- How to make a healthy pizza
- Choosing a healthy crust
- Choosing a healthier cheese
- Healthy pizza toppings
There's nothing better than a homemade pizza. Who doesn't love a nice crispy crust, gooey cheese and delicious toppings? But let’s face it, pizza’s no friend to our waistline. If the thought of giving up your favorite food makes you want to cry, don't worry - we've got some great tips on how to make healthy, delicious, and nutritious pizzas at home. And while you might think it takes too much time and effort to make one, we’re here to tell you otherwise!
How to make a healthy pizza
More than number of calories, the most important aspects of a healthy pizza is using ingredients that will be nutritious. For example, you can use canned artichoke hearts as a meat replacement with low-calorie options such as turkey and fresh or low-fat mozzarella instead of an excessive amount of cheese and meat.
Another easy way to keep your pizza healthy is by baking it at a high heat with a pan on top to avoid oil and fat from soaking into the crust. These are just two simple ways to make your pizza healthy.
Choosing a healthy crust
An easy way to make your pizza healthier is to use a different type of crust. There are so many ways to make a pizza crust, such as using whole wheat flour, oatmeal for fiber and protein or even cauliflower! You can also use spices like garlic salt, Italian seasoning, basil or chilli flakes on the outside of your pizza before baking to add some extra flavour, and don’t be afraid to get creative! Pizza is delicious but you don't need an excessive amount of cheese and meat on top in order to enjoy it. Here are 5 healthy pizza crusts you can try out at home that are super easy to make!
5 cortezas de pizza sanas
1. How to make wholewheat pizza crust
WHOLEWHEAT FLOUR: 332KCAL PER 100g 
Probably the simplest way to make your pizza crust healthier is to use100% whole wheat flour instead of white flour.
For this option, simply mix together your desired amount of whole wheat flour with yeast and water instead. Then roll out the dough on a floured surface to have it be about an inch thick before cooking at 425°F for approximately 15 minutes.
2. How to make a quinoa pizza crust
COOKED QUINOA: 120KCAL PER 100g 
Many people eat quinoa because of its amazing nutritional value . It's exceptionally high in protein, chock full of essential vitamins and antioxidants and a wide favourite among vegetarians and vegans.
It can also be a great option for pizza crust. You can find quinoa flour at your local grocery store, or you can make your own by grinding up raw quinoa seeds in a blender until the desired consistency is reached. The best way to do this is to use whole raw quinoa seeds, as it will have a nuttier taste. You can use any type of quinoa, but if you want the traditional pizza look, opt for white quinoa.
Once ground, mix together the desired amount of water and quinoa flour so that you have a doughy texture similar to a traditional pizza crust. This dough should then be spread out very thinly on a baking sheet and baked at 375°F for about 10 minutes.
3. How to make a cauliflower pizza crust
COOKED CAULIFLOWER: 23KCAL PER 100g 
One ingredient that can also be used for a pizza crust is cauliflower. As well as being low-calorie and grain-free, 100g of cooked cauliflower has 58% of the daily recommended intake of Vitamin C for women and 48% for men [5, 6]. Vitamin C intake is hugely important as it boosts our immune system. It's also been shown to help with collagen production - so it's great for healthy & younger-looking skin! . It's only 23kcal per 100g and naturally high in fiber and B-vitamins.
First, preheat your oven to 425°F and cook the cauliflower in a microwave for about three minutes until cooked through. Next, use a paper towel to remove any excess moisture and then shred it into pieces in a food processor or blender. After this step, mix in some flour and an egg and mix until you reach your desired consistency. Spread out the dough on a cookie sheet and place it in the oven for about 10-12 minutes when finished cooking.
This is a great way to enjoy pizza while still having your daily intake of vegetables!
4. How to make an oat pizza crust
COOKED OATS: 71KCAL PER 100g 
Oatmeal is another way to add fiber and protein to your pizza crust. Oats are very healthy gluten-free grain, rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants .
To begin, place the oats in a blender or food processor until they form a powder-like texture similar to flour. Then, mix together one egg with the oat powder so that it forms a doughy consistency. Spread this mixture on top of some parchment paper and cook it in the oven at 425°F for ten minutes, or until golden brown.
5. How to make a chickpea pizza crust
COOKED CHICKPEAS: 164KCAL PER 100g 
Chickpeas are naturally low-fat, a good source of high-quality protein, fiber, vitamin B6, and iron. In fact, 100g of cooked chickpeas contains 8.8g of protein [9The daily recommended intake of protein is 0.8g for every kilo you weigh, so a 200g portion of chickpeas provides only around 300kcal and a whopping 17g of protein!10They're also a a good source of folate and vitamin K, which play key roles in immune function and bone health, respectively .
Place the dried chickpeas into your blender or food processor and grind it up until it becomes a powder. You can also mix two tablespoons of olive oil with the beans to make the process easier. Once ground, pour in some water until you form dough similar to pizza crust consistency. Spread this mixture onto some parchment paper and cook it at 425°F for 10 minutes, or until golden brown. Top this crust with your favorite vegetables and enjoy!
A few lazy alternatives!
If you're looking for a less labour-intensive crust, things like pitta, naan bread and tortillas can also make a convincing pizza. Just remember to look for the whole wheat versions to get the maximum fiber.
Choosing a healthier cheese
Another important aspect of making healthier pizzas at home is using the right ingredients on top. Opting for a low-fat version of your favourite cheeses is an easy way to reduce your calorie intake. However, there are some naturally lower-calorie cheeses that you can opt for that are super tasty! And if you're worried about your calorie or sodium intake, just use it sparingly and go heavier on the veggies.
If you want to keep your pie traditional, a low-fat version of mozzarella is your best option. It's best if you use fresh mozzarella, which will be lower in sodium than the processed, pre-shredded kind. Fresh mozzarella contains approzimately 286kcal per 100g serving . A lighter version might contain about 205kcal per 100g .
Feta cheese is also another great option - while its higher in sodium, it's lower in calories than a lot of other cheeses at about 75 calories per ounce (265kcal per 100g) and also has 4g of protein per serving . Your daily recommended intake of protein is about 0.8g per kilo that you weigh .
Another great option at about 75 calories per ounce or 268kcal per 100g - significantly less than a lot of cheeses made from cows milk . Studies have also shown that fatty acids in goat cheese are metabolized faster than cow’s cheese, which means that it makes you feel fuller more quickly. That means it can be great for weight loss as it makes you feel less hungry and eat less .
At only 98kcal per 100g, this is great way to add some creaminess to your pizza sauce without the added calories . It's also available in a bunch of varieties - lactose-free, low or no sodium and low-fat, which is just 72kcal per 100g!
One of my favourite pizza recipes using cottage cheese is Salmon and Broccoli pesto pizza on a Quinoa crust. Start by making your crust. To make the base mix 2 tbsps of cottage cheese with 2 tbsps of pesto and add to your pizza. You can also add some chilli flakes or cayenne pepper for an extra kick. Then add smoked salmon, broccoli (cut small), and some cherry tomatoes sliced in halves. Then season to taste with salt & pepper.
Healthy pizza toppings
Topping with vegetables is a great way to make your pizza extra nutritious and low in calories. You can use artichoke hearts or eggplant as a meat replacement, for example. If you're craving meat, use turkey or fish as a healthier alternative to traditional sausage and pepperoni. Veggie sausage is also another great option. Quorn sausages for example, contain only 154kcal per 2 sausages (plenty for your pizza) .
Another way to cut back on the calories is by using fresh basil leaves or arugula instead of an excessive amount of red sauce or use salsa instead for a healthy twist on traditional pizzas. You can also make your own pizza sauce at home with tomatoes and spices like garlic powder in order to avoid unnecessary ingredients you may find in the store.
Here are a few topping ideas for your next healthy homemade pizza:
- Mushroom and Arugula Pizza: Onion, mushrooms, arugula, goats cheese, a drizzle of truffle oil, garlic, salt and pepper.
- Salmon and Broccoli Pizza: Cottage cheese & pesto for the base (used sparingly!), smoked salmon, broccoli, cherry tomatoes.
- Spicy Hawaian Pizza: Homemade tomato sauce, low-fat mozzarella, pineapple chunks, ham, red onion cut finely), and jalapeños!
- Spinach and Veggie Sausage Pizza: Veggie sausage, low-fat mozzarella, homemade tomato sauce, oregano, red pepper (cut finely), and salt and pepper to taste.
The next time you're craving pizza, we hope that these tips & recipes will help inspire your own special creation! We know they'll make a healthier option for dinner tonight or even on the weekends when you have more time to cook. Remember - there's no need to feel bad about indulging in this classic comfort food from time to time! Everything in moderation!
Caty is a blogger and ISSA-certified personal trainer. She loves writing about health and nutrition.
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