What is your favorite kind of pizza? Do you know how to make healthy pizza? We adore pizza at our house, and my girls love when they get to make their own and choose their own toppings. Lots of people have asked for my recipe and how we do this, so back in July I wrote a guest post for the lovely people at Mom It Forward showing you how we do it and giving you a delicious pizza crust recipe.
But wait, there’s more! You get a bonus tip today! With the kids just starting back to school, healthy school lunch ideas have been on my mind. Today for lunch my daughter took a make-your-own pizza kit. Here’s how we did it: The last time we made pizza for dinner, I rolled out a few extra crusts, brushed them with olive oil, and then baked until just barely turning golden on top. After they cooled, I cut them in wedges and threw them in the freezer. All leftover pizza sauce went into ice cube trays, and then the sauce cubes into a zipper bag in the freezer. Last night we grabbed a handful of pizza crust wedges and 2-3 sauce cubes, and put them in the fridge to defrost. We also grated a little cheese and had that ready to go, with some carrots, cucumber, and pineapple to go on the side. Today at lunch she just used a spoon to scoop a little pizza sauce onto a crust wedge, sprinkle a little cheese, and voila! Pizza! It’s cold, but she doesn’t seem to mind, and said several times how excited she was to eat lunch today, “Because it’s going to be so mmmmmm, mmmmmm, delicious!”
How to Build a Healthier Pizza
- Make it at home – What ingredients are those big delivery companies adding? Take the guesswork out and make it yourself at home. Yes, it’s more work, but it’s also more fun!
- Go for a whole grain crust, recipe below – I would suggest using white whole wheat flour, it is still whole wheat, but is a lighter flour.
- Upgrade your sauce – Store bought sauce is usually really high in sugar and has other unnecessary and unhealthy ingredients. Making your own is super easy, and you probably have the ingredients right in your cupboard! Here is the recipe I use, I just leave out the sausage when making it for pizza.
- Think about your cheese – Did you know that wood pulp is used to keep pre-shredded cheese from sticking together? Sawdust, yum! All kidding aside, I shred my own cheese using cheese from grass fed cows. If you are really feeling ambitious, you could even make your own mozzarella from the instructions right here. Delicious!
- How many veggies can you pack in? The best way to make something more nutritious is to add as many veggies as possible! On pizza nights we roll the crust individual size and let the kids top their own pizzas. I provide them each with their own plate of veggies to choose from and just let them go! I’ve been surprised how many more veggies they will eat this way!
- Simplify the meats – Eat healthier and clean out your fridge by using leftover meats you may already have. We love shredded chicken on our pizza or nitrate/nitrite free bacon.
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 1-1/2 cups warm water
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for brushing crust
- 3 cups white whole wheat flour
- Your favorite sauces, cheese, and toppings
- Combine water and honey in a large bowl, stir until honey has dissolved.
- Add yeast and stir, then allow to sit for about 10 minutes until frothy.
- Add in salt, oil, and 1 cup of flour, stir to combine.
- Add in remaining flour ½ cup at a time. I like to transfer to a floured surface and knead in the last of the flour. You can also use a stand mixer.
- Allow to rise until double, about 1 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
- Divide into 8 pieces for making personal size pizza.
- Roll each one into a circle, dot crust with a fork, and place on a baking sheet dusted with cornmeal or lined with parchment paper.
- Brush the edges with olive oil to keep crust from drying out.
- Add your favorite sauce, toppings, and cheese.
- Bake for 10-20 minutes, until crust is golden and cheese is melted.
This post was originally published at MomItForward.com on July 1, 2014. You can view that post here.