If you’re eating healthier but can’t seem to give up pizza, here’s some great news: When done right, pizza can be a nutritious meal full of whole grains, fiber, calcium, protein and a healthy dose of vegetables. And the first step to making a better pie: Rethink the crust. Whether you prefer crispy crust or a thicker, chewy one, there are nutritious alternatives that will leave you satisfied.
Make your go-to a whole-wheat crust. Recipes for pizza crust don’t have to be complicated and this whole-wheat pizza dough proves it can be super easy. A food processor does most of the work. All you have to do is finish it off with a few swipes of a rolling pin and you have the beginnings of a great pie.
Explore gluten-free options. Avoiding gluten doesn’t mean saying good-bye to pizza forever. Cauliflower, which is being used as a substitute for all sorts of other foods, delivers a stellar pizza crust. The key things to remember when making this are to squeeze as much liquid out of the cauliflower as possible (or the crust will crumble) and to cut the baked slices thinner so you can pick them up without risking them breaking.
Vegetables work too! Crust doesn’t have to be, well, crust. If you just like the toppings, then ditch the dough and replace it with portabella mushroom caps, zucchini halves or even a sweet potato. To use the mushroom caps, make sure the stem is removed, giving more space for the toppings. For the zucchini, slice lengthwise and scoop out a trench in the center before adding toppings and baking.
Now that you have the crust down, try adding extra vegetables and limiting the meat or cheese toppings. Your pizza will be better for you and so delicious that you just might say goodbye to the delivery man forever.
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Photo credit: Dennis Wilkinson