying around. By adding fresh basil, oregano, crushed black
pepper, minced garlic and of course fresh tomatoes, you ensure that your pizza sauce
will be healthier and better tasting. One interesting alternative to using tomato as
your base is using squash! Acorn squash is the perfect choice to use. A friend of
mine suggests using acorn squash as your base. Once it's cooked and chopped up so
it's of a pizza-sauce-like consistency it's easily spreadable. Squash is a good
source of fiber and it fills you up, so you'll eat less. This is a great healthy
alternative to pizza sauce. Again, there are healthy options out there in stores if
you don't have the time to make the sauce from scratch, just make sure you're
reading the labels. For instance, reduced sodium tomato pastes, purees or sauces
are alright options for a healthier pizza.
Here's one of my favorite recipes for homemade whole wheat pizza crust. Enjoy!
- The Cheese: When it comes to cheese on your pizza, go with a part skim
Mozzarella. This healthier option has less fat and fewer calories and still tastes
pretty good! Low-fat or nonfat cheeses, soy or rice-based cheese alternatives are
also healthier options for you to consider. You could even use grated Parmesan
cheese instead of mozzarella to cut back your fat intake even more. If you're
making a w low-fat white pizza, use nonfat ricotta cheese or a low-fat bottled
- The Toppings: Veggies, veggies, veggies! Make sure you add lots of
fresh veggies from your garden, farmers market or grocery store. I say the fresher
the better! Use pre-cut veggies or fruit like broccoli, peppers, onions, olives or
pineapples. Be adventurous and daring with your toppings. Try something different
like curried chicken, barbecued tofu, seafood, beans or lentils - just as long as
you get some protein on there. If you love pepperoni, try turkey sausage or some
kind of reduced fat pepperoni. Use fresh herbs like basil from your garden to bring
out the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Serving Size: Now you've heard it before, it's all about portion
control. You can make a mini pizza using a whole wheat pita or lawash bread instead
of regular pizza dough. Whole wheat French bread pizza is another option. You can
also trick yourself by serving the pizza on a smaller plate. This gives the
illusion that you have more but you'll actually be eating less. Fresher ingredients
and ingredients with lots of protein and fiber should also fill you up faster.
1/3 cup Whole Wheat Flour
1 2/3 cups White Flour
1/2 packet Whole Wheat Yeast
1/2 cup warm water
2 cups room temperature water
2 TBSP Olive Oil
1/2 tsp Salt
- Preparation:: Combine the yeast & 1/2 cup 110 degree water. Allow to sit
for 5 minutes (it should expand). Add rest of water & oil to this mixture. Combine
with flour & salt. Knead dough 7-8 minutes. Spray a bowl with cooking spray & place
dough into bowl. Cover with plastic wrap & allow to rise 75 minutes (until double in
size). Once finished rising, spread out on baking pan or pizza pan (any comparable
piece of kitchenware will work) into whatever shape you desire.
If you want to
make pizza I recommend that you invest in a
pizza peel and a
intimidated about using a pizza stone or peel.
As with anything else it just takes a bit of practice to master.
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