How to Make Healthy Homemade PizzaMarch 2nd, 2011
Pizza is one of those foods that will make your Registered Dietitian squirm, your Personal Fitness Trainer ramp up the intensity of your workouts, and is certainly not considered a good work-out food.
However, don’t swear pizza off just yet, because you can make healthy homemade pizza that tastes better than delivery and is actually good for you too! While the term “healthy pizza recipe” may seem like a misnomer, making a pizza pie that improves your health and satisfies your taste buds is not only possible, but also quite simple.
How to Make a Healthy Pizza
Our Healthy Homemade Pizza Recipes:
The Crust. Healthy pizzas start with a healthy pizza dough. Most crusts are made from all-purpose flour, which has no nutritional value and is considered a bad carb. There are a couple options when it comes to choosing a nutritious, low calorie pizza crust. You can either buy some prepared dough at the store or you can make your own. If you buy it at the store, make sure it is whole wheat. If you can’t find it, make your own! Any healthy pizza dough recipe should include whole wheat flour. Here is a simple healthy pizza crust recipe:
- 3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 1/2 cups warm water (110 degrees F/45 degrees C)
- 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
- In a large bowl, dissolve honey in warm water. Sprinkle yeast over the top, and let sit for about 10 minutes, until foamy.
- Stir the olive oil and salt into the yeast mixture, then mix in the flour until dough starts to come together. Take out the dough and place it on the counter. Knead until all of the flour has been absorbed, and the dough becomes smooth, which will take about 10 minutes. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and toss to coat the surface. Loosely hang a towel over the bowl and let stand in a warm place until doubled in size, which should take about 1 hour.
- Once the dough has doubled, tip the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, and divide into 2 pieces for 2 thin crust, or leave whole to make one thick crust. Form into a tight ball. Let rise for about 45 minutes, until doubled.
- Roll the dough with a rolling pin until it can’t stretch any further. Then, it’s time to pretend you work in a pizza restaurant! Drape it over both of your fists, and gently pull the edges away from the center, while rotating the crust. It is now ready to be topped and baked!
The Sauce. A healthy pizza sauce is extremely simple to make, but you could buy it too! Look for organic pizza sauce at your local grocery store, or if you’re in a pinch, you can use an all-natural marinara pasta sauce. A lot of restaurants in Italy don’t use a tomato-based sauce, but instead, use freshly sliced tomatoes, which is great for you and delicious too. If tomato-based sauces aren’t your thing, try pesto, olive oil with crushed garlic, or even hummus in its place. Spread your desired sauce over your pizza dough and you’re ready to pile on the good stuff.
The Toppings. Here’s where things go south nutritionally in the pizza world. When it comes to choosing pizza recipes, toppings should be a top concern if you’re trying to be healthy. Crumbled bacon, sausage, pepperoni and other processed meats threaten to turn any otherwise healthy pizzas into diet disasters. Instead of covering your pie in pepperoni, reach for some healthy pizza toppings such as: onions, bell peppers, grilled chicken, mushrooms, black olives, eggplant, garlic, spinach, pineapple, broccoli, or any other vegetable combination you can dream up.
The Cheese. If you’re like most people, the gooey cheese is the best part of the pizza. However, cheese is high in calories and very high in saturated fat, making it bad for heart health. One great trick for to improve these easy healthy pizza recipes is to pile the fresh, healthy toppings up high so you don’t need that much cheese. Also, be sure to buy the low-fat version of mozzarella or whatever cheese you use. You could also top a pizza with a reduced fat feta which has a sharper flavor so you end up using less.
Build your pie with the suggestions above for a low calorie, easy pizza recipe that is sure to please the whole family. Once your pizza is sauced, topped and ready to go, preheat the oven to 425 and bake until the crust is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly.
What is your favorite low fat pizza recipe? Do you have any great pizza recipes for kids?