10 Healthy Dishes for Pizza Lovers!
Pizza is so popular here in the U.S., it’s almost its own food group. Well, not really, but having a craving for pizza is far from uncommon. In fact, on average, each American consumes around 46 slices of pizza every year. And in his or her lifetime, the average person consumes more than 6,000 slices of pieces. Considering how much fat, refined carbohydrates, sodium, and calories a slice of pizza has, it’s no wonder why it counts as junk food.
Did you know there are around 272 calories in one slice of cheese pizza with regular crust? Not only this, but your fat content is around 32 percent. Throw on some pepperoni and you’ve just added 26 calories.
Now, let’s take your kids into consideration. When they consume pizza, it actually takes up over 20 percent of their daily calorie intake, according to a study published in the journal Pediatrics. Children’s chances of developing a nutrition-related disease, like obesity or diabetes, is raised due to too many calories, fat, salt and other poor eating habits. Fortunately, you don’t have to eliminate pizza out of you or your child’s life. There are alternatives to traditional pizza that are just as tasty and much healthier for you, your spouse, and your children.
While many people enjoy indulging in pizza, it’s, well, let’s face it, not very healthy. You could blame this on the fact that oftentimes pizza is made with doughy, thick, white flour crusts and loaded with extra sausage, pepperoni, and high-fat cheese.
Funny though, you’ll find pizzerias in Naples or Rome offering a whole array of healthy pizza choices. Their toppings are seasonal vegetables, their crusts are thin, and they offer reasonably sized slices. While they may add cheese on top, it’s only ounces sprinkled on. With that said, get hungry because you’re about to learn 10 healthy crust and vegetable-inspired pizza ideas.
1. Pizza Dough Made of Whole Wheat
Making your pizza crust out of whole wheat offers real nutritional value and a nutty flavor. Because the crust is mainly what people consider when they think of pizza, it is made of whole wheat is a great thing. Your crust will be full of fiber and other whole grain nutrients that are still delicious to eat.
2. Tomato-Ricotta Pizza
With this pizza, you’re getting a full dose of antioxidants since red tomatoes are rich in them, particularly when cooked. This gives you more lycopene — an antioxidant that fights disease. Add in some high-quality ricotta cheese (sparingly) to make a more delicious, creamier pizza.
3. Cauliflower Crust
For this crust, you can use a blend of potato flour, brown rice flour, chickpea flour and mozzarella cheese, along with cauliflower, to replace the regular white flour that ordinary pizza crust is typically made with. You’ll get just the right edge crispness and a soft bite in the center. Add in some low-fat provolone cheese if you want and tomato-based sauce and you’ll have the perfect at-home pizza ready to eat regardless if you’re a gluten-free eater or not.
4. Broccoli Crust
Knowing you can make a pizza crust out of cauliflower, does it surprise you that you can do the same with broccoli? An added bonus is that broccoli is full of Vitamins C and K.
5. Ricotta, Almond and Wilted Green Pizza
This pizza is loaded with protein and fiber with the creamy ricotta, escarole, and toasted almonds. Every slice is amazingly delicious and satisfying.
6. Vegan Pizza
Do you eat vegan? No problem. Like any other type of food, you can also make pizza vegan as well. When topping your vegan pizza, consider combinations of:
- Roasted peppers
- Vegan mozzarella
- Tomato sauce
- Vegan parmesan
A slice of vegan pizza is better for your health than a regular slice so you can savor it guilt-free.
7. Zucchini Crust
Zucchini is abundant in Vitamin C which boosts your immune system and is low in calories. Not to mention, since they’re already popular in Italian cooking, they make a great pizza choice.
8. White Pizza
If you’re not a fan of all that tomato sauce, try a white pizza instead. You can load it with mushrooms, fennel, and onions, goat cheese, roasted peppers, arugula and walnuts for a healthy, tasty treat.
9. Spaghetti Squash Crust
Spaghetti squash is a well-known pasta substitute and you can now use it to create your own low-carb pizza.
10. Potato Crust
Russet potatoes are full of Vitamin B6 that helps with brain function, Vitamin C to boost your immune system and potassium that helps with blood pressure. Make a crust out of nothing more than salt and potatoes. You may wish to sprinkle on some peas and asparagus to add to the flavor and nutritional aspects of the pie.
While it’s too easy to pick up the phone and call your local pizza joint, making your own pizza that’s healthy not only saves you money, but contributes to better health. In fact, put that phone down and try this tasty whole wheat crust Margherita pizza recommended by the American Heart Association.