Pizza is a delicious carb-laden meal smothered with cheese, so how can this delicious dish be made healthy? Well first of all, it is important to note that there is pizza and there’s PIZZA! The pizza found lurking in the back of the freezer section of your local store might contain more artificial additives than the one you make at home. It all comes down to the ingredients.
Let’s start with the base. Traditionally pizza base is made of white flour, which may spike blood sugar levels. It may be healthier to make your pizza dough from wholegrain (or even sprouted) flour, which contains more fibre, and may have less of a sugar-spiking effect. You also might like to try different flours, such as spelt, which is thought to be healthier than modern wheat. In the past, I have experimented with gram flour (chickpea flour), which contains more protein than wheat and therefore may have less of an effect on blood sugar levels. It certainly gives a different texture to the pizza dough, and is an acquired taste, but it’s worth a try.
Next comes the sauce. Instead of shop-bought sauce, which often contains additives and sugar, use a sugar-free tomato sauce or make your own using tomato passata mixed with herbs. If you want to be extra sneaky and hide more vegetables in your pizza, you could add some vegetable purée (such as butternut or carrot) to your pizza sauce before spreading on top of your pizza dough.
Now for the fun part – the toppings. To reduce any effect on blood sugar even more, combine the carbohydrate-laden pizza base with some protein. This is where you can get creative with your pizza toppings and use some protein like tuna, flaked white fish or hard-boiled egg.
Adding vegetables on top of your pizza really enhances its nutritional value, so liberally add sliced tomatoes, peppers, spinach, mushrooms and olives on top of yours.
Traditionally, pizzas are not smothered in cheese, but small slices of mozzarella are dotted over the top. This adds to the protein content of the pizza and also provides some calcium.