Healthy Pizza Recipe

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Healthy Pizza Recipe

Despite being a cheese-lover, I think this pizza tastes better than a normal pizza, despite being dairy- and gluten-free! The base is made of chickpea flour, so it is low-carb and high-protein. This healthy pizza recipe is extremely quick to make, since you don't have to wait for the dough to rise. The base comes out like a thin flat-bread. It is not a crispy pizza base, but a little doughy and moist even when completely cooked. The 'cheesiness' is mimicked by using cashew nuts to make it fatty, olive oil to give is a melted-cheese feel, salt to replace the enjoyable saltiness of the cheese, and bits of dates sprinkled on top for a little sweetness. Soooo yummy and no need for dairy or grains!

healthy pizza recipe image

Cost: £2.80 (GBP)
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Yield: One square oven tray of pizza, 16x14 inches (400x350mm)

Ingredients:

Pizza Base:

Chickpea flour (gram flour) or lentil flour: 200g
Water: 600ml (2.6 cups)
Olive oil: as needed
Salt, pink Himalayan: 1 teasp
Maple syrup: 1 tbsp (optional)

Tomato sauce:

Tomatoes: one can
Garlic powder: 1/2 teasp
Vegetable stock (or bouillon): 1 cube (or 2 teasp)
Tomato puree: 3 tbsp

Pizza toppings:

Use any pizza toppings your mind desires. For the pizza in the picture, I used onion, mushroom, pineapple, canned artichokes, fresh basil and red chillies.

Olives work very well in a non-cheese pizza because they add saltiness.

Fake 'Cheese' Topping:

Cashew nuts: 1-2 handfuls
Dates: three or more, chopped into small pieces.
Olive oil: 10 tbsp
Salt: as desired (but it needs enough to make it as salty as the cheese would be!)
Black pepper: as desired
Oregano: a sprinkle

Directions:

Pizza Base:

  1. Heat the oven to 230 degrees Celsius (450 degrees Fahrenheit).
  2. Mix flour, water, salt and maple syrup in a blender, to avoid clumping. Let sit for 1 hour or more.
  3. Brush a rectangular oven tray (6x14 inches, 400x350mm) with plenty of olive oil to avoid sticking.
  4. Pour the liquid dough-mix into the tray.
  5. Drizzle another 5 tbsp of olive oil on top of the pizza and mix it into the dough slightly and carefully, just to break up larger areas of oil.
  6. Cook in the oven for 10-15 minutes. Note that the cooking time may vary depending on the oven.
  7. Optional: Use the oven's 'grill' option just long enough to crisp the surface.
  8. This is ready 'Cecina' bread but we will use it as pizza base.

Pizza Assembly:

  1. Mix all the tomato sauce ingredients in the blender.
  2. Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce on the pizza base.
  3. Chop and add your chosen pizza ingredients.
  4. Grind cashew nuts into small crumbs, using a coffee grinder or a food processor. Sprinkle on top of the pizza.
  5. Cut dates into very small pieces and sprinkle on top.
  6. Drizzle 10 tbsp olive oil on top of the pizza.
  7. Sprinkle quite a bit of salt on top, to mimic cheese saltiness.
  8. Sprinkle on black pepper and oregano, as well as any other of your favourite pizza herbs and spices.
  9. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes.

la cecina image
La Cecina bread after 10 mins of baking.

dairy free pizza image
Dairy-free pizza before going in the oven.

Notes on Healthiness:

The base of this pizza is made of chickpea or lentil flour, both of which are naturally protein-rich and gluten-free flours. Also dairy and cheese are avoided completely, without sacrificing taste.

Note that the maple syrup is not necessary, if you would like a very low-carbohydrate option. I have added it to the recipe, however, because commercial pizzerias add sugar to their dough and tomato sauce to enhance the flavours.

This pizza is so healthy that it even makes a nice breakfast dish!

Additional Time and Money-Saving Tips

If you love strong tomato taste, you can use just tomato puree instead of the tomato sauce, to save time and to achieve a more intense flavour.

I have sometimes made the pizza base (cecina bread) without letting the dough sit for an hour, I just put it straight in the oven. This works for me but it seems to stick easier using this method and therefore more oil is needed to brush the oven tray with and this method may not work for everyone. You could also use non-stick oven paper to line the tray instead of oil but you would need to use large sheets in a careful way so that there are no gaps where the liquid dough can get through the paper.

Essential for the Success of this Recipe

Use a shallow oven tray, the correct size as described in this recipe.

Use enough oil to brush the oven tray with to make sure the pizza doesn't stick.

Variations on the Healthy Pizza Recipe

If you have some garlic oil in your cupboard (ideally home-made) replace the olive oil in the 'fake cheese' ingredients with it. You will love the result.

If you have a nightshade allergy, you can use one of the following types of pizza sauces to replace the tomato sauce: pesto, bechamel, salsa, bbq sauce, hummus, pumpkin-based sauce, beetroot-based sauce, olive tapenade, harissa, ranch sauce, garlic oil, cheese sauce, curry sauce, wasabi and creme fraiche (or mayonnaise) sauce, fig jam, peanut sauce, etc. (as listed on Wisebread.com).

Original cecina bread recipe here: Cecina/ Chickpea Focaccia.

The pizza crust is based on 'la Cecina' Italian bread recipe, given to me by my Italian friend, who is a lover of all foods Italian. Typically 'la Cecina' is eaten on its own as bread but in my opinion it works well as pizza crust! I put the rest of the recipe together by combining ideas from raw food and vegan pizza recipes.

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