Did you know that October is National Pizza Month? Everyone loves pizza but it is often thought of as an unhealthy food as it is typically high in calories, sodium, and fat. Of course there is room to enjoy pizza in moderation within every diet but if you are a pizza lover, it might not hurt to learn a few ways to make your pizza a little healthier! Below are a few tips to help you create a healthy pizza for you to enjoy.
1. Crust: Swap out a thin crust for a thick crust. If making a homemade pizza, try using flatbread or a tortilla shell instead of a regular store bought crust. If you are feeling adventurous, you could also try making a homemade pizza crust from other grains such as quinoa!
2. Sauce: Try making your own pizza sauce, this helps control the amount of salt added to the sauce. Use fresh tomatoes with fresh herbs and spices as a seasoning instead of salt, this helps add the flavor without adding all of the extra sodium.
3. Cheese: Go light on the cheese, sprinkle a light layer of cheese over the sauce instead of a typical thick layer of cheese to avoid extra calories, fat, and sodium.
4. Toppings: Load up on veggies! Whether you keep it simple with onions, peppers, mushrooms, and olives or try adding different veggies such as zucchini or artichoke hearts, adding veggies to your pizza is an easy way to sneak in more veggies to your diet.
1 c warm water, divided
2 c 2 oz bread flour
1 package dry yeast
4 teaspoons olive oil
¾ tsp salt, divided
1 Tbsp yellow cornmeal
¾ c pizza sauce
1 ¼ c thinly sliced fresh mozzarella cheese
1/3 c small fresh basil leaves
1. Pour 3/4 cup warm water in the bowl of a stand mixer with dough hook attached. Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups and spoons; level with a knife. Add flour to 3/4 cup water; mix until combined. Cover and let stand 20 minutes. Combine remaining 1/4 cup water and yeast in a small bowl; let stand 5 minutes or until bubbly. Add yeast mixture, oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt to flour mixture; mix 5 minutes or until a soft dough forms. Place dough in a large bowl coated with cooking spray; cover surface of dough with plastic wrap lightly coated with cooking spray. Refrigerate 24 hours.
2. Remove dough from refrigerator. Let stand, covered, 1 hour or until dough comes to room temperature. Punch dough down. Press dough out to a 12-inch circle on a lightly floured baking sheet, without raised sides, sprinkled with cornmeal. Crimp edges to form a 1/2-inch border. Cover dough loosely with plastic wrap.
3. 3. Position an oven rack in the lowest setting. Place a pizza stone on lowest rack. Preheat oven to 550°. Preheat the pizza stone for 30 minutes before baking dough.
4. Remove plastic wrap from dough. Sprinkle dough with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Spread Basic Pizza Sauce evenly over dough, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Arrange cheese slices evenly over pizza. Slide pizza onto preheated pizza stone, using a spatula as a guide. Bake at 550° for 11 minutes or until the crust is golden. Cut pizza into 10 wedges, and sprinkle evenly with basil.
Nutrition Info: 421 calories, 11 g fat, 17 g protein, 63 g carbohydrate, 6.5 g fiber, 754 mg sodium
Lemon Arugula Pizza
Ingredients Pizza Dough:
2 ¼ tsp rapid rise yeast
1 c warm water
Pinch of sugar
3 ½ c bread flour
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
Ingredients Pizza Toppings:
1 Tbsp olive oil
6 oz fresh mozzarella
½ c Parmesan cheese
2 c arugula
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1. Make the pizza dough. In a glass measuring cup or small bowl combine yeast and 1 cup warm water. Add a pinch of sugar and let sit for 5 minutes.
2. In the bowl of a stand mixer, add the flour and salt. Mix the ingredients until combined.
3. Add the yeast mixture to the flour mixture. Next, add 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Mix until combined. Switch to the dough hook and knead for about 5 minutes on medium speed.
4. Spray a large bowl with cooking spray. Form dough into a ball and place in the bowl. Cover pizza dough with a damp towel and set in a warm area to rise. Let the dough rise for 1 hour or until dough has doubled in size.
5. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Cut the dough in half. Take on piece of dough and punch it down on a lightly floured surface. You can refrigerate or freeze the other half of the dough or make 2 pizzas, if you wish. Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a circle. Place the pizza dough on a pizza pan or pizza stone.
6. Evenly brush the olive oil on the pizza. Top with fresh mozzarella slices. Add the parmesan cheese. Place the pizza in the oven and bake for 12-15 minutes or until pizza crust is golden and cheese is melted.
7. Remove the pizza from the oven and place arugula on top. Squeeze fresh lemon juice over the arugula and season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Garnish with additional parmesan cheese, if desired. Cut into slices and serve.