A pizza can be greasy junk food or a healthy meal; it all depends on how you prepare it.
Here are some tips to help you create a guilt-free and good-for-you pizza that can also be very tasty!
1. Have a wholegrain and wheat free crust
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Wholegrain options are always better, but if you also go wheat free, you could benefit from less digestive and bloating problems. Spelt, brown rice or quinoa flours are great alternatives that you can buy already made or use to prepare your own.
2. Lighter cheeses are better options
Light mozzarella, feta, ricotta or even cottage cheese are delicious and much lower in calories and sodium than other cheeses. Remember you could always try a cheese-free pizza.
3. Add lean protein to your healthy pizza
Grilled chicken, prawns or lean conventional ham (make sure it doesn’t have sugar added!) and Parma style ham are the best options. A good amount of protein will create a more balanced meal. It will also help stabilize blood sugar levels and keep your hunger at bay for longer.
4. Opt for a healthy pizza sauce
Make your own pizza sauce to avoid store-bought versions that can be packed with sugar or oil. You can go for the classical tomato sauce or be a bit more adventurous, trying out something different such as hummus, white bean dip, olive tapenade, salsa, pesto, refried bean spread or even pumpkin puree.
5. Pack in nutrients
Certain food can provide a concentrated amount of nutrients. This is the case of eggs, anchovies or cooked spinach. Popeye would be proud.
6. Spice it up
Try adding cayenne pepper, chilli, curry powder or black pepper. These spices will give a bit of a kick to the flavour of your pizza and at the same time boost your metabolism and circulation!
7. Replace the centre with salad
Make the pizza even healthier by cutting out the centre of the pizza and replacing it with some rocket or other green leafy vegetables. You can always have the centre bit as a snack on another occasion.
8. Add flavour without adding calories
Mushrooms, capers, red pepper, onion, pineapple, balsamic vinegar or aromatic herbs such as basil or oregano are my favourite choices to add lots of flavour in a healthy way. This way you won’t need to load up on cheese and other high-calorie toppings to fully enjoy it.
9. Try a thin crust
A doughy thick crust can be nice, but it is not friendly on the waistline. Instead, try cooking a thin one or if store bought, cut it in half. You could even use a tortilla as a base.
10. Pile on veggies
If you add tasty and light vegetables, such as sliced tomato, artichokes, asparagus, courgette, aubergine or fennel, not only will you make your pizza super healthy, but also will feel full on fewer calories than you may be accustomed to.
11. Add a superfood
Try adding some chia seeds on top of your cooked pizza for an omega 3, fibre, mineral and protein boost!
12. Control your portions
Sometimes we don’t really need that forth portion, so if cooking your own crust, make sure you prepare an adequate size.